Welcome to another “Big Train Tour” at the Colorado Railroad Museum! This week, we’ll be taking a look at two identical all-steel coaches, built in 1969 and 1976 respectively for Alaska’s White Pass & Yukon narrow gauge railroad. Intended to supplement this remote railroad’s passenger fleet at a time when Alaska cruises were growing more popular, both cars ultimately saw relatively short service lives, became surplus to the railroad’s needs, and eventually were sold. Today these utilitarian coaches are enjoying a new career, carrying passengers aboard trains at the Museum’s Golden campus throughout the year, and making nightly, magical journeys to the North Pole during the holiday season!

Starting in the late 1960s, our subject “big trains” helped usher in a wave of improvements to Alaska’s White Pass & Yukon railroad. When the White Pass abruptly ceased operations in the early 1980s, things slumbered for a half-dozen years. But the increasing popularity of Alaska cruises led to a reopening in the late 1980s, and this little but mighty railroad returned to a new life. The line’s new existence was now entirely focused on transporting tourists on once-in-a-lifetime journeys, with one of North America’s most spectacular narrow gauge railroads as the conveyance.

Join Executive Director, Paul Hammond as we explore the surprisingly rich history of these Utilitarian Passenger Cars!

Want to learn more? Watch our previous episode “Way Car To Caboose” here: https://youtu.be/mz2I3vhKf4Q

Music by Hyce!

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