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Alaska Rail Road

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A company "Alaska Central Railway" started to build first section of railway in 1903. The section was long 75 kilometers and led from the little port Seward north through Kenai Peninsula. Only railroad in Alaska it did not have easy since the beginning. Just seven years later the company went bankrupt and was overtaken by "Alaska Northern Railway Co.". In 1910 the railroad was extended to Kern Creek and it's lenght was 113 kilometers.

In March 1914 The US Congress agrees to fund construction and operation of a railroad from Seward to today's second largest city in the state - Fairbanks. Estimated construction cost - $35 million. In 1914-15 is established the largest city in Alaska - Anchorage. This town serves like base for railroad construction. Later the headquarters is moved here from Seward. Railroad construction crews peak at 4,500 workers. Construction was finished on July 15th 1923.

A combined population of 5,400 people in Seward, Anchorage and Fairbanks, the three towns of any size along the railbelt, is unable to generate enough business to make the railroad profitable. The Alaska Railroad is first time in black numbers in 1938. In 1940-43 World War II brings large profits from hauling military and civilian supplies and materials. During 1944-66 years diesel locomotives replace steam engines. The company has to several times wnt through revitalization.

In 1988 is made a new stop at Denali National Park which became the biggest tourist attrastion in Alaska. The railroad is used to transport oil. The Alaska Railroad reached a profit $8 million in 1996 and number of passangers got over 500 000.

Railroad leads through beautiful scenery so that does not matter much that the speed is propably all the time under 35 kilometers per hour. In cars of Princess company you can have a drink in the bar during your eight hours long journey between Anchorage and Denali NP.

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