Additional Capacity and Events Added to 2013 NRHS Convention


Ticket sales continue to be strong, but it’s not too late to join the 2013 National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) convention in Alaska, featuring rare train rides through spectacular scenery and unique tours of museums and attractions. 

 As of mid-April, over 275 registrants have purchased tickets for both the 2013 NRHS Convention in Anchorage and pre-convention activities in Fairbanks. All trains and events are confirmed to operate and NRHS continues to add capacity as we are able.

The convention will begin with a “pre-convention” of activities in Fairbanks, followed by a two-day train trip to Anchorage where the main event will begin. Anchorage trains on Sept. 19-21 will feature premium “Gold Star” service on Alaska full-length dome cars with open-air viewing platforms, lower-level dining space and elevators between floors.

As of mid-April, NRHS has coach seating (in comfortable long-distance cars with air conditioning) available on all trains. Gold Star service is still available on the three Anchorage-based trains on September 19, 20 and 21. Traditional dome car seating is sold out on all six Alaska Railroad excursion trains, as is the premium Aurora car on the September 19 Seward train. Visit our convention page for a full registration package, online ticketing, or to sign up for our mailing list.

Convention trains include:

- A roundtrip excursion from Fairbanks to the community of North Pole, traveling via freight-only trackage. (September 15)

 - A two-day train trip from Fairbanks to Anchorage through rugged mountain scenery, with an overnight stop in Denali Park. Fifty rooms have been added to the Denali Park hotel in response to high demand. (September 16-17)

- A one-day roundtrip from Anchorage to the port town of Seward, featuring mountain grades, tunnels, glaciers, and rivers. (September 19)

- A tour of the Alaska Railroad’s Anchorage terminal area via several routes that rarely see passenger service, including a trip into the Mat-Su Valley. (September 20)

- A roundtrip special from Anchorage to the old military port town of Whittier and a side trip to Spencer. The day includes a ride through the Anton Anderson tunnel, the longest rail and highway tunnel in North America. A second Gold Star full-length dome has been added. (September 21)

Included are numerous stops for photos and to visit historic sites. All registrants will receive a 100-page commemorative book that covers the history of the Alaska Railroad and also serves as a mile-by-mile route guide.

Whether you are an experienced Alaska traveler or it’s your first visit, this is a rare opportunity to combine tourism and train travel. September is usually peak fall color season, temperatures are cool but pleasant and snow is starting to appear atop the mountains.

The convention is timed for the September “shoulder season,” when Alaska is less crowded and prices are more economical than during the peak summer period. NRHS has arranged attractive discounts to encourage individual tourism.



NRHS recently added 50 hotel rooms to our block at the McKinley Chalet Resort in Denali Park for the stopover of the two-day Fairbanks to Anchorage special train.

Just announced in mid-April are two additional tour offerings. For those who want to make independent visits to the White Pass & Yukon Railroad before the convention, NRHS will operate a one-way bus trip from Skagway to Fairbanks on September 10-12. The package will include transportation with an experienced driver/guide and two hotel stays en route. On Wednesday, September 18, NRHS has added a bus trip to the Portage area to visit the famous Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and the Alyeska Resort, with its mountain-climbing aerial tram. Both new tours require a minimum patronage to assure operation.

NRHS has also finalized arrangements for deeply-discounted rental car rates with Avis Alaska for the entire month of September. Download our registration package for more details.

The tours to the Alaska Railroad shops and operations center on September 18 are filled, but NRHS will also offer an interesting program of historical seminars that day, as well as the recently-announced Portage-area tour. Wait lists have been set up for all sold-out events.

NRHS urges everyone to make their hotel reservations and ticket orders as soon as possible while a wide selection of events is still available. Watch for more updates on and our Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of Frank Keller.