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Steaming to Bennett on the WP&YR

by Murray Lundberg

To Bennett-Carcross (northbound) Photo Album
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WP&YR steam train to Bennett MP 0 - Skagway Station

Getting ready to leave the depot - July 20, 2001, 8:00 AM.

WP&YR steam train to Bennett I love the smell of napalm in the morning. - that line from the movie "Apocalypse Now" was brought to mind by the smoke pumping through the trees in the morning light.

WP&YR steam train to Bennett MP 14.3 - Skagway River

As seen from Bridge 14A - the water is exceptionally high and muddy from recent rainy weather.

WP&YR steam train to Bennett MP 14.3 - Bridge 14A

Bridges are numbered by their relationship to mileposts - the first bridge past Milepost 14 is 14A, the second bridge would be 14B and so on.
Locomotive #40 is seen here coasting south to Skagway.

WP&YR steam train to Bennett MP 15.1 - Bridge 15A

WP&YR steam train to Bennett MP 15.9 - Tunnel Mountain

We are about to cross Bridge 15C and enter the 250-foot-long tunnel.

WP&YR steam train to Bennett MP 18.6 - Bridge 18A

This is probably the most famous structure on the WP&YR line. Built over the winter of 1900-1901, it was the highest cantilever bridge in the world. The West Fork of the Skagway River is 215 feet below the bridge deck.

WP&YR steam train to Bennett Many people breathe a sigh of relief when they see that the trains no longer use the old cantilever bridge!

WP&YR steam train to Bennett MP 18.7 - Bridge 18B

This bridge was built in 1969 when the railway began hauling much heavier ore cars. A 675-foot-long tunnel had to be built as well, as the canyon at that point is far too narrow for a curved track back down the other side.

WP&YR steam train to Bennett MP 18.7 - West Fork Skagway River

As seen from Bridge 18B.

WP&YR steam train to Bennett MP 19.4 - American Shed

A 1,042-foot-long snowshed was built here to combat heavy snows. It was removed in the 1980s when it became too rotten to maintain. To the left, the "Trail of '98" can clearly be seen.

WP&YR steam train to Bennett MP 20.5 - White Pass Summit

This is as far as the Summit Excursions go - 2,865 feet above sea level. About 70% of White Pass passengers take that excursion, often due to cruise ship schedules that don't allow for a longer trip.


Photo Album - Page 2


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