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The Lifeblood of Alaska: Alaska Railroad

The Alaska Railroad has been around for very long time, since 1903 to be exact. Over its 100 years of service it has continued to play a very large role in the Alaskan economy. It’s probably most well known for providing passenger services from Seward to Fairbanks. But freight is actually its largest revenue source. On the sustainability side of the coin it has real estate, about 35,000 acres spanning the whole state. The AKRR is a staple in the Alaskan community, not only because of the work horse it is known as, but also for the communities it serves that have been built along the tracks laid so many years ago.

One of the very cool and unique things the AKRR does is called a “flag stop.” No matter the season, this railroad is one of the last in the nation to provide flag stop service. Folks who live in bush communities or remote cabins can wave down the train and hop on or off at any place along the tracks. This is an essential function for Alaskans who live an isolated lifestyle and are part of the very small population that lives way off the grid.    

The Alaska Railroad has been around for many years and has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau for over 34 years. When I knew that my co-worker was going to be coming to Alaska to film businesses for the “Building a Better Business” video series I knew I wanted to capture the mystique of these big, beautiful blue and gold rail cars and engines and all that they do, and have been doing for over 100 years.

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Written by Sheron Patrick

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