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anchorage to seward: train versus car

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anchorage to seward: train versus car

my question is this: for travel between anchorage and seward, what are the advantages of the train ride versus driving? is the scenery much better? is the guided tour and narration worth it? is it just the experience of the rail cars?

here's the detail: my husband and i are flying into anchorage, arriving on 8/9/06. our trip is going to involve renting a car for the start as we see seward, homer, anchorage, talkeetna, denali, and places in between. we're then leaving the car in fairbanks and doing an arctic circle/barrow tour for a few days, then flying to juneau/glacier bay/ketchikan, ultimately flying back to anchorage for our flight home.

we're going to have a rental car and be driving to homer anyway, so could easily just drive to seward, but it sounds like the train trip is not to be missed and i'm trying to figure out how to fit everything in.

thanks for your help.

--nymsa

Cincinnati, Ohio
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1. Re: anchorage to seward: train versus car

We've done it both ways. The train tracks really do parallel the highway for most of the way. Since you will need the car to drive on to Homer, I'd suggest driving. It is also good to have the car in Seward to drive to Exit Glacier since it is not within walking distance of town. Be sure to eat at Ray's!!! We're on our third trip to Alaska this summer and we're stopping at Seward just so my husband can eat at Ray's and have an Alaskan Amber. Enjoy.

Seward,Alaska
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2. Re: anchorage to seward: train versus car

What's so special about Ray's other than the price and maybe location??? Chinook's has a better view.

As a local I never eat there. Way too expensive!!

Have you tried Exit Glacier Salmon Bake yet? A much more Alaskan experince.

Eagle River, Alaska
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3. Re: anchorage to seward: train versus car

I've worked in the tourism industry in Alaska for a number of years and done the train and the road from Anchorage to Seward. Overall, the reaction from guests was that the train ride to Seward is phenomenal. While the tracks parallel the road for the first bit, when they split, the train goes through an area with three beautiful glaciers- Spencer Glacier is gorgeous and alone worth the train trip. There's also several tunnels and a really neat canyon to go through. The part the road sees is mostly trees and mountains with nothing terribly spectacular to gawk at.

Also, Seward is fairly small and you can grab a taxi or the trolley to get from one end of town to the other. Another recommendation- if you're not glaciered out once you get to Seward I'd head to Exit Glacier, especially if you like to hike. It's one of my favorite spots in the state.

Alaska
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4. Re: anchorage to seward: train versus car

I will add my vote for the spectacular train. It is the easiest way to get into "true wilderness". As soon as you cross through the first tunnel you are leaving more than 99% of people behind. You may not see the animals, but that is their territory. You also take a 360 complete circle in the train to climb in elevation to climb into the valley. Keep an eye on the trees at teh edges of the clearings along the track, as the stripped branches on the mountain side of the tree will show the power of snow avalanches crossing the tracks in the winter.

If you need some "alone time" then perhaps consider one person driving & one on the train, then reversing on the return trip.

71

College Park...
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5. Re: anchorage to seward: train versus car

Hello,

I also have done both, car and train. The train is definately more spectacular than a car...to tell you the truth I don't remember if there was narration or not, I took the Wilderness Express Dome Car at the time (about 6 years ago), but the trip itself, the scenary etc. was superior on the train.

However, the car trip is pretty spectacular also, and since you are going on to Homer etc., it might be cheaper and more convenient for your overall travel plans to rent a car in Anchorage rather than in Seward.

Julie, from

Chicago