RailPictures.Net Photo: ARR 4318 Alaska Railroad EMD SD70MAC at Hurricane, Alaska by Dave Blaze...
 
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Photo Location Map Locomotive Details Location/Date of Photo


Alaska Railroad (more..)
EMD SD70MAC (more..)
Hurricane Gulch Bridge - MP 284.2 (more..)
Hurricane, Alaska, USA (more..)
September 10, 2011
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
ARR 4318 (more..)
ARR 230S (more..)
Dave Blaze... (more..)
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Remarks & Notes 
The Pride of the Fleet - Here is a shot of the southbound Denali Star the ARR's flagship train as it crawls slowly out onto the bridge located nearly mid point on the 12 hr 356 mile run from Fairbanks to Anchorage. While speed on the bridge is limited to 10 MPH most passenger trains simply crawl to allow passengers to gawk out the open dutch doors and marvel at the splendor that is Alaska! The Hurricane Gulch Bridge is arguably the signature location the on the entire ARR mainline and was the most expensive and difficult engineering project on the entirety of the line. It spans 918 ft and rises 296 ft above the floor of it's namesake creek below. The American Bridge Company started construction in early 1921, erected steel in June and finished in August. To construct the bridge, they strung an aerial tram across the gulch and construction proceeded from both sides. The first passenger train crossed Hurricane Gulch Bridge on August 15, 1921 culminating the $1,200,000 project. For some stunning historic photos of its construction click HERE if interested. While easily the most spectacular point on the mainline between Anchorage and Fairbanks it is rarely photographed except from the train itself. This is because it is virtually inaccessible. I've lived in Alaska more than four years and have longed to figure out how to make this happen. Back in July I went through quite the ordeal and figured it out so armed with this information I just had to go back when the fall colors were out. On Saturday's during passenger season it is possible to shoot four passenger trains in the span of four hours. While on this day I missed the first train I did shoot three others (the one seen here, followed by the northbound DEX and then the Hurricane Turn), and then was rewarded with a late running coal train after that fleet had passed. Making the journey to Hurricane is not for the faint of heart though, since it is a nearly 200 mile and 3+ hr drive from Anchorage, then requires a mile long hike without a trail through the willows and alders in bear country. Armed with my past knowledge, my camera, rain gear, some snacks, a radio, waterproof boots, a machete and a shotgun (yes in case you ask I did shoot down a couple more trees!) everything worked out successfully. Railfanning in the Last Frontier, like every other outdoor pursuit is truly an adventure!
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Since added on October 11, 2011

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