The expanded Alaska Railroad service will provide travelers with more options to ride the rails during the holiday season, throughout late February and into early March. In addition, the rail company is offering a new winter day trip from Fairbanks to Denali National Park and Preserve.
The Aurora Winter Train operates between Anchorage, Talkeetna and Fairbanks from late September through mid-May. Alaska Railroad will increase its weekend schedule by adding midweek departures during December, January, February and March.
Additional service allows passengers the benefit of more flexibility in traveling to some of the top winter destinations. The Aurora Winter Train will operate on the following dates:
—Northbound Saturday, Southbound Sunday: September 23 through May 13, 2018.
—Northbound Tuesday, Southbound Wednesday: December 26 through January 3, 2018, and February 20 through March 28, 2018.
—Northbound Thursday, Southbound Friday: Dec. 28-29, and March 8-16, 2018.
The Alaska Railroad is also offering six departures between Anchorage and Fairbanks in the last week of December, allowing passengers to celebrate the holiday season aboard the Aurora Winter Train by visiting the Santa Claus House and seeing the northern lights in Fairbanks.
“We continue to see a tremendous increased demand for winter travel and new seasonal experiences from our passengers,” Alaska Railroad vice president Dale Wade said in a statement. “The Alaska Railroad is so pleased to offer visitors more opportunities to experience some of the most breathtaking winter features in the state that everyone wants to see, such as the northern lights and Denali National Park covered in snow.”
During late February and early March, travelers will be able to witness iconic events and festivals along the Railbelt, including the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and the BP Ice Art Championships.
The new Denali in a Day trip is also available for booking and will take passengers on a scenic drive on the Parks Highway from Fairbanks to visit Denali National Park, where they will explore the park before riding the train back to Fairbanks.