After a challenging 40 minute hike through bear infested woods that left us soaked from head to toe and exhausted, and a quick refresh course on Lumberjack 101 thanks to Blaze, we were rewarded with Alaska Railroad's Northbound Hurricane Turn.
A constant drizzle has turned into a steady rain, as the quintessential Alaska train ride, the Hurricane Turn stops briefly on the bridge for passengers to admire the sheer beauty of the Last Frontier. The Hurricane Turn, runs between Talkeetna, AK and Hurricane, AK and is one of the last true flag stop trains in the US. Passengers wanting to board simply wave a white cloth anywhere along the route, and the train stops to pick them up.
The impressive trestle over the Hurricane Gulch spans 918 ft and rises 296 ft above the floor below. It is the signature location on the entire Alaska Railroad mainline and was the most expensive and difficult engineering project on the entirety of the line. 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. While easily the most spectacular point on the mainline between Anchorage and Fairbanks it is rarely photographed except from the train itself.
Thanks to fellow RP contributors Dave Blaze and Frank Keller for the great week.