Carnival Corp. to acquire White Pass & Yukon

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WPYDL535E104Skagway
DL535E No. 104 leads a train at Skagway in June 2014.
James L. Haney
SKAGWAY, Alaska – Carnival Corp., owners Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, will acquire White Pass & Yukon Route Railway from its owners, TWC Enterprises Ltd. The acquisition includes White Pass’ port, railroad and retail operations in Skagway. The transaction is scheduled to close July 31, 2018.

The 3-foot gauge White Pass & Yukon links Skagway with Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Passengers are ferried by ship through the Port of Skagway to the trains. The railroad began construction in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush. It was completed in 1900 and remained in operation until 1982, carrying significant amounts of ore and concentrates to Skagway to be loaded into ships. With the increasing popularity of cruise ships traveling to Alaska, WP&Y was revived in 1988 as a heritage railway operating excursions between Skagway and White Pass Summit. The active line was extended to Bennett in the 1990s and to Carcross in 2007.

WP&Y equipment includes 20 diesels, 69 restored and replica passenger coaches and two Baldwin steam locomotives: 2-8-0 No. 69 built in 1907 and 2-8-2 No. 73 constructed in 1947.

In addition to the acquisition, Holland America Princess Alaska Tours also executed a memorandum of understanding with Survey Point Holdings Inc., an Alaskan company based in Ketchikan, and several of its affiliated companies. The memorandum will create a joint venture making Survey Point the managing partner of the port, White Pass Scenic Railway, and associated retail operations that Carnival is acquiring from TWC Enterprises. Carnival said the partners plan to make investments that will include expansion of docking facilities to accommodate the newest generation of cruise ships.

The memorandum also outlines that Survey Point, P3 Group and Rail Management Services – an affiliate of Survey Point – will own a majority stake in the company, and Carnival will retain a minority position in the enterprise. Rail Management Services is an affiliate of Survey Point and is the nation’s largest operator of rail terminals. Under the agreement, Survey Point will continue managing White Pass & Yukon’s day-to-day terminal operations and customer relations, the company said.

Carnival’s various cruise lines operate 103 ships visiting over 700 ports around the world, with 18 new ships scheduled for delivery between 2018 and 2023.

For more information on the railroad, go to www.wpyr.com.
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