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ARR FP7A #1512 and F7B #1505 [ARR Photo Archives]

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arr_c02.jpg: Fairbanks AK Aug. 3, 1968

ARR FP7A #1512 and F7B #1505 at the head end of train No. 5 bound for Anchorage.

ARR #1512 was built in 1953. She retired ARR in 1986 and became Verde Canyon RR #1512 in 1996.
ARR #1505 was built in 1952 and retired in 1986.

photo of ARR #1512 found at John's Alaska Railroad site;
photo of ARR #1505 found at John's Alaska Railroad site;

EMD FP7A was built between 1949 and 1953 with 1500hp prime mover. 301 units were sold in United States.
EMD F7B was built between 1949 and 1953 with 1500hp prime mover. 1420 units were sold in United States.

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ARR F7A #1500 [ARR Photo Archives]

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arr_c02.jpg: McKinley Park, AK Aug. 13, 1968

This is the northbound mixed train led by ARR F7A #1500. Side grills seems to have been damaged (or a kind of winterization hatch?). My father took the photo.

ARR #1500 was built in 1952 and retired in 1985. She is now preserved at Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry.

photo of ARR #1500 found at John's Alaska Railroad site;

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Fairbanks, Alaska [ARR Photo Archives]

alaska_02.jpg: Fairbanks, AK., Feb. 13, 2012.

I'm here in Alaska now with my partner to see Northern Lights.
The photos I took in the noon time, mostly Alaska Railroad equipments, will continue.

alaska_01.jpg: Fairbanks, AK., Feb. 13, 2012.


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ARR Fairbanks [ARR Photo Archives]

arr_01.jpg: Fairbanks, AK, Feb. 15, 2012


大きな地図で見る: street view of the place where I took the photo above

This is a report of our recent trip to Alaska.
Daylight is awfully short and poor here in Fairbanks: it only lights about 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. The photo above was taken at around 1 pm on a cloudy day, from the window of a running bus. What you see is the ARR yard, shop and station in Fairbanks.

As the main purpose of the trip is to see the northern lights (aurora), we attended the group tour using charter flight direct from Japan to Fairbanks. Its only 7 and a half hours fright is very attractive, but the lack of free time prevents me from sufficient rail funning.

According to the article on Dec. 2011 issue of Trains magazine, 30 to 40 percent of ARR (Alaska Railroad) locomotive fleet is stored during the off months. John Combs of “John’s ALASKA RAILROAD WEB PAGE” suggests that “Fairbanks gets only a freight train or two during the day. So just sitting around and waiting for one is not recommended”. What shall I do?

The official ARR site shows freight schedule. According to the schedule, the estimated arrival of the freight train from Anchorage is always on Tuesday. John writes that “The train comes in from Anchorage anywhere from 7 am to 9 am”. Still more, map in the Trains magazine article also indicates that the northbound freight train arrived at Fairbanks on 9:22am, Aug. 30, 2010. So I decided to visit the station on Tuesday morning, yes, the St. Valentines’s Day.

John’s ALASKA RAILROAD WEB PAGE;
official ARR site;

arr_03.jpg: Fairbanks, AK, Feb. 14, 2012


大きな地図で見る: street view of the same place

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ARR SD70MAC #4319 and GP40-2 #3003 [ARR Photo Archives]

arr_04.jpg: Fairbanks, AK, Feb. 14, 2012

Our recent trip to Alaska continues.
Snowy scenery from the window of the warm hotel room interrupted me from going outdoors in the morning. I found a SUV taxi, with the driver Sultan who speaks Japanese well, at the hotel in the afternoon. We sent out for the rail funning with him.

We headed west along Philips Field Road, which parallels the southern edge of the ARR yard and shop. Here we found the 4 locomotives consist made of 3 SD70MAC and a GP40-2 still idling outside the shop. It supposed to be the engines arrived from Anchorage this morning.

ARR has a balloon at the east end of station and yard. So the engines arrived from the west can approach the shop or engine service track from the east without switching. No snow on the plow of #4319 may indicate that this was the rear end of the consist.

This is the first time for me to see recent generation engines. I also have never seen dash 2 engines in United States: My experience is stuck in the early '70s. So I'm surprised with the length of SD70s.

arr_05.jpg: ARR 4319, a SD70MAC

arr_06.jpg: ARR 3003, a GP40-2


大きな地図で見る: street view of the same place

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ARR tank car GATX 36910 [ARR Photo Archives]

arr_07.jpg: Fairbanks, AK, Feb. 14, 2012


大きな地図で見る: street view of the same place

Our recent trip to Alaska continues.
We proceeded to the north end of Peger Road, where we can see the west side of the yard. Here, we caught this long string of tank cars.

According to the Trains article I mentioned before, these tank cars are used for moving jet fuel and refined petroleum products from Flint Hills Resources refinery at North Pole to Anchorage. This has been earning more than 40 percent of railroad’s freight revenue.

I have little information about these tank cars. But the close up photo of one of the car, GATX 36910, shows these cars may just finished maintaining: blue paint on the end of axe is seen clearly. As you can see, all the equipments are escaped from graffiti and kept in fine condition. Snow would be the most important item for the "weather"ing work.

According to the 2008 ARR Equipment Circular, GATX 36910 is one of the 60 cars fleet here in ARR, 36891 – 36950 series 24000 gallon capacity tank car, leased by Flint Hills Resources.

ARRC EQUIPMENT CIRCULAR REVISED 8/18/08;

arr_08.jpg: GATX 36910

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ARR hopper cars 16014, 16062, 16343 and TNM 20055 [ARR Photo Archives]

arr_09.jpg: ARR 16014

Our recent trip to Alaska continues.
ARR moves some coal produced by Usibelli Coal Mine north of Healy. About a half goes down to Seward for export, the rest comes up to Fairbanks. Various kinds of equipments are used to move this commodity.
ARR 16014, one of 70 cars fleet, ARR 16000 - 16075 series, AAR class HT, 100ton quad hopper with small “stencil lettering” was built in March, 1981 by Raceland Car Shops.

arr_10.jpg: ARR 16062

This another ARR 16000’s series 100ton quad hopper with large “stencil lettering” was built in April, 1982 by Pacific Car and Foundry.

arr_11.jpg: ARR 16343

ARR 16343, one of 30 cars fleet ARR 16316 - 16345 series, AAR class HTS, 100ton quad hopper with spartan lettering was formerly leased from JAIX, Johnstown America Industries, Inc.
Can you see “←JACKLIFT HERE” lettering on the lower end of the side of the farthest rib? I wonder whether anyone represent the lettering on the model.

arr_12.jpg: TNM 20055

This car, one of 40 cars fleet here at ARR, TNM 20036 - 20104 series, AAR class HT, 100ton quad hopper with a rotary coupler, is leased from Union Pacific Railroad. TNM represents the predecessor Texas - New Mexico Railroad, a subsidiary of Texas & Pacific Railway, later Missouri Pacific Railroad. UP sold the line in 1989. How come this reporting mark is surviving here in Alaska?

All cars were found and photographed at the yard in Fairbanks on Feb. 14, 2012.

John’s web page refers to hopper cars;
ARRC EQUIPMENT CIRCULAR REVISED 8/18/08;

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ARR intermodal operations [ARR Photo Archives]

arr_13.jpg: Fairbanks, AK, Feb. 15, 2012

arr_c02.jpg: McKinley Park, AK. Aug 13, 1968 (reproduce)

Our recent trip to Alaska continues.
ARR has been handling intermodal freights for a long time. I represented the photo of SEALAND containers on gondola cars in the late '60s before. We came across SEALAND containers with chassis on flat cars this time. By the way, what are these SP gons doing here?

arr_25.jpg: Fairbanks, AK, Feb. 15, 2012

Through the window of the bus, I could identify not only SEALAND's but other transporters' equipments such as LYNDEN TRANSPORT and TOTEM OCEAN TRAILER EXPRESS at the yard.

arr_14.jpg: Fairbanks, AK, Feb. 14, 2012

This 45' or longer LYNDEN TRANSPORT trailer was found at the backyard of Fred Meyer, one of the biggest supermarkets in Fairbanks.

Also found was a maybe 35 feet SEALAND smooth side refrigerated container with old herald on the door. This container is used for a storage at the Chena Hot Springs air field. Old herald on the side survives on the other side, but was difficult to take photo.

arr_15.jpg: Chena Hot Springs, AK, Feb. 16, 2012


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ARR boxcar 50559 and flat car 17002 [ARR Photo Archives]

arr_16.jpg: Fairbanks, AK, Feb. 15, 2012

Our recent trip to Alaska continues.
ARR lists some minorities at its equipments roster. We found this boxcar in front of the shop where we found SD70MACs the day before. This car is the one of the 14 cars fleet, ARR 50528 – 50592 series, AAR class XP, 60’ F plate excess height car with 16’ 5” double sliding doors, built in Dec. 1999.

According to John’s description, these cars are leased from CIT rail and carry drilling mud from/to lower 48 states. Whoever the owners are, I feel honored to introduce a boxcar red boxcar here at my web page.

Equipment Identification pdf File for ARR 50528 – 50592 series boxcars;

arr_17.jpg: ARR 50559

The flat car shown below is an another minorities at ARR. This car is not an ordinary TOFC/COFC flat cars but a chain equipped flat car for extra height/width loads. ARR rosters 14 of 17000 – 17014 series flat cars. John’s web site has a photo of these cars carrying boats on top.

ARRC EQUIPMENT CIRCULAR REVISED 8/18/08;
photo of the flat car with boats;

arr_18.jpg: ARR 17002

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ARR tank car 96402, gondola car 95304 and motor car G-774 [ARR Photo Archives]

arr_19.jpg: Fairbanks, AK, Feb. 14, 2012

Our recent trip to Alaska continues.
Another minorities at ARR equipments roster are the maintenance of way equipments.
We found some MOW equipments around the yard and station in Fairbanks. The car in the photo above is one of the 9 cars fleet, ARR 96402 – 96410 series, tank car assigned for “HEALTH, SAFETY & ENVIRONMENTAL” service. As you can clearly read on the trunk, these cars were filled with water for wild fire suppression and positioned along the main line during the summer.

John’s web page refers to tank cars;

arr_20.jpg: ARR 96402

arr_21.jpg: ARR 95304

The car in the photo above is believed to be an additional to the 3 cars fleet, ARR 95301 – 95303 series, gondola car assigned for “MECHANICAL” service, described in the Equipment Circular revised in 2008. These cars are the survivors of ARR 13203 – 13649 series, AAR class GB, 40’ gondola cars built in 1943 by Mount Vernon Car for D&RGW. ARR acquired them in 1947. Classical full name lettering and ACI plate represents its years.

John’s web page refers to gondola cars;

The photo below shows a motor car we found in front of the Fairbanks station. It seems being a display, but in fine condition. All the photos were taken on St. Valentines’s Day.

arr_22.jpg: ARR G-774

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ARR GP38 #2006 and GP40-2 #3001 [ARR Photo Archives]

arr_24.jpg: Fairbanks, AK, Feb. 14, 2012

As a conclusion, we enjoyed the ARR pretty much from the windows of taxi and bus on the road.

Though the mainline train moves are few during the off season, switching moves in the yard looked busy everyday as the location of equipments changed everyday.

Philips Field Road would be a good place to watch yard moves. Also is the platform of the station. However the ARR official site describes that the station is open on only Saturday to Monday during the off season, the gift shop inside the station selling ARR official souvenirs and gifts was open when we visited on Tuesday. The door to the track was also open. The photo above was taken there.

Indeed it was still around 20F in the daytime, but I enjoyed these extra headlight and classification light lit locomotives switching the yard.

arr_23.jpg: ARR 2006, a GP38


大きな地図で見る: street view of the track-less boxcars

The other day, our tour guide took us to the town of Fox, located north of Fairbanks, for lunch.

Next to the restaurant along the Old Steese Hwy, I found these old boxcar red boxcars. They lacked tracks but in relatively fine condition. They seemed to be some of the 10204 – 10536 series, AAR class XM 50’ boxcars.

I saw another boxcar off the rail from the tour bus seat, somewhere along the road, which remained old arched “Mt Mckinley Route” letterings. I missed to take a photo. I’ll leave the rest to you. Don’t miss the northern light, too!

“Mt Mckinley Route” boxcar photo at John's Alaska Railroad Page;

aurola.jpg: Fairbanks, AK, Feb. 14, 2012

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ARR Fairbanks Station in 1968 [ARR Photo Archives]

arr_1969_01.jpg: Fairbanks, AK. Aug 3, 1968

Want to see more Alaska Railroad photos?
I recently found some in my father’s photo file. I wanted to add to my photo archive page. Please bear with me for a while.

These photos cover the train ride from Fairbanks to McKinley Park in summer 1968. Some were uploaded before as father gave the slides to me long before.

Photo above is the by then still looks new station at Fairbanks. The building still exists in 2012, but left vacancy. Our taxi driver Sultan told us that it would house a museum.

Photo below shows the inside of the station.

arr_1969_02.jpg: Fairbanks, AK. Aug 3, 1968

Photo below shows the platform. The train attended by a Gleyhound bus might be No.5 leaving at 9:00AM with 8 cars.

arr_1969_03.jpg: Fairbanks, AK. Aug 3, 1968

arr_1969_04.jpg: Fairbanks, AK. Aug 3, 1968

arr_1969_16.jpg: Fairbanks, AK. Aug 3, 1968

At the end of the platform, the famous sign stood at the end of the track.
See the evolution of the caboose in 40 years: http://riogrande.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2012-02-22

arr_1969_05.jpg: Fairbanks, AK. Aug 3, 1968

At the other end of the platform, locomotive 1512, a FP7A and 1505, a F7B were ready for the departure.

arr_1969_06.jpg: Fairbanks, AK. Aug 3, 1968


大きな地図で見る: street view of the recent Driveway St.

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ARR train No. 5 in 1968 [ARR Photo Archives]

arr_1969_08.jpg: AK. Aug 3, 1968

The train goes up the Nenana River to the summit of the line. Twisting rail provided the photo looking back and forth of the train.

arr_1969_09.jpg: AK. Aug 3, 1968

According to the investigation through the loupe lens, today’s No. 5 has 8 passenger cars including 2 baggage cars and a diner, 5 boxcars including ARR, GN and UP, a flat car with a 20’ reefer container, 7 gons with SEALAND container, 3 empty bulkhead flats and a caboose.

arr_1969_10.jpg: AK. Aug 3, 1968

In the diner, passengers enjoyed the wonderful scenery along with nice foods. Sorry that the food is finished, but the photo would be welcomed by those who enthused in railroad tableware.

The river created the deep canyon. What this triangular sign means?

arr_1969_11.jpg: AK. Aug 3, 1968

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ARR McKinley Park Station in 1968 [ARR Photo Archives]

arr_1969_12.jpg: McKinley Park, AK. Aug 13, 1968

The southbound train arrived at the McKinley Park (now Denali Park). The station building shown below was demolished in 1987. It seems that the station had wooden platform in those days. Park ranger might provide information there to those who left the train.

We can also see a sign plate of RAILROAD EXPRESS AGENCY in fine condition. However, the year 1968 was the last moment for REA. The plate shows the last gleam of its life.

The Riley Creek Viaduct can be found just south of the station, beyond the park visitor center. Coming is the northbound counterpart.

The last photo is the same old national park sign.

arr_1969_13.jpg: McKinley Park, AK. Aug 13, 1968

arr_1969_14.jpg: McKinley Park, AK. Aug 3, 1968

arr_1969_15.jpg: McKinley Park, AK. Aug 3, 1968

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