Tourist Sights White Pass and Yukon Railway in North America

About the unique tourist sight the White Pass and Yukon Railway in Canada and Alaska, location and description of the train tracks.




Sight: White Pass and Yukon Railway.

For 100 mi. the White Pass and Yukon Railway travels along twin threads of steel track which in places seem barely wide enough to cling to the sides of the mountains they traverse. The rugged St. Elias Mountain Range, through which the route passes, contains North America's highest peaks. A unique, narrow-gauge railroad, the WP&Y follows the historic Klondike Gold Rush Trial of 1898, and the yesterdays are there for all to see--right beside the track. It required over two years, from May, 1898, to July, 1900, to complete the railroad. With nothing but horses, shovels, black powder, and men, the right-of-way was hacked through solid rock. To construct a 250-ft. tunnel through a perpendicular barrier of rock jutting out of a mountainside, the crew hauled all its equipment by hand up the sides of cliffs. A bridge had to be built atop a 215-ft.-deep canyon. Today this turn-of-the-century engineering marvel remains a living monument to an unforgettable era in North American history and to the giant men it molded. Modern-day passengers, especially if they travel the route from north to south, are treated to a "where" of a ride. For the last 20 mi., the train plummets from a 2,900-ft. summit to sea-level Skagway. Cars, campers, and trailers can travel right along with you aboard a specially rigged flatcar, so travelers have a choice of either one-way or round trips. The time involved one-way is approximately six hours, including a stopover at Lake Bennett for a complimentary lunch served Gold Rush style.

Location: The train runs between Skagway, Alaska, and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

Seeing It: It's best to make reservations in advance. For more information, contact your travel agent; the White Pass & Yukon Route in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory; or Passenger Sales Manager, White Pass & Yukon Route, Box 2147, Seattle, Wash. 98111.

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