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Portrait of the Alaska Railroad Paperback – May 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 93 pages
  • Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882405527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882405520
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,134,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Corral is the photographer for My Denali and A Child's Glacier Bay.

More About the Author

Kaylene Johnson is author of five books about Alaska and the people who live there. Her books include Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned the Political Establishment Upside Down; Trails Across Time: History of an Alaska Mountain Corridor; Portrait of the Alaska Railroad and the memoir A Tender Distance: Adventures Raising My Son in Alaska. Her award-winning articles and essays have appeared in the Louisville Review, LA Times, and other publications . She received a B.A. from Vermont College and holds an M.F.A. in writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Townsend on February 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Portrait of the Alaska Railroad takes readers on an adventurous journey through the diverse terraine and communities that span the 470+ miles of tracks from Seward to Fairbanks, Alaska. Kaylene Johnson's prose is both captivating and informative, enabling the reader to imagine her or himself rocking to the gentle rhythm of the train while gazing out the railcar windows to see moose, fox, caribou, and bear. Johnson writes: "The fragrance of fireweed and rain-washed raspberries wafts up along the tracks in the Kenai Mountains. Later in the year, cranberry bushes turn crimson and the scent of autumn signals the season's change. In winter, the air smells like crisp, fresh bedsheets hung outside to dry."
Readers insterested in information about the history of the Alaska railroad, wilderness access along the rail line, wildlife, native peoples, commerce, communities, and working trains will find this book an invaluable resource. Websites are noted that will supply additional information of interest to the reader.
Full-page photographs complement Johnson's prose making it possible to feel as if one has captured the experience of riding the rails and seeing the Alaskan wilderness and towns along its route firsthand. Roy Corral's photography is truly stunning, from pictures of the city lights of Anchorage framed against the Chugach Mountains to Caribou grazing in a meadow in Denali National park. Photographs chronicle the life of a working train, communities along the track, and interesting people whose lives are supported by rail service. Corral's photographs coupled with Johnson's prose makes Portrait of the Alaska Railroad a great coffee table book. Inserts supply interesting information that can be read in a couple of minutes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Kruse on March 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've lived in Alaska for 27 years and have entertained many visitors. So, I decided to pick up a copy of Portrait of the Alaska Railroad for a relative who has enjoyed riding the train. Then I decided to get a copy for myself. The book describes in excellent detail the history and current workings of our railroad, and the photos are terrific! Author Kaylene Johnson's outstanding research makes this a book packed with information. Yet it reads like a fascinating story, not some dry history book. I've read a lot about the Alaska Railroad, but in this book, I found tidbits of information I'd never heard.
A must for railroad buffs and anybody planning to make a trip north.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who has spent many hours searching through boxes and files of Alaska Railroad records, I can tell you that this is a must read for anyone interested in railroad history, especially in Alaska. Filled with photographs and interesting narrative, this book gives you a brief yet accurate overview of the building of the only railroad at the time build and run by the U.S. Government. Highly recommended.
-- Doug Capra
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a nutshell, this book ;provides a whole lot of insights and details of the building of the amazing Alaska Railroad.
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