Alaska railroad?

Mar 29th, 2013, 11:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Alaska railroad?

Let me first say that I am an Ohio transplant to Alaska. I have lived in Alaska for 12 years. This coming summer (7-01-13) my brother and uncle are coming to Alaska to visit. We are looking at an Alaska railroad trip from Anchorage to Denali and I want a honest opion on Alaska Railroad trips. Is there a considerable difference between "goldstar service" and "adventure class"? The price difference is $170.00 per person; round trip. Thoughts? I really only want responses from those who have traveled on the Alaska Railroad.

Thanks in advance Rob
robert6715 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 12:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I don't recall what they are labeled, but I don't think the more expensive option is far superior to regular service and I would not take it on a future trip to Alaska.

I took the most expensive trip, with the glass domes, from Fairbanks to Denali, then from Denali to Talkeetna. On the first leg, there was "white glove" service with hostesses and a free glass of champagne and the car was pretty empty -- which was nice.

On the leg between Denali and Talkeetna, I was put in a car with a mob of passengers from a cruise ship, which was an annoyance, since there was a group leader frequently addressing the group and it was not very quiet or relaxing. I wound up spending most of my time on the lower outdoor deck, from which there were great views and photo ops.

The train between Seward and Anchorage, which I know you are not taking, only offers regular service and IMO, it was just as good as the more expensive trains.

The seats are more than comfortable and the views were open and just fine, and the regular trains also have outdoor decks with excellent viewing.

As I said, I would not spend the extra money the next time I go.
panecott is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 12:55 PM
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Honestly? Drive.
Gardyloo is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 12:58 PM
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Can only comment on the Anchorage to Seward trip. Have done it twice and highly recommend it.
charsuzan is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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The goldstar service is just a dome top car which gives you better views, but not sure about service differences. The adventure class is just a basic train car with picture windows. I would check with other operators (holland america, grey line of alaska etc) and see what their rates are for dome cars. I've only been on the dome cars, so I can't compare, but it does make for nice views and it's easier to see out both sides of the train than what you would get on a standard train car.
AlaskaLookingGlass is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 06:37 PM
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Just wanted to let you know that the Toursaver book, has some 2 for 1 deals for the Alaska Railroad. Anchorage to Talkeetna is one.

I have always heard that the Anchorage to Seward train ride is the most scenic. A 2 for 1 is also in the book.

If you end up driving, you could stay in Healy, the owner of Earth Song Lodge in Healy is from Canton, Ohio.

It was recommended that as soon as you get your dates scheduled that you book your seats on the shuttle bus into Denali. We booked the shuttle to Wonder Lake but will only go that far if the mountain is out. We are hoping....
LindainOhio is offline  
Jul 28th, 2014, 01:03 AM
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Perhaps my travelogue will give a few answers. Here's the address:
Woodcut60 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2014, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 114
I have only done the goldstar - twice - it is good but if you have seen a lot of Alaska already - I would probably save the money. If your brother has never been to Alaska and done the train I would recommend you treat him to the Goldstar service.
ronko is offline  
Jul 28th, 2014, 08:05 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561

The reason is that on the Anchorage-Seward route, the train follows the coastal road out of Anchorage. The first hour of the ride is all inlets and bays and mountains and woods and birds and potentially water mammals.

The rid to Denali is really long - about 2 to 2.5 hours longer than the car trip and that makes any dead spots even worse.
BigRuss is offline  
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