Rails to Riches: Historic Railways of Alaska & the Yukon Territory
When the map below was published in 1914, Alaska and the Yukon Territory were in a period of transition from the boom days of the Nome and Klondike gold rushes as well as many smaller rushes. Improving transportation infrastructure also played a large part in changing population centers, and several major railroad projects were in the planning or construction stages.
Of particular note, a survey for what would become the Alaska Railroad was authorized by President Wilson in March 1914, and construction began in 1915 following purchase of the right-of-way of the Alaska Northern Railroad from Seward north. The final spike of the Alaska Railroad was not driven until 1923. Construction of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway began from Valdez but upon reaching Keystone Canyon, work was stopped, and a new route from Katalla, southeast of Cordova, was chosen. The line was finished in 1911, and abandoned in 1939.