This was mine - notice the clear dome on the top and all windows on the side. Like I said you sat upstairs and had a clear view where ever you looked. Below were the dining cars - they served two meals if you were interested. Complete with tablecloth and linens. Sometimes you sat with someone and sometimes you sat alone - I guess depending on how many people wanted to eat at a time. Met some travelers from other cities in the US on the train. Everyone was pretty friendly. They had a souvenir shop too.
The views were spectacular. Passed Wasilla where Sarah Palin lived. They like her a lot there. The guide told us stories from beginning to end. My son went five years ago on the Alaskan Railroad and there was no guide and no stories. Another difference.It took 8 hours to get into Denali. Actually it took me right up to Denali National Park. The only way to get into Denali National Park itself was to be taken in by bus from the train. You cannot drive a car into Denali National Park. The park is seasonal and stays open from about April to September. When it does close they give 350 people (via a lottery) from Alaska the opportunity to drive through it before it closes totally up for the winter.
They do have dog sleds in the park all winter long - looking for poachers. The number one thing I have found there - is the love people have for their sites and their animals.
I have a friend from NC and she said it seemed as if I feel in love with Alaska. I did. I have another friend from California (we all started in Chicago) who went to Alaska last year and when I asked her if she felt the same she said, "Yes!" I'm not alone I can assure you.
Okay my son, daughter in law, and me - we looked at my pictures. It brought back memories for them. Now they went on their own, but camped out and did hostels. I went the 'nice' way. So it ended up that I got a lot more stories and inside information and facts with my guided way (and I had some great guides) then they did on their own. My daughter says I'm like a walking encycolpedia.
I'm just trying not to forget.