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NRHS 2013 Convention Anchorage to Whittier & Spencer Excursion 9/21/2013 Part 2

by Chris Guenzler

The train is inside the Portage Tunnel, which is 4,905 feet long, waiting to do the photo runby.

The photo runby in Bear Valley crossing the Placer Creek. We all reboarded the train.

Glacier above Bear Valley.

The train entered the Whittier Tunnel. The train then ran to the end of the track at Whittier.

The train at the end of the track at Whittier.

Whittier scene.

Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Our engineer getting ready to board for our trip west.

Tank cars in front of Glacier.

Whittier scene.

The glacier outside Whittier.

Whittier scene.

The train is running through Whittier.

Our engineer is hard at work.

Mountain across the channel at Whittier.

The yard at Whittier.

The train takes a curve at Whittier.

The Buckner Building.

Whittier scenes.

The Diamond Princess.

The train pulled into the static photo location.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Whittier caboose No. 1076, formerly Alaska Railroad, built by Pacific Car and Foundry in Renton, Washington in 1949. We detrained for a photo opportunity.

The posed picture with the Diamond Princess and the train.

Passengers returning to the train. We made an impromptu photo line and got a bonus photo runby.

Impromptu photo runby in Whittier. We reboarded the train.

We left the Buckner Building behind.

Another view of the Diamond Princess.

The Whittier station.

The Diamond Princess.

Leaving Whittier behind.

The glacier to the north of the Whittier tunnel.

We had a red signal at the Whittier tunnel and would have to wait our turn.

Three views of the Diamond Princess.

The glacier north of the Whittier tunnel.

The automobiles and busses came east out of the Whittier tunnel as we waited.

Can you spot the bear in the picture?

Finally we got a green signal which meant go to the Whittier tunnel.

Here we began CTC.

The train entered the 14,361 foot long Whittier tunnel.

The train returned to Portage after passing through the two tunnels.

We had a red over green signal at Porter which would allow us to get on the Seward line and this piece of the wye would be my last piece of new mileage in Alaska.

The lake at Porter. The train started over my last piece of new trackage in Alaska.

My trip over the southeast leg of the wye at Porter which ended my new mileage on this trip. From here the train took us to the Spencer Whistle Stop in the Chugach National Forest and we detrained for photos of our train and the Blues Train.

The backup move of our train.

The photo runby.

The train left the Spencer siding to clear and left us all there. From here we hiked to the bridge and set up for the Blues Train.

The bridge over the Placer River.

Spencer Glacier.

The Photo Line at the Placer River.

The Placer River bridge.

The photo runby of the Blues Train at the Placer River.

Our group hiking back to the boarding location at Spencer.

The train returned from Spencer and picked us up. It is hard to believe that this is our last train trip of this convention. A big thank you to Bart and Sarah Jennings, all the car hosts, behind the scenes people and the Alaska Railroad for all of their hard work to make this convention a success. From Bart Jennings I learned that we had served 428 people on the two public trips out of Fairbanks and that we had 370 registered members so we had almost 800 total participants at this year's NRHS 2013 Convention in Alaska. Bart Jennings also said "They said it was impossible but we did it!" and "We were so well planned that the train crews had almost nothing to do". It had been a great convention and I look forward to next year's in Springdale, Arkansas.

After returning to the station in Anchorage, we detrained and thanked our passengers for riding with us today and throughout the week. Elizabeth and I walked back to the hotel and had our last dinner in Anchorage at the Sizzlin' Cafe before we returned to the room, packed and finished this story then called it a night.