September 27, 2006
SKAGWAY, AK – The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad (WP&YR) proudly announced today it has ended the 2006 season with a new annual ridership record of 431,249 revenue passengers — breaking last year’s record of 430,037.
Gary C. Danielson, President of the WP&YR stated that, “The team at White Pass achieved its fourth consecutive annual historic milestone by delivering on our goal of “making a difference”. This feat was achieved despite fewer cruise ship dockings than the previous year; an avalanche that caused two days of interrupted service and 3 ship cancellations due to mechanical difficulties. “I’m proud of the cumulative efforts of our employees to innovate, adapt and respond – this accomplishment defied a particularly challenging year!”
Steam locomotive No.69 entered service late in the season. No.69 is a Baldwin 2-8-0 and was originally built for the White Pass in 1907. It will complement No.73 in scheduled service and in an enhanced steam charter program for 2007.
Danielson added, “The investment in the extension to the Broadway dock enabled White Pass to accept the new, longer ships like the Holland America Line’s Zuiderdam this year. For 2007, the Broadway dock will cater to larger ships from Norwegian Cruise Line as well.”
The forecast for 2007 calls for an increase in cruise capacity into the Alaskan market. The WP&YR has already announced the return of scheduled service to Carcross, Yukon for 2007. The WP&YR will be investing in 5 new passenger coaches and the restoration of 5 wooden coaches this winter to meet the demand of the Carcross program.
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 is Alaska’s most popular shore excursion and North America’s busiest tourist railroad.
Gary C. Danielson
Phone: (907) 983-2214
Fax: (907) 983-2017