“All day long we seemed to dwandle through a country which was full of beauty of every kind.” The words of Bram Stoker lend a fitting description to the train journey from Fairbanks to Talkeetna, apart from he continues to talk about the small towns along the way, there were no such things on this journey and for eight hours trees, mountains and rivers dominated every inch of space.
On seeing the bright yellow engine and carriages before boarding I was immediately filled with excitement, travelling by rail unleashes memories long stored away and brings out my inner child, images of The Railway Children flooded my brain.
The Alaska railway is a fantastic feat of engineering, stretching from Seward, in the south, over 470 miles up to Fairbanks in the the north and is Americas only full service rail line, carrying both passengers and freight. The rail company operates several different trains with the Hurricane line operating a flag service, flag the train down and it will pick you up. I highly recommend travelling through Alaska by rail, the train is comfortable and offers some of the best opportunities to view scenery. I travelled adventure class but still had access to the viewing carriage. I’m not going to go in to the history of the railway, that can be found online, but I have chosen some of my favourite photos that I took along the way and I hope you enjoy them.
I managed to catch the reflections of the mountains as the train turned a bend on the track. Between carriages is the best place to take photographs as you are outside and don’t have to worry about unsightly reflections and dirt from the windows.
Before I boarded, I bought a lunch voucher as the train operates as cashless. The voucher cost me €18 and that got me this big bowl of pasta with smoked salmon, a beverage and included tip and it was very nice. Wen I finished lunch, the scenery had changed to mountainous as we were approaching Denali. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to see Mt. McKinley as it was pretty cloudy by now.
And that is a summary of some of the best eight hours of travel I have ever done. The Alaska train puts the pleasure back in to travelling that flying has lost and I highly recommend it if anyone ever comes to Alaska. And I get to do it all again today, actually, as I complete my journey from Talkeetna to Anchorage.