Skagway (June 18th)
In the morning we took the White Pass & Yukon Railway tour and in the afternoon we flew a helicopter out to the Riggs Glacier and we for a stroll on the glacier! An exciting day! After getting back we took a ride above the ship to see the city on a cable car.
Skagway, a place of many names, much history and little rain. The town lies at the head of the magnificent Lynn Canal and, at one time or another, has been called Skagway, Skagway and Gateway to the Golden Interior.
It is also known as the Home of the North Wind, and residents tell visitors that it blows so much here you’ll never breathe the same air twice.
It lies 108 road miles south of Whitehorse, just west of the Canadian border at British Columbia. “Skagua” was the Tlingit name, which means “the place where the north wind blows.”
The first non-Native settler was Buddy Moore in 1887, who is credited with the discovery of the White Pass route into Interior Canada.
This city is part of the setting for Jack London's book The Call of the Wild. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city is 862. The port of Skagway is a popular stop for cruise ships, and the tourist trade is a big part of the city's business. The White Pass and Yukon Route narrow gauge railroad, part of the area's mining past, is now in operation purely for the tourist trade and runs throughout the summer months.
Skagway (originally spelled Skaguay) is from the Tlingit name for the area, "Skagua." The name has several meanings, "the place where the north wind blows," "stiffly wind-rippled water," etc.
Let's Ride The White Pass & Yukon!
The White Pass and Yukon Route (WP&Y, WP&YR) (AAR reporting marks WPY) is a narrow gauge railroad linking the port of Skagway, Alaska with Whitehorse, the capital of Canada's Yukon Territory. An isolated system, it has no connection to any other railroad. The railroad is operated by the Pacific and Arctic Railway and Navigation Company (in Alaska), the British Columbia Yukon Railway Company (in British Columbia) and the British Yukon Railway Company, originally known as the British Yukon Mining, Trading and Transportation Company (in Yukon Territory), which use the trade name White Pass and Yukon Route.
We took the unforgettable journey aboard this world-famous mountain railroad to the White Pass summit. There is no railroad quite like the White Pass & Yukon Route. Against all odds, this iron trail was built through some of the North's most rugged terrain.
One hundred years later this narrow-gauge railroad is still in operation. Ride aboard an old-fashioned parlor car as you retrace the original route to the summit of White Pass.
Leaving Skagway behind, the Alaskan wilderness unfolds outside your window as you climb the steep grade past Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point and Dead Horse Gulch. See the original Klondike Trail of '98 worn into the rocks-a permanent tribute to the thousands of souls who passed this way in search of fortune.
Your tour guide will tell the tale of the Klondike Gold Rush as well as the history of this magnificent railway.
We joined the train for a ride to Canada.. Narrow gage (3' wide) and about 40 miles in length. The cars are all vintage railcars from around the country... refurbished of course. You should see the videos!
It was impressive that we continue to grow our G-gauge railway with White Pass cars.
Hang On, Here We Go!
We lined up waiting to board the cars
Love the colors of their engines
Did You Know? - The White Pass and Yukon Route (WP&Y, WP&YR) (reporting mark WPY) is a Canadian and U.S. Class II narrow gauge railroad linking the port of Skagway, Alaska, with Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon. An isolated system, it has no direct connection to any other railroad. Equipment, freight and passengers are ferried by ship through the Port of Skagway, and via road through a few of the stops along its route. The railroad is a subsidiary of Clublink and operated by the Pacific and Arctic Railway and Navigation Company (in Alaska), the British Columbia Yukon Railway Company (in British Columbia) and the British Yukon Railway Company, originally known as the British Yukon Mining, Trading and Transportation Company (in Yukon), which use the trade name White Pass and Yukon Route.
Our Christmas train looks exactly like this
Sur liked riding between cars and looking out for animals
Great tressels.... See the new steel girders replacing the old wooden ones
We are glad these old guys are gone
Did You Know? - As the gold rush wound down, serious professional mining was taking its place; not so much for gold as for other metals such as copper, silver and lead. The closest port was Skagway, and the only route there was via the White Pass & Yukon Route's river boats and railroad.
While ores and concentrates formed the bulk of the traffic, the railroad also carried passenger traffic, and other freight. There was, for a long time, no easier way into the Yukon Territory, and no other way into or out of Skagway except by sea.
On the border...
Did You Know? - By June 1914, the WP&YR had 11 locomotives, 15 passenger cars, and 233 freight cars operating on 101,12 miles of trackage; generating $68,368 in passenger revenue and $257,981 in freight revenue; still a profitable operation as operating expenses were only $100,347. While all other railroads in the Yukon (such as the Klondike Mines Railway at Dawson City) had been abandoned by 1914, the WP&YR continued to operate
No place to turn around so the engines pass us by and connect to what was the rear of the train
Foogy and cold.... Well, it is Canada (We are in the Yukon Territoy)
Did You Know? - The railway shut down in October 1982. The shutdown, however, was not for long. Tourism to Alaska began to increase, with many cruise ships stopping at Skagway. The scenery of the White Pass route sounded like a great tourist draw; and the rails of the White Pass & Yukon Route were laid right down to the docks, even along them, for the former freight and cruise ship traffic.
Cruise operators, remembering the attraction of the little mountain climbing trains to their passengers, pushed for a re-opening of the line as a heritage railway. The White Pass was and is perfectly positioned to sell a railroad ride through the mountains to cruise ship tourists; they do not even have to walk far.
Following a deal between White Pass and the United Transportation Union representing Alaska employees of the road, the White Pass Route was reopened between Skagway and White Pass in 1988 purely for tourist passenger traffic
Down we go
Looks like toy rails
Breath in... it is a narrow one
Hugs the mountains
Did You Know? - The railroad dieselized in the mid to late 1950s, one of the few North American narrow gauge railroads to do so. The railroad bought shovelnose diesels from General Electric, and later road-switchers from American Locomotive Company (Alco) and Montreal Locomotive Works, as well as a few small switchers.
The railroad was an early pioneer of intermodal freight traffic, commonly called container; advertising of the time referred to it as the Container Route. The WP&YR owned an early container ship (the Clifford J. Rogers, built in 1955), and in 1956 introduced containers, although these were far smaller than the truck-sized containers than came into use in the United States in 1956 and could not readily be handed off to other railroads or ship lines.
She kept yelling faster faster
The narrow gauge looked soooo narrow
Did You Know? - A narrow gauge railway (or narrow gauge railroad) is a railway that has a track gauge narrower than the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) of standard gauge railways. Most existing narrow gauge railways have gauges of between 2 ft (610 mm) and 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm).
Since narrow gauge railways are usually built with smaller radius curves and smaller structure gauges, they can be substantially cheaper to build, equip, and operate than standard gauge or broad gauge railways, particularly in mountainous or difficult terrain. The lower costs of narrow gauge railways mean they are often built to serve industries and communities where the traffic potential would not justify the cost of building a standard or broad gauge line.
Narrow gauge railways also have specialized use in mines and other environments where a very small structure gauge makes a very small loading gauge necessary.
On the other hand, standard gauge or broad gauge railways generally have a greater haulage capacity and allow greater speeds than narrow gauge systems.
Just full of..... energy Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z
Traveling with two teenagers was an experience
Twisting and turing down the mountain
Into the work yards
He still runs once in a while
Hey... they are awake
Cousins... and good boys
Back home in Skagway
Love those colors
Did You Know? - The railway still uses vintage parlor cars, the oldest four built in 1881 and predating WP&YR by 17 years, and four new cars built in 2007 follow the same 19th century design. At least three cars have wheelchair lifts. A work train actually reached Whitehorse in late August, 1988, its intent being to haul two locomotives, parked in Whitehorse for six years, to Skagway to be overhauled and used on the tourist trains.
we are going to do what?
Helicopter Onto A Glacier At Skagway (June 18th Afternoon)
So we walked onto a Glacier and looked down into a 1000 foot hole! Great flight. We then stopped on the top of a mountain and looked at two glaciers joining into one! Snowballs and all! Riggs Glacier is a glacier in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in the U.S. state of Alaska. It begins on the southern slope of the Takhinsha Mountains, 6 km (4 mi) southeast of Mount Harris and flows south-southeast to the head of Muir Inlet, 69 km (43 mi) southwest of Skagway
Grandma, are you sure???