Picture of the Week
Archives Section

Welcome to the Alaska Railroad Picture of the Week archives. A photograph is truly worth a thousand words. The Picture of the Week page began on February 16, 1998 with Jeff Child's photo of the Alaska Railroad's first locomotive, number 1. Since that time, professional photographers, railfans, Alaska Railroad employees, historians and passengers have sent a multitude of prints, slides, scanned images and digital photographs. Unfortunately, I can only post a fraction of what I receive due to lack of time. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Picture of the Week Archives: 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007

2008 Pictures of the Week
01/07 Dave Schauer You might remember that GP40 #3004 was sent for a rebuild and then leased out to help pay for those associated costs. Well, Northshore Mining leased this unit and Dave Schauer was around to capture a few pix of it. These photos were taken 12/15/07 at Milepost 5 on Northshore Mining near Silver Bay, MN. (1, 2, 3)
01/14 Nore collection Hurricane Gulch Bridge, August 8, 1921. This is part of the collection sent to me recently by the Nores.
01/21 Paul Duncan It's a new year and so it's out with the old and in with the new. As you know the Alaska Railroad picked up four new SD70s. Here you see two of their old GP49s heading for a new home. Stacy Yard (BNSF) in Seattle, WA 1/10/08.
01/28 David Blazejewski "Took this from the tower last week. Kind of neat with the fire truck on the flat bed. It was a load destined for Fairbanks. Also note the LC crane in the background. They are finally relaying all of the old 70 lb rail in the yard with 115 relay that came off the mainline. The Open Rip is done and in this picture they are just finishing up south 5, then it's on to south 6, and then North 5 and 6 and then North 8, 9, 10 and in the little yard." 12/24/07. Note: the photographer is a railroad employee and was wearing all required personal protective equipment. The ARRC does not permit the general public on to their private property without permission.
02/04 Don Marenzi collection Taken in Spring of 1975. The AuRoRa on Hurricane Gulch bridge. The four passenger cars in the photo are all former Union Pacific cars purchased in 1972. A note for modelers: Note the different shade of yellow on the two coaches, even though they both would have been painted within less than three years. Did one fade, or were there variations in the paint used ?
02/11 Robert McDonald Alaska Railroad 7123, Seward, Alaska, July 1961. My late Dad was working for Foss Maritime as Chief Engineer on a tug I've lost track of. They were in Seward when he captured this switcher shifting cars.
02/18 Charles Bonville Alaska Railroad's 3002 GP40 has been leased by Tri-Met Public Transit of Portland, Oregon on behalf of the Portland & Western (P&W) Railroad. P&W will be operating Tri-Met's new commuter service on P&W tracks beginning in the Fall of 2008. As the new service involves passenger rail, this will require cab signaling for P&W locomotives operating in the transit district. ARR 3002 is going to fill in for P&W locomotives as they are taken out of service one by one for installation of cab signals and GPS receivers. 3002 was delivered to P&W on February 1, and 3002's first revenue run for P&W was on the evening of February 5, 2008 when it operated with five P&W locomotives on the P&W Toledo Hauler. It is not known precisely how long 3002 will be leased to Tri-Met/P&W, but Oregon railfans anticipate a duration of three to six months.
02/25 Michael Criss SD70MAC #4320 with an Alaskan mountain backdrop. Criss says of his photo, "It was -15 F, the wind was howling, and my bunny boots were full of snow."
03/03 Michael Allen Old locomotives never die they just change their owners. Baldwin 4-6-0 #152 was built in 1920 and has served on the Tanana Valley Railroad, U. S. Army, Cable and Northern, Alaska Railroad and now the Huckleberry Railroad in Flint, Michigan.
03/03 Robert Ulberg EMD GP7u #1810 is a lady that sure gets around. She was built for the U.S. Army in 1951 and has served on the Alaska Railroad, Oregon Pacific Railway, Archer Daniels Midland and now SFGX 1810 in Milwaukie, OR
03/03 Unknown Numbers 2801 and 2802 were built new for the Alaska Railroad in 1983. They were part of an order of nine and were the only true GP49s manufactured. These two were retired from the ARR, were sold to Helm Leasing and resold to NRE 12/06. They were then sold to TRANSAP (1, 2) in Chile. An anonymous source tells me that they now ride on six axle trucks, operate on a 5 ft 6 in "broad" gauge and are now SD49s.
03/10 David Blazejewski Just took these (1, 2, 3, 4) today (2/27/08). First revenue loads off of the old "Loop District" on Ft. Richardson. While the trackage up to the old Ft. Rich classification yard has been used off and on for storage, no cars had gone out onto the loop in at least 20 years. We had four loads from Ft. Wainwright come down about a month ago and then the cars stayed out there until today. They were reloaded yesterday by the Army and we pulled them earlier this afternoon.
03/17 Rich Troutman The rebuild of GP-40 no. 3015. March 2008
03/24 Warren Redfearn Today [March 21, 2008] the Alaska Railroad blew up the first quarter of Moody tunnel. I got a few photos (1, 2) of this.
03/31 Jeff Aguiar Ah, all good things must come to an end. These are photos (1, 2, 3) of boxcar MWT1552E (old troop sleeper/boxcar) being scrapped at Alaska Metal Recycling on March 24, 2008.
04/07 Casie Williams I don't care how many times I see photos like this one, they still make my eyes pop out. Skip and Casie Williams took a round trip to Fairbanks the second week of February. The extremely clear weather and minus 25 degree temperatures made for some fine photos: the reflection at Hurricane Gulch and Denali with several surrounding peaks.
04/14 Michael Criss It's time for another mesmerizing photo by Mike Criss from Wasilla. The southbound Aurora is crossing the ???? bridge on March 18. The first person to send me the correct name of this bridge will win one of my new website magnets.
04/21 David Blazejewski Picking up rip rap at Eklutna, 7/4/07.
04/21 Dale Greth A beautiful Alaska Railroad sunrise, 4/18/08.
04/28 Dale Greth As the Alaskan days grow longer and people's thoughts turn to spring, old man winter gave the Anchorage area one final mighty blast. The April 25th snowfall was the third-heaviest in a single day plus breaking records for the day and month. The national weather service said 17 inches fell south of Anchorage and 22 inches in Muldon on Friday and Saturday. Dale Greth appropriately titles his photo taken on April 25th as, "Home Sweet Home."
05/05 Rich Holzapfel

After 34 years with the Alaska Railroad extra-gang foreman Rich "Hozer" Holzapfel has retired. Rich began his career as a laborer on Extra Gang #4 working out of outfit cars at Lignite Siding. Rich began sending Maintenance of Way (MOW) photos to my website in 1998 and has been a loyal contributor ever since. I first met Rich in 2000 as he was finishing up on a work train for the day. He proclaimed, "Quitting time! It is now 0 beer 30." In later years I was given the privilege of accompanying him on the snow fleet as well as other work trains. It was these opportunities that showed me the hard work and pride that MOW crews put into their job. Rich, thanks for your contributions to this website and best wishes in your future endeavors! This August 2004 photo is of a northbound work train at Brookman going to pickup used ties.

05/12 Art Chase While Art Chase made a run from North Pole to Talkeetna on May 8 he caught the work train moving rock from the Moody Tunnel demolition. The second photo is a nearby location where the rock is being dumped.
05/19 Dale Greth Here is a new team track (1, 2, 3) being built in the open area just north of the Anchorage Operations Center. A team track is where the railroad offloads railcars to truck trailers. "To team to" means to be able to offload with a forklift or crane.
05/26 Matt Leistico "More gravel train pics – 5/8/08 - unloading, going over the Campbell creek bridge – hard to get a shot with out power lines in it. Looks like they didn't patch all the ABI cars – and you can see where they cleaned the car off to put the yellow stickers."
06/02 Clay Murphy Here are five military load photos (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) from Clay Murphy, Anchorage TOFC Manager. The individual operating the 62,000 LB forklift is Dave Haag, one of the Equipment Operators he works with.
06/09 Robert Krol From the Holland website, "TrackSTAR® (Track Strength Testing Analysis and Recording) will identify out-of-tolerance track geometry and track strength (cross-tie and fastener) conditions, process this information in its on-board computer systems and provide you with the track information you require to ensure a safe operation." May 2008
06/16 Dale Greth Motorcar Operators West has scheduled an Alaska Railroad Excursion for June 7-18, 2008. "The excursion will take motorcar operators and guests from Anchorage to Seward to Denali National Park to Fairbanks and return to Anchorage. Participants will travel eight days on the rails with three days devoted for sightseeing in Seward, Denali National Park and Fairbanks. Rail travel will total 984 miles. Fifteen motorcars are invited to attend." June 2008
06/23 Jim Somerville Jim Somerville took this aerial photo of the new track installation at the Anchorage depot. May 25, 2008
06/30 Julia Saunders "I just returned from a two-week 500-mile Boy Scout cycling trip from Milford, Ohio to Ripley, New York via the historic underground railroad route. Although I was driving the sag wagon, there were times that I was just dripping with sweat. So in an effort to think cooler thoughts I have posted a pair of winter time photographs. These (1, 2) are from Julia Saunders at Advanced Blasting. She took these in the winter of 2006 while looking at the Pier Demolition Project for the railroad. Enjoy and keep thinking those cool thoughts!"
07/08 Andy Tejral "I've been trying to find more places along the Portage Glacier Road to shoot trains. I found a place just outside the first tunnel. Here is the Glacier Discovery heading into Whittier. Lots of avalanche activity this winter and spring, both here along the Whittier Sub and along the Seward Highway. May 2008"
07/15 Art Chase The ties that bind. Spring 2008
07/22 Clay Murphy "Here's a picture of a load we tied down today. The super sucker truck is new, sold by Yukon equipment to a customer up north, and the hy-rail is going to Fairbanks for a extra gang. Almost every municipal water utility uses a super sucker truck to clean out sewer lines. Environmental companies use them for cleanups. I've seen railroad contractors use them to suck fouled ballast from the track. I don't know who or where this truck is going to." 6/11/08
Bonus Robert Krol The Klondike Express and the daily Whittier Train. 6/19/08
07/28 John Bagley John Bagley says of his photo, "I happened to be in Seward the day they were moving the car and while the others in my group were more interesting in finding somewhere to eat, I was able to snap a couple or three pictures as they were preparing to load the car for it's trip." Good choice John! July 2008
Bonus John Combs Knowing that I just returned from my Alaska Railroad railfanning trip, you figured I'd have to post at least one photo from it. Here is an interior photo of the Denali railcar complete with its phenomenal recent refurbishment. Now that's style! Anchorage passenger cars shops, 7/18/08
08/04 Chris Kilroy

Number 4317 pulls a passenger train along Turnagain Arm. June 2008
08/04 Gordon Glattenberg "I rode the ARR from Fairbanks to Seward in three legs at the end of May. I feel the line from Anchorage to Seward may be the most scenic in the state." Shown here is the passenger train at the Dale R. Lindsey ARR Seward Intermodal terminal. May 2008
08/11 Dale Greth This old troop sleeper is not going to the scrap yard. Instead, it is rumored to become part of a historical railroad display at Curry. May 2008
08/11 Clay Murphy The ARR is offloading the ARR 292 jib boom off of this bulkhead flat (ARR 0047), this morning. The flat will then be going to Alaska Metals for recycling. I heard it was a vintage 1922 flat. It is among the last of the friction bearing cars owned by the ARR. The goal is to eliminate all friction bearings by the end of 2008. 6/8/08
08/18 Jim Somerville An Alaska Railroad passenger train is color coordinated for a trip past Potter Marsh. August 2008
08/18 Blake Moore Blake Moore used a tool he found on the Internet to piece together three photos to create this somber panorama of this winter work train in Fairbanks. If you save the above photo to your computer then you'll be able to view the larger version. February 2008
08/25 Mike Deaton Mike Deaton from Alpharette, GA says of his photo, "This is one of the Hurricane Turn on 7/24/08 with a little different consist than I expected: 711 and 712, with help from 2003. I'm guessing the RDCs might be having some issues".
08/25 Martin Baumann Martin Baumann from the UK took this photo of the Denali Star from the bridge above the Anchorage depot. As you can see, the ARRC is in the midst of its $9.5M Ship Creek Intermodal project. 7/27/08
09/01 Stewart Sterling

Well what do you know - number 600 disappeared from Al's Alaskan Inn in Anchorage and has now reappeared in Seward on Lowell Point. It won't be getting lonely either since the historic railcar "Seward" is just a stones throw away. Says Stewart of his photo, "The 600 was blocked on wood and looks like it just arrived. I did not know that it sold and was taken down off its pedestal on Old Seward Highway, they must have lost the legal battle to keep it in Anchorage. It has a better view and is a better sight where it is now in Seward." 08/16/08

You might recall from a recent news article that "Anchorage businessmen Jack and Mark Powers bought the car last fall after the Chamber of Commerce put it up for sale. Jack Powers, 66, and his son Mark, 38, recently opened the Silver Derby Campground and RV Park on a 20-acre plot of land two miles up Lowell Point Road. They plan to convert the rail car into a diner'. The Silver Derby Diner,' Jack Powers said with enthusiasm. The diner will seat 45, and a kitchen and storage area will soon be built on to the back. The car already includes a single bathroom, still intact. If all goes well, the father-and-son team hopes to open the family-oriented diner by June 2009."

09/08 Mike Deaton

Mike Deaton caught this fire suppression tank car parked on a side track right in downtown Talkeetna. As it turns out, the railroad owns nine of these. They were old 9300-series revenue tanks that had expired on their hazmat certification and couldn't be used to haul fuel anymore. They were going to be scrapped, but instead a deal was made with the state DEC and the US Forest Service to rehab nine of them for water service. They were steam cleaned, restencilled and given those pretty new logos. They are filled with water here in Anchorage in the spring and distributed around the railroad to be available in an emergency should there be a wildfire. From south to north they are positioned as follows: Two at Moose Pass, Two at Talkeetna, One at Hurricane, Two at Healy, and Two at Clear Site. August 2008 You'll find more of Mike Deaton's recent trip photos here.

09/15 Doug Potts "I have enjoyed your web site for many years and it is probably one of the reasons we went to Alaska. We went in June and rode the train from Anchorage to Fairbanks." Here is Doug's very Alaskan photo of Whittier boats with a pair of ARR locomotives as a backdrop. June 2008
09/22 Blake Moore Some road re-alignment work along the back of the Fairbanks International Airport resulted in some track re-alignment. This is probably a home made applicator to apply some type of tie-plugging material as part of a rail laying crew. August 2008
09/29 Mark Earnest Mark Earnest caught this locomotive as it came off the barge on Wednesday September 24. EMDX 7102 is one of EMD's 710ECO low emissions demonstrators. EMD is sending it to the Alaska Railroad for 30-90 days for free testing. The ARR will be using it in yard service in Anchorage and also to and from Whittier.
10/06 Frank Keller A September 2008 photo taken of a train on Riley Creek Trestle. This is one of my favorite "easy access" photo locations on the main road in Denali National Park.
10/13 John Combs During my July 2008 Alaska trip I got a "lift" from friend and fellow railfan Jim Somerville. It is exhilarating taking photos of the Alaska Railroad from above and it provides for some truly unique photos.
10/20 Bruce Headle
Charles Leo
The retired Rotary #3 is heading to Curry as part of a future static display. Check out the exciting photos captured by the lucky railfans who caught it during its move.
10/27 Art Chase I had a chance to escape from life and ride the train home this weekend. This one is the curve just out of Nenana as they make the last parallel near the Tanana River bridge. 10/18/08
10/27 Art Chase This one is near Hurricane as we where making time up the canyon. This lady kept jumping in and out of my shots, so I made the most of it. 10/18/08
11/03 Jody Moore Here is an assortment of October 2008 ARR GoldStar ultradome delivery photos from Jody Moore. Not only is this dog lucky enough to ride these beauties from Colorado to Washington, but he also takes some pretty darn good photos too.
11/10 Pat Durand While waiting for the special Rotary #3 movement on Oct 15, 2008, I found the Kershaw brush mower setting in the stub track at MP160 in downtown Wasilla. The welder had his service truck parked just behind the mower and was replacing rail brooms on each end. They did a great job of mowing the adjacent right-of-way to assist photography. This helps keep the moose back by removing those tender morsels of willow. Unfortunately the willow will sprout up twice as thick next spring.
11/17 Paul Zoller Here are three photos from Paul Zoller who worked as a cook on the ARR passenger train from 1993-1998. 1) I took this picture in 1998 on the last passenger train to Fairbanks for the season. It is the 3008 south of Wasilla. 2) Here is the 3015 going south parked at Denali Park in August 1995. 3) Conductor Harry Ross dancing in the kitchen of the 400 diner.
11/24 Frank Keller Few things rival the beauty of Alaska....with the exception of the Alaska Railroad. Here a passenger train catches the last rays of another beautiful Alaskan day. July 2008
12/01 Brett Spencer A phenomenal photo of the barge Anchorage Provider on its journey from Seattle to Whittier. Captain Brett Spencer took this photo from his tugboat the Ocean Titan while pulling the barge on some very nice waters.
12/08 Dale Greth Dale Greth, ARR Customer Service Representative, titles this photo, "Let it snow." Anchorage yard, December 2008
12/15 Louis Friend On Saturday, December 13, 2008, kids of all ages were treated to "a most enchanting ride" aboard the Alaska Railroad Colony Christmas Train. This sold out sensation traveled round trip from Anchorage to Palmer while picking up Santa along the way. It was a perfect Alaskan winter ride with sunshine, minus ten degree temperatures and plenty of that fluffy white stuff.
12/22 Dave Blazejewski A winter picture is worth a thousand words! December 2008. Note: the photographer is a railroad employee and was wearing all required personal protective equipment. The ARRC does not permit the general public on to their private property without permission.
12/22 Matt Leistico Out in the cold: RDCs in the winter of their life. December 2008
12/22 Jim Somerville Aerial photo of the Matanuska bridge work. December 18, 2008.
12/22 Art Chase The sunset of 2008 - thought it kind of fitting to see the money end doing the work as the close of 2008 comes upon us. December 18, 2008
12/29 Moe Odell The extreme weather in Whittier is legendary. Railroad employees have told me stories about 75 mile per hour winds, torrential downpours and snow sixteen feet deep. Moe Odell's photos give you just a small taste of Whittier's weather. The first one is the yard in early December while the second is a December 24th blizzard.


Page created 1/1/08 and last updated 4/20/09
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