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Alaska Railroad reports 94% decline in ridership in 2020

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Alaska Railroad has reported that ridership fell by about 94% between 2019 and 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While 522,000 people rode the Alaska Railroad in 2019, only 32,000 people rode it last year, prompting a loss of about $8 million for the state-owned company, Alaska’s News Source reported Saturday.

The railroad also moved 26% less freight in 2020 compared to 2019.

A railroad spokesman, Tim Sullivan, expressed optimism that there will be more riders and freight this summer as vaccination rates increase and tourism rises.

“We are on the bucket list of a lot of people,“ Sullivan said. “You see all the time when people say they’re coming to Alaska, one of the things they want to do is be on the Alaska Railroad.”

The railroad’s main route main route stretches from Seward to Fairbanks and has a stop in Anchorage.
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