Railway to hell

The White Pass & Yukon Route is called the ‘scenic railway of the world’ – and for very good reason. Operated since 1898, this extraordinary narrow gauge rail route was built in response to the Klondike Gold Rush at the end of the 19th Century. Many thousands of men and horses, and a handful of women, had perished on the treacherous Chilkoot and White Pass trails so in 1898 Michael J. Heny began creating the ‘railway to hell’. Today this two-three hour journey through the mountains and meadows is far from hell. In fact this trip is one of the best a rail buff could wish for. Most days a diesel train is in service, but steam buffs can travel Fridays and Sundays for the full historic experience. If you board in Fraser in Canada’s Yukon, you will disembark in Skagway, Alaska, USA. Remember passports, temporary visas and $US will all be necessary. Skagway is a pretty little community at the head of the Taiya Inlet on the Discovery Passage where many cruise ships call. Budget an hour or two to shop or dine in one of the excellent water front restaurants.

For more information or to book a train journey, visit Railplus.

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