The White Pass Railway’s Summit Excursion
takes you through some of the
the most breathtaking Alaskan Scenery.
Step off your cruise ship and you are literally on the doorstep of the White Pass Railway. No transportation required, only your two feet! Immediately upon entering the vintage railway cars you feel as if you have been transported way back in history. The fleet consists of passenger cars and locomotives that have been modernized and lovingly restored. Sit back and relax as you glide by beautiful waterfalls, glaciers, mountains, gorges and tunnels. It’s not nicknamed the scenic railway of the world for no reason!
How long is the ride
It is advertised as three hours. However….. plan on more. We boarded at 8:00 and didn’t return until 12:15. While on our way to the summit, as luck would have it, an engine light went on, which of course required the engineer’s attention. All was well, but that glitch added about 20 minutes to the trip. Our friends took a later excursion and were not so lucky. Their train had an engine problem that could not be fixed. They had to wait for another locomotive to be brought. Let’s just say that they made it back to the ship just in time!
Are all the cars the same
Heck no, not all cars are created equal. Splurge and ride the Legacy Club Car. Lucky me, I was one of the first to ride in the new car. Picture this, a fully stocked bar, a private guide, hors d’oeuvres, air conditioning, a large outside platform for viewing, large overstuffed leather chairs. and the best, only 13 of your nearest and dearest friends get to ride with you!
Would I ride again
Skagway is far from a booming metropolis! Wrap your head around this, there are only 850 year round residents. Hmmm, that’s less than the amount of students in the school where I teach. As you can probably guess, there’s not much to the town aside from some decent restaurants and shops. So yes, yes, yes, I would ride again. The ride was relaxing and the views were spectacular. Just one little warning, the train goes up and then what goes up must go down, and the going down part does get a little boring. So, bring a book, some good friends, or if you are riding in the Legacy Car, grab a good cold Alaskan beer. And don’t worry, the car is equipped with its own marble bathroom!
Know if you go…
- Go early, later in the day the cars get hot….of course not the Legacy Car
- Water is served in the regular car, but bring some munchies
- Check out all the tours, some allow you to ride the train up and bus or hike down
- We were told that the earlier excursions are less crowded