JUNEAU, Alaska – The Alaska Senate voted unanimously today for a resolution calling on the US to issue a presidential permit permitting a railroad crossing between Alaska and Canada.
"A railroad connecting Alaska with Alberta would boost our state's economy," said Senator Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. "Access to the North American rail system would mean faster and more efficient shipping of goods and lower the cost of living for all Alaskans."
In 1914, the US Congress passed a bill authorizing the construction of up to 1,000 miles of railroad tracks in Alaska territory to connect coastal and inland areas to aid development, rail traffic, and military operations. Just over 500 miles of the Alaska Railroad have been built so far.
In 2004, the 23rd Alaska Legislature authorized the Alaska Railroad Corporation to define a corridor between the existing railway corridor and the Canadian border as well as to investigate an extension of the Alaska Railroad from the border between Alaska and Canada to establish a link with the North American railway system. This connection to Canada and the Lower 48 begins with a border crossing to Canada.
The construction of a railway connecting Alaska with Alberta in Canada would not require government funding.
SJR 11 has passed the Senate 19: 0 and is now on the way to the House of Alaska for consideration.
For more information, please contact Senator Majority Communications Director, Daniel McDonald at (907) 465-4066.