Earthquake damage puts the brakes on Alaska Railroad service

Published: Dec. 1, 2018 at 9:16 PM AKST
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Earthquake damage is preventing the Alaska Railroad from operating between the state's two largest cities.

Railroad spokesman Tim Sullivan said Saturday there are three areas north of Anchorage that are impassible and preventing trains from making the trek between Anchorage and Fairbanks. The trip is 350 miles each way.

Cracks up to 4 feet wide and 150-feet long have been found on either side of the tracks near Nancy Lake, about 45 miles north of Anchorage. The damage was caused by ground shifting, cracking or sloughing.

Heavy equipment will be used to repair the tracks over the next few days. However, a complete inspection of the track and bridges hasn't been completed, so Sullivan said officials do not know when rail service to Fairbanks will resume.

Train service south of Anchorage is scheduled to resume Sunday. Work also continues to clean up extensive water damage the railroad's operation center in Anchorage.