The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad

 

Last week we finally took the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad tour. It was one of the most beautiful and interesting trips that we took. The train it self was one of the old prototypes with wooden carts and the original set up. The history of the railroad is very abundant with a lot of sacrifices and top engineering for that time.

Along with the photos there is a short history of the railroad with most of the facts taken from the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad website (http://www.wpyr.com).

The photos are taken with my Canon T3I and 18-135 lens.

Thank you for watching and I hope that you are going to visit at least one time Alaska and especially Skagway and it’s White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad.

IMG_3244Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush, this narrow gauge railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, a designation shared with the Panama Canal, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty.

IMG_3135The WP&YR railway was considered an impossible task but it was literally blasted through coastal mountains in only 26 months.

IMG_3220The $10 million project was the product of British financing, American engineering and Canadian contracting. Tens of thousands of men and 450 tons of explosives overcame harsh and challenging climate and geography to create “the railway built of gold.”

IMG_3250The WP&YR climbs almost 3000 feet in just 20 miles and features steep grades of up to 3.9%, cliff-hanging turns of 16 degrees, two tunnels and numerous bridges and trestles. The steel cantilever bridge was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was constructed in 1901.

IMG_3118The 110 mile WP&YR Railroad was completed with the driving of the golden spike on July 29, 1900 in Carcross Yukon connecting the deep water port of Skagway Alaska to Whitehorse Yukon and beyond to northwest Canada and interior Alaska.

IMG_3119White Pass & Yukon Route became a fully integrated transportation company operating docks, trains, stage coaches, sleighs, buses, paddlewheelers, trucks, ships, airplanes, hotels and pipelines. It provided the essential infrastructure servicing the freight and passenger requirements of Yukon’s population and mining industry. WP&YR proved to be a successful transportation innovator and pioneered the inter-modal (ship-train-truck) movement of containers.

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The WP&YR suspended operations in 1982 when Yukon’s mining industry collapsed due to low mineral prices. The railway was reopened in 1988 as a seasonal tourism operation and served 37,000 passengers. Today, the WP&YR is Alaska’s most popular shore excursion carrying over 390,000 passengers during the 2012 May to September tourism season operating on the first 67.5 miles (Skagway, Alaska to Carcross, Yukon) of the original 110 mile line.

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