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Ways to Experience Alaska Railroad Depot
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Reviewed June 22, 2011

My husband did not want to drive in Alaska so we planned our ten day vacation trip around the train as our main source of transportation. We had two for one tickets from Northern Lights if you made your trip before the middle of June, so we basically went for half price, which probably put it in line with what a rental car would have cost.Our three trips were to Seward , to Denali, and to Whittier. Of these we took Gold Star service On both Seward and Denali going and regular service coming back.

The Seward trip was our first and best. The scenery on that route is breathtaking. It is about a four hour trip and staying in Seward for two nights made it not too tiring. You can get up and walk around on the train, go to different seats and types of seats if available, and even eat in the dining car. However food is rather expensive, and the hamburger we had was all right but not outstanding. You could also bring your own food on the train.

We also saw wildlife from the train which the assistants often pointed out for us. If time allowed, the train might either slow down or even stop for a better view of the wildlife and for photos. Gold Star has a good sized outdoor viewing area if you want to take photos free from the glare of the windows.

The Denali train was good, but it was really almost too long being around 8 hours. There are things to do on the train, which makes it better than an 8 hr. flight, but it is still rather long for a ride. The people traveling all the way to Fairbanks have an even longer ride. If it had not been a two-for-one special, it probably would have been better to take the train one way, and the bus back, since I think the bus is only about 5 hours travel time. But again the commentary, the scenery, and the animals make time pass fairly quickly.

The Whittier train was only a little over two hrs each way. We took that, did the 26 Glacier Cruise, and returned back to Anchorage in one day. Although our day was about 11 hours, we still really enjoyed that day, and did not feel too tired, since the train rides were relatively short.

We really enjoyed seeing Alaska by train. If you go on only one train trip, I would recommend Seward. But we enjoyed all three of our rides, and recommend the train for seing Alaska and would do it again if we got the chance.

Date of experience: June 2011
11  Thank GrandmaP2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2011

If you have time, take the Alaska Railroad to Seward...........the depot in Anchorage is very much a step back in time. We found the workers there very friendly and professional. I highly recommend the trip to Seward on the Goldstar (use buy one get one free coupon in the Toursaver Coupon Book). We had comfortable seats and views from the upper domed car were wonderful and then the open air platform allowed for magnificent photos. This trip takes the stress out of the trip, as driving doesn't allow the driver to see much, and you don't get into the heart of the mountains where you can see the glaciers, animals, etc. The closest hotel to the Anchorage Depot is the Comfort Inn and Suites where it is an easy walk even with luggage. The restrooms on the train were very spacious and clean. Once you get to Seward, it is an inexpensive cab ride ($5) to downtown. If you are short on time, you might consider taking the Bus back to Anchorage, as the train schedule gets you into Anchorage at 10:30PM - which is too late to drive to next location.

Date of experience: May 2011
8  Thank zzzbrenda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2011

This is a must do during your time in Anchorage!!! You MUST take the train to Seward or Denali. It's like a tour and you will learn more than any other train ride you have ever taken! VERY COOL VIEWS!

Date of experience: July 2010
3  Thank sorrmar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2011

I love train travel, and the Alaska Railroad was great! The seats were comfortable with plenty of leg room, and there were adequate bathroom facilities and food options. The staff was friendly, exploring the train was encouraged, and they announced wildlife sitings, upcoming photo opportunities and interesting local facts for each area we passed through. We traveled from Anchorage to Seward and back, and I'm already planning to use the railroad again for a trip to Denali later this summer. I highly recommend it!

Date of experience: June 2011
1  Thank meesh9582
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2010

We travelled from Anchorage to Denali in the Goldstar Dome.I would recommend paying the extra for the comfy seats and visibility & free soft drinks.Save your money on lunch though.I'd go to the cafe part instead,cheaper & nicer for a snack.A lovely journey.We saw moose,eagle and otter.Makes a long journey a pleasant one.

2  Thank TNADZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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