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Railroad traffic still stalled as Talkeetna flooding recedes

An ice jam on Saturday led to flooding and large chunks of ice on the railroad tracks north of Talkeetna. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska Railroad)

Flooding that halted Alaska Railroad trains north of Talkeetna Saturday, has receded, but train traffic remains shut down.

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Railroad spokesman Tim Sullivan says that’s because the Susitna River ice jam flooding left behind a mess.

“A six- to eight-foot-high wall of ice over the course of well over 1,000 feet, maybe close to half a mile of ice that we need to get cleared out of there,” Sullivan said. “And in some places it has pushed the track off the track as far as 25 feet, so our crews are working to get the ice out of there and get the track back on the track bed.”

Sullivan says the impacted track is in the Curry area, about 22 miles north of Talkeetna. He says the railroad’s final winter season trains were halted by the flooding Saturday, and buses were used to move the passengers. He says the goal is to complete cleanup and repairs in time for Wednesday’s scheduled start of the railroad’s daily summer passenger service between Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks.

”This window is something we’re gonna try to take as much advantage of as we possibly can,” Sullivan said. “And get those tracks cleared up and everything back into good shape so we can have our service going on Wednesday.”

Sullivan says some cargo scheduled for transport has been shifted to truck.

Source: pps Alaska

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