The Alaska Railroad

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The southern end of the Alaska Railroad begins in Seward, Alaska. The northern end of the railroad is approximately 486 miles north near Fairbanks, Alaska. The railroad carries both freight and passengers and is owned by the State of Alaska. The Alaska Railroad line runs through many popular destinations including Fairbanks, Anchorage and Denali National Park. Although the railroad is owned by the State of Alaska many of the cars are owned by the cruise companies and other independent interests.

The Alaska Railroad Trains

Currently the trains on the Alaska Railroad run every day during the summer. In the winter months the trains run only on the weekend. The summer months are considered the middle of May through the middle of September. In the summer there are three primary trains that run, the Denali Star, the Coastal Classic and the Glacier Discovery. There are also turn trains that run during the winter months on a set schedule. Please read below for details.

The Denali Star

The Denali Star travels from Anchorage to Fairbanks and has stops in Denali Park, Talkeetna and Wasillla. The Denali Star has “GoldStar Service” which is first-class service in the double deck dome cars.

The Coastal Classic

The Coastal Classic runs between Anchorage and Seward. During this journey the train passes large glaciers that are viewable from the window of your train. The Costal Classic also brings visitors to Resurrection Bay which has connections to Kenai Fjords National Park.

The Glacier Discovery

The Glacier Discovery runs from Anchorage through the Chugach National Forest one of the largest national forests in the United States. Once the train passes through Girdwood you can view salmon in the streams along the way. Past Girdwood is Whittier, the gateway to Prince William Sound where visitors can hire fishing charters and day cruisers.

The Hurricane Turn Train

The winter Hurricane Turn Train runs only the 1st Thursday of each month from October through May. In addition the train also runs on Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day. In the summer the train runs Thursday through Sunday departing form the Talkeetna Depot. This train is known as a “Flag Stop Train” which means the schedule of train may vary somewhat depending on the number of required stops. There is no dining aboard the Hurricane Turn Train.

The Aurora Winter Train

The Aurora Winter Train runs between Talkeetna and Hurricane and then continues on to Fairbanks or anchorage. This is another “Flag Stop Train” and the schedule may vary depending on the number of stops required. Unlike the Hurricane Turn Train, there is dining available on the Aurora Winter Train.

Alaska Railroad Map

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