September 27, 2004
White Pass & Yukon Route Makes History with a Record 2004 Year
SKAGWAY, AK – The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad (WP&YR) proudly announced today it has ended the 2004 season with a new annual ridership record of 404,722 revenue passengers — breaking last year’s record of 348,559.
Gary Danielson, President of the WP&YR stated that, “This historic accomplishment is testament to the team at White Pass and their desire to ‘exceed the expectations’. Doing more while still ensuring safety, service and efficiency wasn’t without its challenges – we worked hard to earn that record!”
The investment in eight new coaches for the 2004 season provided the additional capacity to meet demand. Engine 96, a 90 class GE diesel locomotive, was returned to service after three decades of being cannibalized for parts. Last year’s daily ridership record was broken 12 times in 2004.
In May 2005, White Pass expects to take delivery of steam locomotive No.69, a 1907 Baldwin that was the largest steam locomotive ever built for the WP&YR. Snapshots of the 2 year restoration project can be seen on the company’s website at www.wpyr.com/railfancorner/engine69.html.
Danielson added, “For 2005, we’re expecting more modest growth because we’re up against capacity yet again! We’ve got exciting plans for an enhanced steam program, expanded charter service and development of Carcross as a destination for 2006.”
The White Pass & Yukon Route narrow gauge railway was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush and is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark – a designation shared with the Panama Canal, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. The WP&YR railroad is Alaska’s most popular shore excursion.