Alaska Railroad continuing to make repairs following earthquake

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An image of earthquake damage on the Alaska Railroad right-of-way.
Alaska Railroad
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Railroad remains shut down between Anchorage and Fairbanks following a 7.0 earthquake that shook the southern part of the state on Friday.

No one was injured in Friday’s earthquake — or the more than 1,000 aftershocks that have rattled the state since — but it did cause extensive damage and knocked out power to thousands of residents.

On Sunday, trains were moving again between Anchorage and Whittier, spokesperson Tim Sullivan tells Trains. However, rail traffic was still at a standstill north of Anchorage as the railroad continued to repair the tracks between there and Fairbanks. Near Nancy Lake, about 60 miles north of Anchorage, a number of large cracks were discovered along the tracks. The cracks were 2 to 4 feet wide and 100 to 150 feet long.

“Our work crews will continue working tonight and through the day tomorrow to complete the repairs,” Sullivan says. “We are hopeful that freight operations will be able to head north within 48 hours.”

The Anchorage Operations Center suffered “major water damage” after a pipe burst during the earthquake. Trains are being dispatched out of the Anchorage depot until repairs can be made.
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