Railway Convention on Track for Anchorage
Anchorage, Alaska - Sept. 17, 2013 - There's a convention rolling into Anchorage tonight - literally.
More than 300 members of the National Railway Historical Society, the nation's largest rail preservation and historical society, arrive at the Alaska Railroad's Anchorage depot at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, one day before the group convenes for seminars, rail tours and exploration of all facets of Alaska railroading. The society's convention, its first in Alaska, goes through Sept. 22.
Visit Anchorage estimates the convention's economic impact at $633,000.
Two preconvention days in Fairbanks were followed by a two-day trip to Anchorage with an overnight stop at Denali National Park. Of the group's nine days in the two cities, there six days will be spent riding the rails, including trips from Anchorage to Whittier, Spencer Glacier and Seward. The group's rail tours will have a more relaxed schedule than normal Alaska Railroad trains, stopping along the way for photo opportunities.
The rail group will have the opportunity to explore unusual tracks where passengers normally don't ride, such as the Fairbanks to North Pole freight line as well as Anchorage freight and branch lines. They'll visit the Alaska Railroad's shops, operations center and the restoration site of the No. 557 steam locomotive in Wasilla that the Alaska Railroad hopes to use as a special summertime train.
The nonprofit National Railway Historical Society supports train, railway and station preservation projects with hundreds of thousands of dollars awarded I in Heritage Grants as well as education, photographic archives and events.
The NRHS was founded in 1935 by a group of rail historians. It has since grown from 40 founding members to include more than 13,000 men and women of all ages and professions in every state and many foreign countries.
Visit Anchorage's mission is to attract and serve visitors to the Municipality of Anchorage while building and diversifying the Anchorage economy. Visit Anchorage's marketing functions are funded by one-third of the bed tax collected by lodging facilities. One-third goes to the Municipality's general fund, and one-third to service the bond debt and operations of the Anchorage Convention Centers. Visit Anchorage receives no state or federal funds. Visit www.Anchorage.net<http://www.Anchorage.net> for more information.