The White Pass and Yukon Route Railway
From sea level at Skagway, the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway climbs 2,885 feet to White Pass summit in only 20 miles of track, one of the steepest railroads in the world. Of its entire 110 miles of track, 20 miles are in Alaska, 32 miles in British Columbia and 58 miles in Yukon Territory. This great engineering feat was completed in the 26 months between May 28, 1898 and July 29, 1900. The railroad construction employed approximately 35,000 workers, 2000 being the most employed at any one time. The total cost was approximately $10 million, with not a single dollar coming from any government aid. The operation of the new railroad rendered the Chillkoot Trail and its aerial tramways obsolete. The railroad carried thousands of prospectors to the Klondike gold fields in relative comfort, despite the fact that by the time it was completed the great stampede was already over and the immediate need for a railroad had passed.
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