Tanana Valley Railroad
The Tanana Valley Railroad (TVRR) was a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge railroad that operated in the Tanana Valley of Alaska from 1905 to about 1917. A portion of the railroad later became part of the Alaska Railroad.
The TVRR was incorporated as the Tanana Mines Railway in 1904, construction on the first section started and completed in 1905. The main speaker at the gala golden spike ceremony was Judge Wickersham and Mrs. Isabelle Barnett accepted the golden spike. The builder was Falcon Joslin who was called the "Harriman of the North". It was renamed the Tanana Valley Railroad in 1907. The company declared bankruptcy and was liquidated around 1917. The U.S. government purchased the railroad in June 1917, and the section between Fairbanks and Happy was converted to dual gauge by the Alaskan Engineering Commission, in order to complete a 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge railroad line from Seward to Fairbanks. This line became the Alaska Railroad (Alaska RR) in 1923. The Alaska RR continued to operate the former TVRR narrow-gauge line as the Chatanika Branch, until decommissioning it in 1930.
In 1922, the railroad's Engine No. 1, the first steam locomotive in Fairbanks and the Yukon, was retired. In 1991, a group of volunteers got together to restore the rusting Engine No. 1. Its restoration was begun in 1997 and completed in 2000. It began pulling passengers again in 2000. The Tanana Valley Railroad Museum and Engine House with Engine No. 1 are located in Pioneer Park, a theme park exploring Alaska's past. The park and museum are open from noon to 8 p.m. daily between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The engine and the museum are maintained and run by a volunteer group called The Friends of the Tanana Valley Railroad.
Tanana Valley Railroad Overview
Locale: Fairbanks to Chatanika, AK
Dates of operation: 1904/1905–1917. AEC purchased TVRR assets and operated the Chatanika Branch line until decommissioning it in 1930
Predecessor: Tanana Mines Railway
Successor: Alaskan Engineering Commission Railroad, a.k.a. Alaska Railroad
Track gauge: 3 ft (914 mm)
Length: 45 miles (72 km)
Headquarters: Fairbanks, Alaska
Tanana Valley Railroad Steam Locomotive No. 67 in Pioneer Park, Fairbanks, Alaska 2011.
By Nils Öberg - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16615263
Classic Streamliners - TRAINCYCLOPEDIA
A Tanana Valley Railroad Slideshow.
Tanana Valley Railroad Steam Locomotive No 1 in Pioneer Park, Fairbanks, Alaska, 2011.
By Nils Öberg - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16612697
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Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.