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Alaska Railroad Northern Lights train
Photograph: Kerry Tasker

Gaze at the Northern Lights on this epic Alaska rail journey

The 350-mile Alaska Railroad route takes in vast forests, snowy mountains – and the aurora borealis

Sophie Dickinson
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Sophie Dickinson
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The best way to bask in the drama of the Alaskan wilderness? Unless you’re a seasoned trekker, that would be the train. Comfort, warmth, the ability to cover vast stretches of terrain, fast: tick-tick-tick.

So, want to know the best railway journey in this remotest of territories? Try the Alaska Railroad: a 350-mile route that takes around 12 hours, sweeping through snowy mountains and vast forests along the way. But the real highlight? There’s a very good chance you’ll also be able to see the Northern Lights, too. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Until now, the train only ran on weekends. But from February, a new midweek service will also whisk travellers all the way across the state. As evening descends, the aurora borealis should be visible.

The route starts in Anchorage, and stops off in Wasilia and Talkeetna, before winding up in Fairbanks. You can either do it over the course of one day ($315, £233), overnight ($289, £213) or over six days ($1,545, £1,140) – the latter include accommodation. Sound like the perfect post-panny rail trip? Find out more about the Alaska Railroad here.

Looking for places to stay while you’re there? Sleep under the Northern Lights at these wholesome ‘warm igloos’ in Alaska.

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