Extending from Seward to Fairbanks in the interior, the Alaska Railroad provides travelers access to popular stops, such as Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali National Park. While its main line runs for more than 470 miles (750 kilometers), there are also secondary lines providing more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) of extended service.
Not only is the Alaska Railroad a great way to get around the state, it’s also a scenic journey through pristine Alaskan wilderness—an attraction in its own right for many visitors. There are five routes to choose from: the Coastal Classic, Denali Star, Glacier Discovery, Hurricane Turn, and Aurora Winter. Listen to commentary while trying to spot wildlife, such as black bear, porcupines, bald eagles, moose, and Dall sheep.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Alaska Railroad is a must for families traveling with kids, wildlife enthusiasts, and budget travelers.
- Adult passengers are required to have a government-issued photo ID at check-in.
- Dress in warm layers; even in the summer months, temperatures average around 65°F (18°C).
- Passenger cars in all classes include forward-facing, semi-reclining seats and large picture windows.
- Wheelchair lifts are available at all stations, and all passenger trains are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Trains depart from depots in 10 destinations around Alaska, with Seward and Anchorage being two of the most popular jumping-off points. The easiest way to get to the nearest train depot is by hiring a taxi.
When to Get There
The Alaska Railroad operates throughout the year, connecting Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Fairbanks—even in the winter season. Since the cars are climate-controlled, there’s not a bad season to take in the views; when to go depends largely on the activities you’re planning to enjoy.
Alaska Railroad’s GoldStar Service
Alaska Railroad’s premium class gives travelers the opportunity to view the passing scenery through glass-dome ceilings, as well as an upper-level viewing platform perfect for taking photos. GoldStar tickets include meals, nonalcoholic beverages, and two adult beverages per trip.