Riding the Coastal Classic to Seward, AK

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Is there anything more evocative of childhood fantasies than a train ride? 
Well yes, of course there are, and Alaska has lots of them: bears, wolves, icebergs, igloos, dogsleds, whales, snow covered mountains, gold, glaciers. But one day we chose to indulge the train fantasy and take a very special Goldstar Service ride on the Coastal Classic to Seward.
“All Aboard!” They actually said that as we spilled out of the crowded depot onto the tracks and searched for our designated rail cars. We’re heading for that double decker car straight ahead.
Once inside we got a glimpse of the doors to the dining car, before making our way up the tiled half- spiral staircase to the upper observatory deck. Oh boy.

With the Gold Star Service we had assigned seats in this grand glass domed car for the whole ride.

The train left Anchorage via the coast along Cook Inlet, giving us the most attractive perspective of the city that we’d had thus far. Then it turned east along Turnagain Arm, a long salt water inlet named by an early explorer for the many turns his ship made as he unsuccessfully attempted to navigate its shallow waters and mud flats.  
Turnagain Arm is famous for one of the most dramatic bore tide…