The Alaska railroad plays a huge part in the history of this state. Due to the rugged terrain and the vast amount of distance between one end of the state to another, a way had to be found for people to get around. Along comes the train. In the very early days several companies tried to tame this space.
With the early prospectors building mines and shelter of some sort, they needed some kind of transportation to bring supplies and them to locations. So several companies tried to fill the gaps and created small regional type train service. Today the rail line goes from Seward at the south to Fairbanks at the north.
In some countries rail lines are used differently than it is in Alaska. This same route is used for passengers and freight with rail spurs to allow multi use without problems.
Some of the most dramatic places on the rail line are those bridges over the many rivers in Alaska and provide beautiful places for that photo opportunity. Some of the original bridges are still in use and are inspected on a daily basis in the summer and a little less frequently in winter. The rail line has mile markers to assist in a variety of ways. There is a book that tells the history of the railroad based on mileposts.
Some of the trains have dome cars to provide a full view of the wonderful views along the train route. In the summer the passenger trains also have a snack bar as well as full service dining, which is a wonderful treat as you are traveling. If you have the time this should be a consideration to travel, it really is wonderful.