White Pass Collection
Laying Tracks

merica, young but vast as countries go, considers 100 years to be a long time but 100 miles to be not so far—in contrast with Europe, especially England. So goes the oft-made observation. That aphorism applies with greater force to Alaska, where the next town is 100 miles downriver or up the road, and many extant institutions have marked their first centennials only recently.

The Alaska Railroad has covered those 100-mile spans steadily for a long American time, since Warren Harding drove the golden spike at Nenana in 1923. On the occasion of the anniversary, this month’s special section highlights the railroad and its peers in the transportation industry.

Like the railroad, the Alaska Marine Highway System is a public facility—a division of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) rather than a state-owned enterprise. “Opening Up the World” checks in with the state ferry fleet, and “DBEs and OJT” explores another mission of DOT&PF, namely support of local contractors and their workforces.

Non-governmental organizations are spotlighted in “Know Your Associations,” a quick overview of industry groups that give voices to land, sea, and sky transportation. And “Golden Heart Hub” previews the new Fairbanks Service Center that Span Alaska built for its trucking operations.

Outside of this special section, flip to Alaska Trends for more about the Alaska Railroad. The state’s other operating railway is featured in “White Pass & Yukon Route.” And fleet safety is the subject of this month’s column from Sean Dewalt.

The whistle is blowing. All aboard for transportation!