Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Golden Circle: White Pass Summit Excursion

We had booked tickets for the White Pass Summit Railroad because it was highly recommended online and by people we talked to.  Having done both the drive down the highway and taken the train back up to the White Pass Summit again the following day, I would say the scenery is nothing compared to what we saw the day before.  But then the train ride is an experience in itself because it is a historic narrow-gauge railroad constructed in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush.  Built amidst challenging climate and geography, it was considered an engineering marvel at the time.  The train climbs 3000 ft in 20 miles with numerous bridges and trestles on the way.  You can see some of these in the photos below.

I was glad I chatted with the station staff who took us to board the train.  She gave us a tip to get on the first car, it will become the last car on the way down.  It seems that only the first two cars were allotted to passengers getting on at the Skagway town stop.  The rest of the cars were all allotted to cruise ship passengers! 

White Pass Summit Railroad

The historic engine, now parked in the yard

Skagway river

Magical morning mists

Train going over trestle bridge

...and into the tunnel

This is near the end of the ride.

This is where the engine at the front was uncoupled from the rest of the train.  There was another engine at the other end and the train headed back to Skagway with that engine.   Starting off in the first car behind the engine, we headed back in the last car, which gave us a great view of the train on the downward trip.

The train bypassed the old wooden bridge that is no long safe to use.

View of the other train going up to Lake Bennet

Back to Skagway after a 3.5 hour ride

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