Saturday, July 5, 2014

Alaska Journal #20: From White Pass Summit at 2,865 Feet Down to Sea Level

These flags mark White Pass Summit, the turn around point on our narrow gauge railroad trip.  The elevation is 2,865 feet.  We were 20 miles from Skagway, where we started. 

The train paused at White Pass Summit and we moved from seats on the left side to the right for the ride back to Skagway.

I should mention that this is photo 1000 of 2456 taken on my Sony camera.  I'm going to skip a good share of the photos I took on our ride back since we followed the same route.  At least, I'm going to TRY to pass over most of them.

Debbie and Donna enjoyed this trip with us.  Donna had her camera and took her fair share of photos.  We occasionally ventured outside the train car on a enclosed platform for window free photography and blasts of cold air!!
Outside the train car in the cold for the sake of some clear, reflection free photos.

The clarity IS better, but brrrr.

We're definitely losing elevation. 

If I'd seen this photo before the trip, I wonder....  

"On to Alaska with Buchanan" (written in white letters below the buildings) has been a sightseeing attraction for over 70 years.  The sign on the far wall of the canyon was painted by the Buchanan Boys Tour Group, brought from Detroit each year to visit Skagway, circa 1920-30.

If you haven't seen enough, and you're not afraid of heights, I recommend you travel to Skagway and ride the WP&YR to White Pass Summit.

(I borrowed this photo from Jackie and Ray Hoy, new friends we made on our cruise).

Rotary Snow Plow No. 1 was built in 1898 by the Cooke Locomotive and Machinery Company of Paterson, New Jersey for WP&YR.  It helped the railroad face the challenges of heavy winter snows with accumulations of up to 12 feet.  Pushed by up to 2 helper engines, the rotary's 10 huge blades sent snow flying out to the side of the tracks by centrifugal force.  Rotary Snow Plow No. 1 was retired in 1965 but was run again in 2009 and 2011 to clear the rail between White Pass Summit and Lake Bennett.  Today, the restored Rotary is on display at the WP&YR Skagway Depot.  (From All Aboard! Onboard Magazine)

I hope you've enjoyed the ride.  


Gullible said...

Oh, my. You have some real winners here. Makes me want to go back to Skagway and ride that train again. Wonderful photos, especially when you can see the engine!

Cap Chastain said...

Sitting on the right-side and then sitting on the left-side of the train .. going up and returning back down. Great idea .. did all aboard willingly switch sides at the top? It is absolutely amazing the difference in views this can make! Many trips are one-way .. and I do all I can to find out the best-side for viewing IF I can find such experience from other travelers.

MUCH clearer the photos taken outside .. BRRRRR huh ? Much Joy from Cap and from Patti ..