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Who has experience with the Alaska Rail Road "Aurora Winter Train"?

Who has experience with the Alaska Rail Road "Aurora Winter Train"?

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Old Oct 14, 18, 7:04 pm
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Who has experience with the Alaska Rail Road "Aurora Winter Train"?

We will be taking the AK Rail Road Aurora Winter Train from Anchorage to Fairbanks in February. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this? Specifically, how strict are they with their luggage policy? We can check 2 bags up to 50 pounds each plus a single carry on. What I'm wondering is if they allow a "personal item" too. A good example is a lady with her purse plus the carry on bag. I'm not trying to carry on a whole lot of JUNK. Thanks!
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Old Oct 31, 18, 4:21 pm
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I found the answer to my question by going to the source - it finally occurred to me that I should email right to Alaska Railroad. (Sometimes I'm dense and slow...) I also asked about a seat assignment we are wanting. Here is what I was told in case anyone else would like to know:
Thank you for your email!
In regards to your inquiry, our ticketing staff will assign seats a couple of days before departure. I have entered a note in your booking regarding your seat request. We are not able to confirm seating requests, however, we will do our best to meet any request.
In regards to carry-on luggage, each passenger is allowed a carry-on as well as a personal item such as a purse or backpack. Please remember each passenger can also check four pieces of luggage free of charge.
Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions. We look forward to seeing you onboard the Alaska Railroad in February!



I had read in one place only two checked bags and in another place that the Winter Train allows four checked bags per passenger. This clears that up too. We should only have one checked bag each but it's good to know one can have more.

Last edited by SupercrewBear; Nov 1, 18 at 3:46 am
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Old Nov 22, 18, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by SupercrewBear View Post
I found the answer to my question by going to the source - it finally occurred to me that I should email right to Alaska Railroad. (Sometimes I'm dense and slow...) I also asked about a seat assignment we are wanting. Here is what I was told in case anyone else would like to know:
Thank you for your email!
In regards to your inquiry, our ticketing staff will assign seats a couple of days before departure. I have entered a note in your booking regarding your seat request. We are not able to confirm seating requests, however, we will do our best to meet any request.
In regards to carry-on luggage, each passenger is allowed a carry-on as well as a personal item such as a purse or backpack. Please remember each passenger can also check four pieces of luggage free of charge.
Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions. We look forward to seeing you onboard the Alaska Railroad in February!



I had read in one place only two checked bags and in another place that the Winter Train allows four checked bags per passenger. This clears that up too. We should only have one checked bag each but it's good to know one can have more.
I can't imagine they're particularly strict about carry-on baggage on the winter train. The few times I've taken it, it's been about 25% full, and many of the passengers are locals traveling to their winter cabins, and they have massive amounts of supplies with them. It's a very informal operation. No matter what you bring, you'll certainly not even be looked at askance.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 12:04 pm
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I’ve done it once (southbound, Fairbanks-Anchorage) in December 2016. It was actually fairly full the day I took it. There was a big school group headed to Anchorage, and quite a few other folks hitching a ride.

It’s fun and interesting, but about a third of it will be in the dark that time of year. Fine as a one-off type of thing, but it’s usually cheaper to fly between the two cities.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 11:06 pm
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For anyone interested: We took the train from Anchorage to Fairbanks as planned. We left Anchorage at 8:30 AM and arrived to Fairbanks about 8:15 PM that same day. I've ridden trains in Europe and Japan but it's been awhile - it was nice to not have to go through the hassle of air travel for a change. There was maybe 50 other passengers so we all had plenty of room. They didn't seem to care too much about what anyone carried on either - the regular carry on for a plane is larger than the dimensions they specify on the Alaska Railroad page but it was no problem. We made a quick stop in Wasilla for a few more passengers then didn't stop again until Talkeetna. We had enough time (20 minutes or so) to jump off the train for a quick walk around and a few pictures. The next official stop was for a few more people at Denali but we made 4 "flag stops" for people living along the way from Talkeetna. At Denali we were able to get off the train again for about 15-20 minutes. As soon as we left Anchorage they offered breakfast in the dining car, lunch around noon then dinner about 5 PM. I had a reindeer sausage chili dog with reindeer chili that was pretty awesome for lunch. We had overcast weather and snow here and there but it was still clear enough to see a lot of spectacular scenery. I'd estimate we saw somewhere between 30 & 40 moose along the way - young calves all the way to huge bulls. The last 3 hours it was dark outside and we were unable to see anything else. The train crew were all very friendly and there was enough information announced that we knew when to look for wildlife, particular scenic locations, etc - I think we stopped or slowed way down as we went across the Hurricane Canyon bridge - a few hundred feet drop below us. I would highly recommend this trip - the winter scenery was amazing.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 11:10 pm
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One of the "flag stop" passengers - his snowmobile and sled are sitting off in the distance - above his head in the pic.

Nagley's general store in Talkeetna.

There was a few tight turns where you could see the engines from our car.

The frozen Nenana River near Denali.

Inside of the cafe car - it had snacks and a bar - the dining car didn't have such high ceilings.

Our stop at Denali.
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Old Feb 23, 19, 8:38 am
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For what it's worth (not much) here are a couple of quite old pictures I took on the winter train many years ago. I doubt much has changed.

Pre-departure in Anchorage



Somewhere along the route - near Honolulu I think

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