The Alaska Railroad celebrates 100th year

Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 10:28 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Railroad Centennial Celebration of the completion of the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Fairbanks, Alaska was held in Nenana on Saturday, July 15, 2023.

On July 15, 1923 the final spike posted into the tracks solidified the completion of the Alaska Railroad in Nenana.

For 100 years, the Alaska railroad has serviced Alaskans in many ways, from exporting goods across the state to transporting people to new destinations.

“The railroad is an amazing asset for the State of Alaska. The federal government recognizing the importance of not only Alaska but also the ability to have transportation within Alaska,” said Bill O’Leary, CEO and president of the railroad.

Everyone who works for the Alaska Railroad plays an integral part in making sure operations run smoothly before and after the train is used.

Lolli Morrow, heavy equipment admin assistant for the railroad shared why she thinks the railroad is so important. “It is the major thoroughfare for people traveling between Fairbanks and Seward. Most of Alaska is undrivable by vehicle, so the railroad provides an invaluable resource for people.”

Making it 100 years is a milestone. What does the future hold for the railroad?

“The future for the Alaska Railroad is very bright and it really does mirror the fact that the future for Alaska is really very bright. Almost any important project any largescale project in Alaska is going to involve the Alaska Railroad,” stated O’Leary.