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Re: GE diesel proposal for WP&YR

December 07, 2018 08:09AM avatar
I never see pictures of any of these areas mentioned. This past summer I had a little time to go explore the right-of-way north of Carcross.

First, I stopped in Fraser to get a photo of the rail change taking place on the north end of the siding. We currently use this siding daily for the Fraser service, and to hide work trains and equipment. The rail was being changed between the north siding switch and a crossover near the end of the passenger platform. This siding is located just south of MP 28, and is currently 2,412 feet long.
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Next is a view from the siding at Scheffler (Graves). The siding was renamed a couple of years ago in honor of Canadian roadmaster Willi Scheffler, for 55 years of service. This siding is located along Lake Bennett near MP 49 and is 2,154 feet. There are some short but steep grades on each side of this location which makes for a neat roll-by when you are waiting in the clear for another train. 27 miles separate Bennett and Carcross, and there are only two sidings placed between the two, of which Scheffler would be the one used if the need arose to clear a passenger train. The other siding at Watson (MP 59.6) is probably my favorite location along the railroad, because it's out on a bend in the lake, where the shore to the other side is far out, and another arm of the lake extends miles to the north. A very beautiful, lonely place, but you won't see any passenger trains using that siding because these days there's only one train a day running to Carcross, unfortunately.
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Beyond Carcross, the next place I stopped to visit that I hadn't seen before was a place called De Wette, but is more famously known for the draining of Lake Lewes, which the railroad accidentally blew out during construction. This section of the railroad between Carcross and Whitehorse reminds me very much of the line between Big Horn and Sublette. This first picture is a 10 MPH curve, winding through a cut heading north towards Lake Lewes.
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About a half mile further, the near 120 year old alteration of Lake Lewes can be seen from the track to the west.
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Finally, Cowley Lake is an odd, horseshoe shaped lake that the railroad crosses twice by means of two causeways. When I looked it up on Google Earth, it was hard to tell what exactly it was, whether it was a bridge or causeway. I walked out most of the way from the siding at Cowley, north of the lake, south to the southern causeway and took this photo looking railroad south. If we ever get to run this far again, I will very much look forward to working this section of the line, if I'm ever able to pull a job up there.
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I took these photos on a day off this past July. The weather in Yukon is almost always better than the cloudy, damp overcast down in Skagway. I'm sure passengers well enjoy the dynamic changes in scenery offered by a ride across the whole line, especially if more upgrades are done to the cars to improve passenger experiences like food and drink service. It would be a fantastic way to spend the afternoon.

One last thing. Back in 2017 the railroad ran an extremely rare steam trip to Carcross. While I couldn't go, a friend was able to video some of the footage on board the train of the deadhead move north. Maybe one day we'll get to see more scenes like this. I know most of the crew at the railroad would love to see more options offered, and this could perhaps be a glimpse into that future.

video: [youtu.be]
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GE diesel proposal for WP&YR Attachments

bcp December 05, 2018 11:45AM

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John C December 07, 2018 08:09AM

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