Trip to Alaska Reasons: #7 – Drive on the Rails Through A Railroad Tunnel
If you want to visit the town of Whittier, Alaska, you’ll either need to take a trail or a car — but either way, you’ll pass through the same tunnel. The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel displays a uniquely Alaskan solution to a problem — allowing both automobile and railroad traffic to share a narrow, one-lane passageway through a very big mountain.
The Anton Anderson Tunnel claims several titles, including the longest highway tunnel in North America. It was first built as a railroad tunnel, and automobiles were loaded onto rail cars and shuttled through the mountain. In 2000, work was completed on a computerized system that allowed cars and trains to share the same space. Autos drive on the rails – traveling into Whittier on the half-hour, and out on the hour. Car traffic is shut down when trains approach.