Railroad vs Car Rental

Taking a rail tour or working some type of rail travel into your Alaska trip is relaxing and breathtaking. Many visitors tell us that driving or taking the railroad is what gives them a real feel for the size and wildness of Alaska.


  • Can limit how much the driver can see of the scenery while they are paying attention to the road
  • Does not provide access to two pristine and untouched valleys the railroad travels through: Placer River Valley and along the Susitna drainage
  • Requires some planning since there are few services available in certain areas. As well, rural fuel prices may be significantly higher as demand rises in the summer
  • Requires stopping for restroom breaks and to stretch after sitting for long period

However, an Alaska train trip can have some drawbacks. You may want to consider an Alaska car rental, either one-way or round-trip to your destination.

Railroad Travel

  • Takes more time
  • Is more expensive, particularly for large groups
  • Travel on a set schedule
  • May run late on rare occasions, due to wildlife on the tracks or a scheduling problem
  • Require secondary transportation once you arrive at your destination (courtesy shuttle, taxi, or walking)

Consider the Bus

  • If you are traveling roundtrip, think about taking the train one direction and the Park Connection Motorcoach the other. This can save you time and money and let you see some additional scenery.
  • If you travel traveling between Seward or Whittier and Talkeetna or Denali Park. You can make this trip in a day on the Park Connection Motorcoach but an overnight would be required if traveling by train.


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