Alaska Railroad,White Pass and Yukon Railroad Alaska

Alaska's Railroads: Traveling the State

For a number of years two railroads have traversed the landscape of Alaska. During summer months tens of thousands of tourists travel the Alaska railroad, taking in the state’s dazzling scenery.

One of these renowned railroads is the White Pass and Yukon Railroad, built in 1898. Based in Skagway, the railroad follows the path forged by those in the Klondike gold rush of the late 19 th century. It’s a popular excursion for day trippers, crossing into Canada and back to Skagway several times a day during the cruise ship season.

Advantages of The Alaska Railroad

The more popular of the two is the Alaska Railroad, commissioned more than 90 years ago by President Woodrow Wilson. The Alaskan Engineering Commission took on the task, with 5000 men building the 500 odd mile track to connect Fairbanks with Seward on Alaska’s southern coast. In 1985 the State of Alaska purchased the railroad for $22 million from the federal government. The railroad was incorporated and now runs as a self sufficient entity.

The Alaska Railroad’s two routes serve the Interior and Southcentral regions of the state, taking passengers between Seward and Anchorage, and Denali and Fairbanks. The train’s tracks encompass some of Alaska’s most scenic territory – Denali National Park, Denali State Park and Chugach National Forest.

During the summer months tourists take the Alaska Railroad as a great way to sightsee as much as a form of transport. Equipped with reclining seats, dining service, outdoor viewing areas and observation decks, the train is the definitive way to sightsee.

The Alaska Railroad has reduced fares for children, and all fares drop outside the peak season (June to September). All trains are wheelchair accessible, and guides will point out points of interest and areas where you may see wildlife along the journey. As well as simple transport the company incorporates train travel into package tours with glacier and wildlife viewing, dog sledding and fishing. Packages are available summer and winter, and the Railroad’s website ( allows online booking.