RailPictures.Net Photo: ARR 3011 Alaska Railroad EMD GP40-2 at Hurricane, Alaska by Dave Blaze...
 
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Photo Location Map Locomotive Details Location/Date of Photo


Alaska Railroad (more..)
EMD GP40-2 (more..)
Hurricane Gulch Bridge - MP 284.2 (more..)
Hurricane, Alaska, USA (more..)
September 10, 2011
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
ARR 3011 (more..)
ARR 240W (more..)
Dave Blaze... (more..)
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Remarks & Notes 
Third Up! - The quintessential Alaskan train ride The Hurricane Turn crawls out on to its namesake bridge affording the passengers a stunning view of the Chulitna River and the Alaska Range to the west and Hurricane Creek in the chasm far below. The little train runs Thu-Sun from Talkeetna through the wilderness to this point where it turns around. It is the last true flag stop train in American and affords a conveyance into the wilderness for cabin owners, homesteaders, hunters, fishermen, campers, outlaws and anyone else with a hankering just to get away from it all. 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 Denali Star, followed by the northbound DEX, and then the one seen here), 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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USA - Alaska Railroad

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