On January 9, 2022, tragedy struck in the form of a fire for Alaska Railroad conductor and SMART-TD Local 1626 (Anchorage, Alaska) member Danielle Gallagher. Gallagher and her two children lost their home near Palmer, Alaska, that night, reports Local 1626 Secretary & Treasurer Justin Voss.

Gallagher family

The local has rallied around Gallagher and Alaska SLD and Local Legislative Representative Darren Toppin has set up a GoFundMe account to help her with expenses as the family works to recover from the fire.

“Danielle is a conductor for the Alaska Railroad and a very dedicated employee. She loves her job! Not only is Danielle a great coworker, she is also [a] great friend. She is always willing to reach out and lend a hand and helps anyone in need. No matter the situation,” Toppin said on the GoFundMe page. “This is now our chance to help her and her awesome kids and say, thank you for always having our backs.”

In addition to the loss of their home, some of the family dogs were lost in the fire. The farm animals, including horses and cattle and other livestock, were not harmed.

Click here to make a donation to the fund to help Gallagher and her kids.


Alaska Railroad could get an extension into Canada, pending the approval of a permit from President Donald Trump, reports the Anchorage Daily News.
In the proposed project by the Alberta to Alaska Railway Development Corporation (A2A), 1,700 miles of track would be built in a plan to make it easier for goods to travel to and from Asia by linking the Canadian rail network to Alaska’s Port MacKenzie. If approved, A2A plans to raise the money needed for the $17 billion project and does not intend to seek any state funding.
The plan’s proponents say that the route would cut two days of transport time for goods to Asia and relieve congestion at ports on the U.S.’s West Coast, the Daily News reported.
A presidential permit is required for all cross-border infrastructure.
Click here to read more from the Anchorage Daily News.

The Alaska Railroad (ARR) is back up and running after Friday’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake. Regularly scheduled freight services started running again Tuesday, Dec. 4.
ARR suspended all service after the quake in order to assess damage along its nearly 500 miles of trackage and to begin repairs. Some sections of track were damaged or deemed impassable and required immediate repairs. In particular, an area 45 miles north of Anchorage sustained cracks up to four feet wide and 150 feet long on both sides of the tracks.
“We could not be more pleased with the work our crews have done to get the Alaska Railroad back up and running in just over 72 hours,” Dale Wade, vice president of marketing and customer service said in a press release. “This incredible effort from railroaders speaks to the grit and perseverance of Alaska and its people. We are happy to be able to return to serving our passengers and freight customers so quickly.”
The first passenger trains to run as scheduled will be the Winter Hurricane Turn Train on Thursday, Dec. 6, followed by the regularly scheduled Aurora Winter Trains and Holiday trains this weekend.

A magnitude-7.0 earthquake rippled through Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Anchorage, Alaska, causing collapses and damage to Alaska’s infrastructure on Friday, Nov. 30. More than 200 aftershocks, some up to 5.7 magnitude, continued for 12 hours after the initial quake.
Damage occurred on the Alaska Railroad (ARR), closing the tracks between Anchorage and Fairbanks, a 350-mile trip one way. Cracks up to four feet wide and 150 feet long have been found on both sides of tracks about 45 miles north of Anchorage, The Associated Press reported.
Officials finished a complete inspection of the tracks and bridges Monday morning. All slide zones south of Anchorage have been cleared, and freight has resumed running between Whittier and Anchorage, reports say.
Two areas north of Anchorage are under repair, and train traffic is expected to resume within the next 48 hours, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
ARR’s headquarters also sustained extensive water damage from a pipe ruptured by the quakes, AP reported.

The Alaska Railroad announced Friday, Feb. 10 that they will lay off 31 people and eliminate 18 vacant positions, 8 percent of its workforce. Employees were told on Friday that their last day will be March 13. The positions being eliminated range from interns to vice president-level jobs.
The railroad has 609 full-time employees and hires approximately 150 more employees in the summer months to help with increased traffic in passenger rail.
Since 2008, Alaska Railroad has eliminated more than 300 year-round positions.
Click here to read more from the Alaska Dispatch News.

Alaskan RxR PhotoWASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski responded to the news that the Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) became the first railroad in the nation permitted to transport liquified natural gas (LNG) by rail, saying:

“I am pleased the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently approved the Alaska Railroad’s request to move liquified natural gas via rail to Fairbanks. The Interior of Alaska is in need of an affordable energy source and natural gas by rail holds real promise.”

Read more from KTVF

alaska_Rail_logoDestination America is returning to Alaska.

The Discovery owned cable network has renewed Railroad Alaska for a second season, which is set to premiere on Saturday, Oct. 25, at 9/8c, TVWise has learned.

Railroad Alaska follows an elite crew who live along Alask’a critical railway as they tirelessly work to keep the train rolling 365 days a year in order to deliver life-sustaining supplies to Americans living off the grid and miles away from civilization. Tom Langan and Jane McGoldrick serve as series producers on the series, which is produced by indie Wind Fall Films. The executive producers are Carlo Massarella, David Dugan and Caroline Perez.

Read the complete story at TV Wise.

alaska_Rail_logoWabtec Corp. has signed contracts valued at $16.6 million with Alaska Railroad Corp. to provide Positive Train Control equipment and services, the Wilmerding-based company announced Wednesday (April 2).

The systems will be installed on the railroad’s 525 miles of controlled track, which are used for both freight and passenger service. Under the contract, Wabtec said it will provide its Interoperable Electronic Train Management System equipment and PTC components for 54 locomotives.

Read the complete story at Pittsburgh Business Times.

alaska_Rail_logoFAIRBANKS – The Alaska Railroad is known across the state, and now it’s getting national attention thanks to a six-part documentary commissioned by the Discovery Channel.

“Railroad Alaska” debuts Nov. 16 on the Destination America channel, one of several channels the Discovery Channel owns, with each hour-long episode focusing on the railroad and the communities it serves as well as railroad crews who work on everything from track maintenance to those employees who operate the locomotives.

Read the complete story at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The Alaska Railroad Board of Directors has named Bill O’Leary President and CEO of the Alaska Railroad, succeeding Chris Aadnesen.

O’Leary will start in his new position this Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. 

Read the complete story at Railway Age.