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Alaska Railroad announces 2021 summer schedule

All routes will run daily, doubling trips from 2020.
(KTUU)
Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 6:24 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - For summer 2021, the Alaska Railroad says it’s excited to offer daily service on all of its summer routes.

“We actually think that 2021 is on track for a slight recovery,” Dale Wade, the railroad’s vice president of marketing and customer service told Alaska’s News Source during an interview Thursday at the passenger depot in downtown Anchorage.

While there will be daily service, the abbreviated season won’t return to pre-pandemic schedules.

“We will be starting on May 29 and ending on Sept. 6. Think of it from Memorial Day to Labor Day,” Wade said.

Riders heading to Seward on the Coastal Classic route, or to Whittier or Spencer Glacier on the Glacier Discovery route, will have daily round-trip options.

Another change? For most of the week, the Denali Star route will operate one trip per day.

“We will be going down the tracks seven days a week. That’s double what we did last year at this time,” Wade said.

The Denali Star will head northbound on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It will travel southbound on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Sunday is the only day of the week in will offer travel in both directions.

The Alaska Railroad says the new schedule offers “right-sized service” based on passenger demand, which is up in part due to cruise ships shifting from ocean voyages to land-based packages, Wade said, adding the railroad is ready to deliver cooped up adventurers to Alaska destinations.

“There is pent up demand. Many people have expressed an interest in getting out of the house, traveling, seeing things that are safe in a safe environment, and Alaska is one of those environments that you can go to. Distancing is easy in Alaska compared to other major cities,” Wade said.

Passengers will be required to follow federal mask mandates for travelers, and the surfaces on the trains will be cleaned before, during and after trips, Wade said.

Note: This article has been updated to correctly identify Dale Wade as the railroad’s vice president of marketing and customer service.

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