The Floating Train Has Arrived! A UP Seattle based yard crew has just begun the delicate process of stripping the weekly Alaska Railroad barge that has arrived from the 49th State. Three barges owned and operated by Alaska Railbelt Marine (a member of the Lynden family of companies) are constantly cycling between Seattle and Whittier, AK carrying railcars on 8 tracks and containers stacked three high in the racks above. It truly is a marvel of modern logistics. While the slip is owned and operated by the ARR, their trackage ends only about a car length on to solid ground. The ARR owns no trackage on land in Seattle and has no locomotives of its own with which to switch the barge. Hence the UP provides this service since it is the company that owns the rails on Harbor Island that connect to the ARR's barge slip. This yard assignment is normally just a two man RCL crew, but on barge days an engineer is called and the barge is worked by a conventional three man crew. In this view the UP crew has reached in with their handle (in order to keep the locomotive off the slip itself) consisting of a covered hopper and three old cabooses to begin pulling cars off the southbound ARMS voyage 1023 (the 23rd sailing of 2010). This particular barge is the Fairbanks Provider built by Gunderson in 2001 it is 420 ft long and 100 ft wide with 3190 linear feet of track on the deck and a dead weight of 15,300 tons! Notice the interesting array of railcars visible on the starboard side of the barge including a high-cube BNSF boxcar, an empty tank car, and an ARR flat car loaded with a vacuum truck. Note: the photographer is a railroad employee with permission to be on the property and was wearing all required PPE while taking this photograph.