Skagway – White Pass & Yukon Railroad

There were two trails from Skagway to the gold fields.  The longer, less steep trail went up to White Pass.  The White Pass & Yukon Railroad was built up to the pass and beyond.  It is a narrow gauge train with rails 36 inches apart.  The first rails were laid in 1898 and in less than a year the train reached the summit of White pass, a distance of 41 miles.  We were able to ride this train to the top of the pass at the Canadian border.

For more of the history of the railway, see the official web site.

We boarded the train in Skagway.  Each car is a restored original.

Inside the Rail Cars
Inside the Rail Cars

Although the cars are original, the engine has been updated to a diesel-electric engine.

Diesel-Electric Engine Pulling the Train
Diesel-Electric Engine Pulling the Train

As we pass out of town, we went by the oldest cemetery in Skagway, the Gold Rush Cemetery.

Gold Rush Cemetery
Gold Rush Cemetery

This retired rail caboose is currently used as a cabin for hikers in the area.

Retired Railcar
Retired Railcar

We crossed over the Skagway River with fog in the distance.

Skagway River
Skagway River

We had several views of waterfalls along the way.

Waterfall
Waterfall

The fog started closing in as we neared the summit.

Forest in the Fog
Forest in the Fog

You can hardly see the front of the train as we pass through a curve.

Train on a Curve
Train on a Curve

Here  is a clearer view.

Train on a Curve
Train on a Curve

 

Another Waterfall
Another Waterfall

The mountains are almost completely hidden.

Mountains in the Fog
Mountains in the Fog

There are a couple trestle bridges along the way.

Train on Trestle Bridge
Train on Trestle Bridge

 

Train on Trestle Bridge
Train on Trestle Bridge

Near the peak we came to the combination post of the US Customs and Boarder Patrol along with the Northwest Mounted Police.

US Customs and Border Protection
US Customs and Border Protection

We turned around and headed back to Skagway.

Train in the Fog
Train in the Fog

This cross marks the grave of two men, Maurice Dunn and A. Jeneaux, who were killed while building the railway when a large slab of rock fell on them, killing them instantly.  Rather than move the rock to recover their bodies, a simple cross was placed to mark their tomb.  The cross is dated Aug 10, 1898.

Grave Marker
Grave Marker

We are still several miles from Skagway, but were able to see our cruise ship (the one on the left) in the harbor.

View of Skagway from Train
View of Skagway from Train

Although the fog obscured our view at the top of the pass, it was a spectacular trip.

One thought on “Skagway – White Pass & Yukon Railroad

  1. I remember doing this trip with Carl & our son,quite a trip.Loved it.
    Thanks Mark for more memories,pictures are great.!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.