As Alaska Railroad Begins Winter Service, Effective Maintenance Solutions Become Essential

In Anti-Icing Deicing, Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc., Rail, Rail & Mass Transit, Transportation, Zero Gravity B-Free®, Zero Gravity Third Rail® by Eric Vantiegham

With Alaska Railroad kicking off its 2019-2020 season, key decision-makers will need to invest in the right rail maintenance products to deliver reliable service.

It may be autumn in the lower 48 states, but winter conditions are already blanketing the Alaskan landscape. As snow begins to fall across the state, railroad operators are switching to their winter schedules — Alaska Railroad included. In fact, the passenger rail line just announced that it has started its winter service for the 2019-2020 season.

Alaska Railroad serves destinations ranging from cities such as Anchorage and Fairbanks to natural points of interest such as Denali National Park and Spencer Glacier. Passengers have the option of choosing between two classes of service and can take advantage of dining and lodging opportunities. 

As Alaska Railroad launches its winter schedule, the line’s stakeholders should be considering what investments they need to make to deliver reliable service during the state’s harsh winters. With sophisticated maintenance products — such as rail switch anti-icing and deicing solutions — Alaska Railroad can keep passengers and crew safe while saving money on infrastructure maintenance.

The Winter Schedule

Alaska Railroad’s winter service — known as the Aurora Winter Train — is currently offering northbound service for passengers traveling between Anchorage and Fairbanks on Saturdays. The southbound return trip will be offered the next day, on Sundays. Additionally, passengers can take advantage of departures during the week in November, December, January, and February.

In November, Alaska Railroad will provide northbound service on Tuesday the 26th and southbound service on Wednesday the 27th. The next month, the Aurora Winter Train will go north on December 24th and 31st and south on December 25th and New Year’s Day. 

Forming Statewide Partnerships

This year, Alaska Railroad is forming partnerships with businesses from across the state to offer passengers a new kind of experience. For example, the Aurora Winter Train will work with Big Swig Tours, allowing riders to stop at four local breweries on the way from Talkeetna back to Anchorage.

As Dale Wale, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Service for Alaska Railroad said, “We know the local craft beer scene is of interest to many of our guests, and it’s great to offer another way to experience the Railbelt town Talkeetna.”

Delivering Reliable Service

With the Aurora Winter Train running regularly, there’s never been a better time for Alaska Railroad to invest in the best available rail maintenance products. By protecting their infrastructure from the elements with sophisticated anti-icing and deicing solutions, the company can reduce its overall spend on maintenance while keeping passengers and crew safe.

For railway operators looking to deliver the most reliable service possible, anti-icing and deicing solutions from Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. are a wise investment. Packed snow and switch-jamming ice — two realities for the Aurora Winter Train — can delay rail service and bring operations to a halt. When applied correctly, our cutting-edge anti-icing products can prevent these issues from arising at all and keep trains running smoothly all winter long.

Our innovative line of Zero Gravity switch anti-icers and deicers provide a long-lasting, non-freezable barrier between rail infrastructure and the harshest elements. Whether you’re looking to eliminate the need for manual deicing entirely or find a more effective deicing solution in a pinch, the team at Midwest can help.

Eric Vantiegham is Midwest’s Rail & Transit Specialist. Skilled in product development, new business development, and strategic planning, he enjoys playing ice hockey and coaching his boys' youth teams.