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Alaska Railroad winter season ramps up with additional departures, hotel special and new tours

Alaska Railroad offers midweek departures, hotel special + new tours

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Railroad’s winter service season is about to get busier as additional midweek departures begin mid-February. There is also a new air, hotel and rail special for guests traveling to Fairbanks, and if that wasn’t enough, passengers can also pair their ride on the Aurora Winter Train with three new winter tours operated by Salmon Berry Travel and Tours. 


For guests traveling to Fairbanks, the Bridgewater Special begins with a flight to Fairbanks where guests can spend the day exploring the city and the night chasing the northern lights before overnighting at the Bridgewater Hotel. The following day, travelers will depart Fairbanks on the Aurora Winter Train traveling south to Anchorage. Peak season pricing runs until April 5, with value season pricing offered April 6 – May 5.


“This is an exciting winter to travel in Alaska,” said Dale Wade, vice president of marketing and customer service. “With the chance to chase the northern lights, more add-on excursions to pair with a train ride and midweek departures, travelers can explore Alaska in so many different ways with our customizable travel options.” 


Out of Anchorage, a ride on the Aurora Winter Train can be bundled with three new tours – Matanuska Glacier Tour, Turnagain Turn Tour or Wildlife Guided Tour.

  • The Matanuska Glacier Tour brings guests on a guided tour of one of Alaska’s most popular attractions, the Matanuska Glacier. The tour includes multiple stops at stunning viewpoints on the way to the glacier, but the highlight is the glacier itself, a four-mile wide, 27-mile-long river ice giant tucked away into the Chugach Mountains. 
  • Next, the Wildlife Guided Tour is focused on learning about Alaska’s unique animals with a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. This half-day excursion also includes stops along Turnagain Arm photo opportunities and chances to view glaciers and rugged mountains. 
  • Rounding out the new offerings, the Turnagain Turn Tour offers an aerial tram ride up Mount Alyeska, lunch in Girdwood and a 90-minute visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, with ample time to stop for photos. 


The journey onboard the Aurora Winter Train is just as special as the destinations where it travels. Passengers can experience the best of winter from their comfortable seats, peer through large picture windows and even dine on dishes that highlight local ingredients in each meal. A local guide also narrates areas of interest on the way and signals for wildlife sightings as the train travels.


The Aurora Winter Train operates weekends between Anchorage and Fairbanks with stops in between. Additional midweek departures are added in peak winter travel season with the train traveling north from Anchorage on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then south from Fairbanks on Wednesdays and Fridays. The full Aurora Winter Train schedule can be found on the Alaska Railroad’s website. 


Travelers can contact the railroad’s reservations team at [email protected] to create a fully customized experience. For more information about what to expect when traveling onboard the Alaska Railroad, visit