White Pass and Yukon Railway - Carcross, Yukon Territory
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
N 60° 09.891 W 134° 42.355
8V E 516321 N 6669806
Quick Description: This engineering landmark plaque from the American and Canadian Society of Civil Engineers is located in front of the White Pass and Yukon Route Complex, on Dawson Charlie Street, in Carcross, Yukon Territory.
Location: Yukon Territory, Canada
Date Posted: 6/30/2020 6:03:51 PM
Waymark Code: WM12Q6E
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member QuesterMark
Views: 0

Long Description:
Inscription on the plaque:

White Pass and Yukon Railway
Completed in 1900
A tribute to the American
and Canadian engineers who
conceived, designed and
constructed the 110 mile narrow
Gauge railway to develop the
Yukon Gold Fields. The railway
has since provided a major
transportation link with the Yukon.

September 1994

American Society of Civil Engineers
Canadian Society of Civil engineers

"White Pass and Yukon Railway
Skagway, Alaska, United States
to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
Completed 1900

"It is no disparagement to other mountain railroads to say that the construction of the White Pass & Yukon is among the most brilliant feats of railroad engineering, in view of the tremendous difficulties to be encountered and the shortness of time in which the work was done."
- Victoria Colonist, British Columbia, 1990

Combining British financing, American engineering, and Canadian contracting, the White Pass and Yukon was the first major civil engineering project on the continent above the 60th degree of northern latitude. Completed in 27 months using only hand tools, black powder, and regional timber, the White Pass and Yukon rises almost 2,900 feet from sea level at the port of Skagway to the White Pass summit on the U.S.-Canada border in just 20 miles, accomplishing one of the steepest climbs of any railroad in the world.

Built for approximately $10 million to promote the Klondike Gold Rush around the turn of the century, the 110-mile narrow-gauge railway remained an important part of the mining industry - transporting gold, silver, copper and lead ore from Canadian mines across the coastal mountain range to Alaskan ports - until it was closed during a period of low metal prices in 1982. The railway found new life six years later as a thriving excursion line serving the cruise-ship industry.


The White Pass and Yukon follows a path originally laid out by George Brackett, a former construction engineer on the Northern Pacific Railroad who built a 12-mile toll road into the mountains in 1897. Brackett's right-of-way was purchased in 1898 by the White Pass and Yukon for $60,000.
At the height of its operations, the White Pass and Yukon also ran passenger and freight docks at the port of Skagway, a fleet of Yukon River steamboats, a passenger-bus service north of Whitehorse, a frontier airline, and several hotels.

During World War II, the railway played an essential role in transporting laborers and materials to build the 1,520-mile-long Alaska Highway, considered an essential transportation link for troops and equipment to Alaska and northwest Canada during World War II."

Reference: (visit link)

Inscription on a plaque next to the American and Canadian Civil Engineering plaque:

White Pass and Yukon Route
"The Golden Spike"

Construction of the White and Yukon Railway began on May 27, 1898 at Skagway Alaska, during the height of the Great Klondike Gold Rush.

Undaunted by those who said the railway could not be built, a small group of devoted White Passers composed of contractor Michael J. Heney, chief engineer "E.C." Hawkins, assistant chief engineer John Hislop and the railway's first president Samuel H. Graves pushed the work to completion. After over coming almost insurmountable construction problems, the last rail was laid at this spot on July 29th, 1900. On that day "The Golden Spike" was set in place and with a cheering boisterous crowd of Alaskans and Yukoners in attendance, Samuel H. Graves drove it home, the job was done.

To the thousands of men who fave their strength and talents to the construction and the White Pass and Yukon railway, this plaque is respectfully dedicated on the 65th anniversary of the With Pass and Yukon's "Golden Spike".

July 29, 1965 Carcross, Yukon
Dawson Charlier Street, Carcross, Yukon Territory

Type of structure/site: Railway

Date of Construction: 1900

Engineer/Architect/Builder etc.: Michael J. Heney - Chief Engineer

Engineering Organization Listing: American Society of Civil Engineers

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Web Site: [Web Link]

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