If it flies, floats, has wheels or a crawler track, and is unique, chances are you’ll find it at the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry. In the museum building, I found a radio range transmitter that was used for the first instrument pilots back in the day, antique typewriters, phones, a cream separator, early snow machines and motorized toboggans. Two general aviation planes hung from the ceiling, and there were some antique cars and trucks inside. Outside are several Alaska Railroad consists. One has the passenger cars set up as a museum in its own right consisting of early equipment used on the railroad.
Also outside is an assortment of antique firetrucks, buses, ambulances, tractors, hearses, and a Chrysler Fairmont Hy-Rail that was customized from the factory to be run on a standard gauge railroad track as well as roads. I also found a small railroadable bus, several aircraft and a group of ancient snowmachines that would be perfect to use in a “wood dog” race. Yes, most of these old snowmachines were made out of wood and probably did not go very fast.
The museum was well worth the $8 admission, which includes a free souvenir magnet. I bought some postcards, which I ended up never mailing out – you’re kind of supposed to mail postcards from the place you’re visiting.
I saw a Revell HO scale Transrapid 07 maglev and wanted to snatch it up but the box was huge and I was not going to try to put it in a checked bag and risk it being destroyed. I put the model back, but I broke down and returned to the museum on August 26 to buy it. The $15 model ultimately cost me $56 to ship, but it was worth it. Revell does not make these anymore and this was a rare find. I just saw one on eBay that sold for $99 without shipping, so even with the high cost of shipping mine, I am ahead of the game. I maintain a collection of model planes, buildings I have visited, and pile drivers up in my home office – a mini transportation and industry museum in other words.
After visiting the museum, I returned to the Lake Lucille Bed and Breakfast and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening working on the US for Palin Alaska Tourism survey.
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