Sunday, May 19, 2013

Alaska - Talkeetna to Hurricane

After we left Talkeetna, the land instantly turned remote and barren.  There were many streams and rivers.  A fisherman is in the river, unable to wait for the Spring snow to melt.

 Another Denali siting.
 Most of the passengers have gone downstairs to Level 1 for lunch. I am not hungry because I had the Reindeer Breakfast Burrito for a late breakfast.

 A little train.
 This is a small stop for Curry, Alaska.
248.5 CURRY • Today a ghost town, Curry recalls a bygone era when a rail trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks involved two days of travel and an overnight stay in the now defunct hotel. []

 Doug the Bartender is back to entertain the passengers.
 There were places where the ice is blue.

 Another view of Denali.
 All along the rail you could see solar power and wind power.  Alaska Railroad has installed these units to power signals. The signals are either used to tell a train to take a side track so that it can pass by an oncoming train, or at a crossing to drop the line and flash the signal of an oncoming train. The solar panels generate enough power to run the signals and the wind power is used to charge battery systems that are used when the solar panels don't have sun.  Per the Alaska Railroad website:
Solar and wind generation systems were installed due to the lack of, or prohibitive cost of  getting commercial power to the locations. For instance the cost to get power to Hurricane was  in the neighborhood of $2 million, while cost for a solar installation is between $75,000 and $100,000. In addition to the solar and wind systems in some locations, the Railroad adds a standby diesel or propane generator set for those times when the solar and wind cannot keep up with the demand on the batteries due to cloud cover and/or calm wind conditions. 

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