New link from Alaska to British Columbia/alberta

rsn48 Mar 12, 2001

  1. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

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    I didn't pay much attention to this news item on the radio as I thought I would see something here. But a new link from Alaska to the British Columbia/Alberta Northern border is being proposed. I guess this would tie in with CN. Many have thought there might be a link from Alaska through British Columbai using the BC Rail line, but I suspect the mountains are just to rugged and twisty and turny.

    I wish I had paid more attention to this announcement, when I hear more I will post.
     
  2. E&NRailway

    E&NRailway TrainBoard Member

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    Or BC Rail, which runs pretty close to Alaska and Northern Alberta.
     
  3. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    This isn't the first time this has resurf-aced- IIRC, there was an article about
    BCR years ago that mentioned a branch line that, if extended, would reach through the Yukon to Alaska.
    I wouldn't mind seeing such a line, but what in the way of traffic (besides timber) is there to justify its existence? And, how noisy are the bunny-huggers in Canada? Also, could such a line tie into the Alaska RR, and where? Who would build it- BCR, CN or CP, or an outside consortium?
     
  4. Dwightman

    Dwightman TrainBoard Member

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    Here is a press release from Senator Frank Murkowski's office. In addition to timber, Alaska has some of the world's cleanest burning coal. The line would also provide right of way for pipelines and electric lines. Also, there is the possibility of constructing a tunnel under the Bering Strait to connect directly with Russia. This would open up the two largest undeveloped regions of natural resources on the planet (Alaska and Siberia). Not to mention allowing direct rail service from North America to Asia and Europe. Just imagine being able to go from New York to London by train! :cool:

    Dwight
     
  5. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

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    Here is a news article in The Vancouver Sun on A9. I am not going to type it all as it is rather long...but will edit and type... so here goes:

    "The US government will soon propose to the Canadian government that the two empanel a commission to study the feasibility of adding a rail line to the Alaska Highway corridor....The Eastern terminus of the line would be Fort St. John; the western, Fairbanks, in Alaska.....US State Secretary Colin Powell is expected to approach the Canadian government in the coming weeks to formally propose establiment of the commission.

    Alaska and the Yukon are lobbying hard to get a natural gas pipeline built down the Alaska Highway. A railway would help their cause considerably.

    Alask Senator Frank Murkowski, a proponent of the Alask Highway pipeline, is championing the rail link....Transport Canada reports that a fromal proosal by the United Staes has yet to be made.

    Jesse Duke, a mineral resource specialist with the Yukon government, says there is up to 80 billion worth of zinc, and billions more in other mineral and forest product resourcces, sitting untapped in the Yukon bacause there is no way of getting them to market. Duke notes the cost of shipping by rail is three to four times cheaper than by truck.

    I have edited this to correct what I believe to be a mistake. I checked the newspaper and they made it, not I. The southern terminus isn't Fort St. John's, which is near the Washington, British Columbia border, but more likely Fort St. James, which is just above Prince George. Why not go all the way to Prince George, I don't know.

    [ 14 March 2001: Message edited by: rsn48 ]
     
  6. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    That is a bold proposal, to build a railroad in difficult terrain. But it will, of course come down to money. If there are enough bucks to be made, it will be done, I suspect :rolleyes:
     
  7. Gregg Mahlkov

    Gregg Mahlkov Guest

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    There was a proposal about 30 to 40 years ago to build a connection from British Columbia to Alaska, to be built by private capital. However, it was discovered that the person behind the proposal was Axel Wenner-Gren, a Swedish industrialist whose partiality to the losing side in WW II was well remembered. So, both governments said "No thanks". :(
     

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