Canadian Traveller — From Anchorage to Fairbanks by Rail

Feature Story: Alaska, July 2017

As the train pushed through the dense evergreen forest, the conductor’s voice crackled through the intercom system.

“Folks, we are approaching a spot that, with the beautiful sunny day, is going to give us a clear view of Mount Denali,” he said. “If you’d like to move to the viewing platforms, I’ll stop the train for a few moments so everyone can have a good look and a chance for photographs.”

The railcar rounded a smooth bend, and the trees impeding our view fell away. We entered an open space surrounding a marshy lake, and there before us was the snow-capped peak of North America’s tallest mountain.

I was making an overland journey in one of the last great frontiers of the world. Two-and-a-half times larger than the second-biggest state of Texas, Alaska’s size is mighty; yet inhabited by only around 700,000 people, it lies mostly unpopulated – even unexplored.

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