Journey through the most beautiful railway Alaska road
• Travel through the most beautiful railway Alaska road
It was amazing times, an endless stream of people who are possessed by passion to get rich quickly, rushed to the Klondike in the late XIX century. The theme of "Gold Rush" has become for me one of the most interesting moments during the cruise of Alaska. Somehow it had never been interested in this story, but the journey allow to touch and feel something new, previously unknown. So I returned home and began to read about the phenomenon of "Gold Rush", which is not limited only to gold bullion, for many people the mass psychosis was an opportunity to open a very successful business. Nothing in the harsh Alaskan climate conditions were created whole cities, build roads and rail routes were laid even in extremely difficult conditions of the local terrain.
This is how the White Pass Railways. The most beautiful narrow gauge railway in Alaska length of 175 km. Work on the construction of the road began in 1898. The track ran along the difficult mountain pass White Pass, but the opening was just after 2 (two) years! That's what makes people gold.
Today I want to show the most striking episode of the trip - narrow-gauge White Pass. An absolute must visit place, when you go there on a cruise!
Departing from Seattle, ships moored to the gold diggers in Deye and Skagway, where foot went to the Klondike region of Canada.
To the left of the path Deye - it is easier in the beginning, a sufficiently long section can be reached by flat terrain. However, he had an incredibly difficult part - Chilkoot Pass, where thousands of people died. Where Canadian authorities have established a very complex requirements for crossing the border - to bring a year's supply of food (!). On the right - the road through the Pass White Pass, it was difficult, but it is much shorter. Here killed more than 3,000 horses, so the valley is called Dead Horse Valley.
Left - Pass Chilkoot Pass, right - Pass White Pass.
So prospectors crossed the Chilkoot Pass:
And walked through the White Pass:
rail through White Pass was built in just two years. In 1897 he founded three separate companies for the construction of the line length of 325 miles. Most of the construction was financed by British investors, and this area was soon over. 3ft narrow gauge has been selected (914 mm); narrow gauge allowed for easy routing of lines and significant cost savings. But even under such conditions, it took 450 tons of explosives to reach the summit of White Pass Pass. Narrow gauge require less turning radius, making it easier and allowing to follow the terrain, rather than clear the way for the explosions.
July 21, 1898 excursion train passengers transported over a distance of 6, 4 km from Skagway, it was the first train in Alaska. July 30, 1898, the rights and concessions of the three companies were acquired by White Pass & Yukon Railway Company Limited, a new company from London. By mid-February 1899 construction reached its highest point - 879, 3 m Pass White Pass, at a distance of 32 km from Skagway. July 6, 1899 the road reached the village Bennett, and this is a province of British Columbia (Canada).
spike was hammered into the road July 29, 1900, trains began August 1, 1900. However, by this time the gold rush has died down. Golden spike, which was supposed to signify the completion of construction, has been replaced by the usual iron. Gold is too soft and instead of being clogged, simply flattened.
Now you can travel by train to Canada, and to pass White Pass and back. This trip takes 3 and 5 hours, during which I almost went to the car, standing in an open area in between cars, open-mouthed delight.
Cruise ships offer the option to buy a ticket for this excursion on board with one advantage - the train planting carried out near the cruise ship. To the train station from the port to go 7-10 minutes walking distance, so do not engage in this nonsense and unnecessary overpayment and buy a ticket online or at the ticket office at the station.
The train is waiting for those who bought a tour on board:
Railway station. Tickets can be purchased without any problems on the spot, as well as on the Internet at //wpyr.com site.
The most budget option - Scagway-White Pass and back - $ 119. The train runs from May to September, but specify the actual schedule on the website of the railway company.
It can be located on the outside and that's fine! So be sure to dress warmly. In June, the White Pass Pass was about 0.
There is also a bus tour, but it's complete bullshit. The bus is on the opposite side of the canyon and touted it as a "bus makes a stop and you will be able to go out to take pictures." In fact, the train travels slowly, stopping from time to time, too.
The interior of a retro-cars:
Scagway on the horizon and small cruise ships in the 2-4 thousand passengers:
Suddenly, on the stone on the way Mickey Mouse:
The old bridge, which was in operation until 1969:
The Americans made so welcome, what does it mean?
Pass White Pass:
Flags: Alaska, USA, Canada, Province of British Columbia and even some.
Pass by pass the US border and Canada.
These are the frames absolutely incredible perceived reality. Never seen anything like it. A small train delicately skirts the mountains and rocks. Just for the sake of these moments it is already to go on a cruise to Alaska!
I bought a great album with archival photographs of the era of the Gold Rush