The Alaska-Canadian Exchange
Railway System: ALCANEX
The ALCANEX-Alaska-Canadian Extension Railway System-is based on a 120+ year-old proposal that would connect the American stateside railroad system with the Alaska Railroad and continue on to Nome where an 88 mile bridge or tunnel would cross the Bering Sea to tie in with the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
Thus this model line features a variety of western-USA & Canadian railroad road names, past, present, and proposed, such as the Great Northern, the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe, the Milwaukee Road, the Northern Pacific, AmTrak, Canadian Pacific & Canadian National, and the Alaska Railroad plus the W Pass and the Copper River & Northwestern Railway (CR&NW)--and the soon-to-come A2A--Alaska to Alberta Railway under our ALCANEX system.
The project began overhead in the CRD building in 1999, running along the inside walls of the bar. In 2000, the Kennecott model structure was built to house a model of the northern end of the Kennecott Copper mill town (abandoned in 1938) and was tied in to the bar line in 2001, thus making this the first and only publicly-accessible outdoor model railroad of this scale to be located this far north anywhere in the world.
Shown below: CP & BC Rail Dash 9s on the overhead rail inside the
Copper Rail Depot bar. All of the roughly three dozen engines are powered by battery and controlled remotely. There is no power in the tracks due to the size and complexity of the system. During the winter, the locomotives park on these overhead rails, waiting in the cold of winter for yet another summer season. Most of the diesels on this layout are Dash-9s, originally by Aristocraft, but now taken over by Bachmann Industries. These are very large, impressive engines. The three AKRR diesels are SD-Mac 70s. There are two other SD-Mac 70s: a CP and a CN. The other CN & CPs are Dash 9s.
A rail extension into Alaska opens the door for the long-awaited and planned Bering Straits tunnel to Siberia. And thence to the rest of the world except for the continents of Australia & Antarctica.
On the map is a proposed extension into the Copper Valley
(purple line). This connects the original CR&NW Ry to the AKRR and the entire world !
In the years 2006 thru 2016, we extended the line well beyond the original Chitina Local Branch of the CR&NW Railway that ran through the enclosed beer garden to the Kennecott model layout and back. This is mostly elevated line with an average above ground height of 7 feet.
We also added the Cicely Town layout based on that fictional rural Alaska town from the 1990s TV series "Northern Exposure." This new area and destination became the Great Northern Mainline, now called the ALCANEX line.
The AKRR pulling a long line of NASCAR trailers along the upper elevated rail line just past the
Cicely Town layout, which is the focal point of the expanded modern model railway system. These are SD-Mac 70 engines made by USA Trains.
ABOVE: Scenes from the Cicely Town Layout. Prominent is the Brick Tavern where many Northern Exposure episode scenes were shot in the 1990s.
BELOW: A BNSF consist crosses a 12 foot model of the steel bridge originally designed but never constructed to cross the Copper River just north of Chitina on the CR&NW Railway.