Tunnels Lost to Time - Denali Train Depot - Denali National Park
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Lat34North
N 63° 43.835 W 148° 54.815
6V E 405513 N 7068407
Quick Description: History of three tunnels along the Alaska Railroad. All three have now been removed. Located on the side of the Denali Train Depot.
Location: Alaska, United States
Date Posted: 9/16/2013 4:11:15 PM
Waymark Code: WMJ3CF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Waywizard
Views: 2

Long Description:

The train track along the Healy Canyon wall provides an exhilarating view down to the Nenana River below. Imagine the challenge of constructing this grade in 1921. Three tunnels at the south end of the canyon made the job a little easier by cutting through rock points. The rock was so soft, however, that erosion caused continual collapses and slides. One tunnel (milepost 354.7) caved in and was abandoned in the 1940s, another (Garner tunnel, milepost 356.2) was removed (“daylighted”) in 2005 after years of maintenance problems including removal of 100 feet of the tunnel in the 1960s or 70s. Daylighting the Moody Tunnel began in 2007 and is expected to be completed in 2010.

Moody Tunnel was the last of the 1921 Alaska railroad tunnels. It was given Alaska Heritage Resource number HEA-076 and determined to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Documentation preserved its history and engineering features for posterity before it was removed. There are still a number of 1905 – 1906 era tunnels about 50 miles north of Seward in the Kenai Peninsula section of the Alaska railroad, and two tunnels on the 1942 tract between Whittier and Portage (they have all been reinforced and lined).

Moody Tunnel was 262 feet long and Garner was 508 feet; the tunnel between them had no name and its original length is not known. They were drilled and blasted through the schist bedrock and the material carted out on temporary tracks. Portals in each end were built with 12 x 12 creosote timbers with cribbing above and beside the portals to try and stabilize the outside slopes. More 12 x 12 timber arches were added as interior supports, many in attempts to reinforce the roof after construction.

Note: In 2013 there were no tunnels between Anchorage and Denali NP.

More Information:
NPS - Denali National Park
Wikipedia - Alaska Railroad
Marker Name: Tunnels Lost to Time

Marker Type: City

Addtional Information:
From Wikipedia: Alaska Railroad "The Alaska Railroad (reporting mark ARR) is a Class II railroad which extends from Seward and Whittier, in the south of the state of Alaska, in the United States, to Fairbanks (passing through Anchorage), and beyond to Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright in the interior of that state. Uniquely, it carries both freight and passengers throughout its system, including Denali National Park (most other intercity passenger rail in the United States is carried on the federal Amtrak system). The railroad has a mainline over 470 miles (760 km) long and is well over 500 miles (800 km) including secondary branch lines and siding tracks. It is currently owned by the state of Alaska. The railroad is connected to the lower 48 via three rail barges that sail between the Port of Whittier and Harbor Island in Seattle (the Alaska Railroad-owned Alaska Rail Marine, from Whittier to Seattle, and the CN Rail-owned Aqua Train, from Whittier to Prince Rupert, British Columbia) but does not currently have a direct, land-based connection with any other railroad lines on the North American network." Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Railroad

Date Dedicated / Placed: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Preferred would be to post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Alaska history please include that in your log.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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tugies visited Tunnels Lost to Time - Denali Train Depot - Denali National Park 5/29/2014 tugies visited it
Lat34North visited Tunnels Lost to Time - Denali Train Depot - Denali National Park 9/4/2013 Lat34North visited it

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