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Passenger Trains > Alaska RR--part 2

Date: 06/01/23 20:11
Alaska RR--part 2
Author: PVSfan

My initial post was on 5/23/23.  We returned from a 19-day trip to Alaska this past Monday.  It included rides on both the
WP&Y and ARR.
Our Alaska RR trips were in 3 segments:
Anchorage to Talkeetna
Talkeetna to Denali
Denali back to Anchorage

Overall it was an excellent experience!  Crew and staff were top notch and friendly.  Baggage handling is down to an art.
Depots were open and clean.  Food service on board was good.
Amtrak could learn a few pointers on how to operate passenger trains from the Alaska RR.

I had first ridden the Alaska RR in 1982 from Anchorage to Denali to Fairbanks while under federal control.  I missed a lot of the
scenery because it was rainy between Anchorage and Denali.  This 2023 trip was entirely different.  Weather was near perfect.
We rode in Adventure Class so we had access to the dome car.  Passengers in Gold Star Service rode in rebuilt bilevel cars.
A typical Denali Star mainline train consisted of:
2 locomotives (SD70MACs)
1 baggage car
1 or 2 Gold Star service bilevel cars owned by ARR
1 cafe car (also a bilevel but not as tall as the Gold Service cars)
1 low level ARR coach
1 ARR dome car (ex-NP on our 3 trips though the ARR has ex-UP domes too)
2 McKinley Explorer bilevel cars (operated by Holland America and Princess Cruise)


Date: 06/01/23 20:18
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: PVSfan

Views of our train at Denali station

Date: 06/01/23 20:22
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: PVSfan

Views of our dome car and from the dome car (ex-Northern Pacific)

Date: 06/01/23 20:27
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: PVSfan

View of Denali from the dome car of the train

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/02/23 18:34 by PVSfan.

Date: 06/01/23 20:29
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: PVSfan

McKinley Explorer bilevel cars at the end of the train

Date: 06/01/23 20:37
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: PVSfan

Cafe car for Adventure Class passengers and views therefrom

Date: 06/01/23 20:40
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: PVSfan

Denali depot

Date: 06/01/23 21:32
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: robj

Great recap and description of service.  Sounds like a great trip.


Date: 06/02/23 08:10
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: mp51w

That ex-NP dome is just beautiful!  Absolutely spotless!

Date: 06/02/23 09:01
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: jp1822

Beautiful Cafe Car - that's how they should be! Forget the gun slit windows. The Amfleet Diner Lite renovation was an absolute blunder in its finest.  Get big windows so passengers can sit, eat, and enjoy the passing landscape - regardless of what type of train it is. Even the ICE high-speed demonstrator train of the 90s that operated on the NEC had a restaurant and first class car that had nice large windows (and in the sit down dining section curved windows above).

I resent the fact that both Acela Express and the 2.0 version does not have some sort of better sit down area. I'm not in a wheel chair any more, and I've largely overcome or have ways to compensate for a disability, but lets just say I could never visit the cafe car in either of these trains because of the way it is setup. My back can't endure it. 

And these AAR designs are not to be the 1950s romance of train travel per say - it's to be good marketable passenger train service.  

Date: 06/02/23 10:38
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: UP951West

Your photos are beautiful and I'm glad you had a wonderful time in Alaska . Thanks for sharing them.

Date: 06/02/23 18:26
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: PVSfan

Another view of a former NP dome car used on the "Denali Star" train

Date: 06/02/23 18:40
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: PVSfan

Talkeetna depot (Note the forklift to the left handling baggage in a container.  ARR uses those open containers
to quickly load and unload several pieces of baggage to/from the baggage car on the train)


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/02/23 18:45 by PVSfan.

Date: 06/02/23 18:41
Re: Alaska RR--part 2
Author: PVSfan

Anchorage depot

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