WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board announced it has granted the request of the Alaska Railroad Corp. (ARRC, a state-owned railroad) to construct and operate a new, 80-mile railroad line—the Northern Rail Extension—in the State of Alaska, subject to extensive environmental-mitigation conditions.
After considering the entire public record before it, including both the transportation aspects of ARRC’s proposal and potential environmental issues, the Board was satisfied that the proposed line would provide reliable, year-round freight and passenger service to the region south of North Pole, Alaska; access to training areas used by the United States
military; and an alternative to the Richardson Highway, now the sole means for surface transportation of commercial
freight in the proposed project area.
The Board was also satisfied that the proposal would foster development of Alaska’s economy by expanding ARRC’s
passenger and freight network to an area currently without rail service.