Miles Glacier Station

Here’s one of my recent acquisitions – an old glass plate negative clearly showing the two-story station at the Miles Glacier Bridge.  There’s no information with the negative, but the busted windows show that the building hasn’t been used recently.  The lack of overgrowth and generally good alignment of the track structure, however, suggests that this was either very near the end, where trains were infrequent, or shortly after abandonment.

USGS photos in the mid-1950s show the building gone by that point, even though the track was still present.

The other key question would be why such a large structure?  No other CR&NW structure I’ve ever seen was a fully two stories.  The Chitina depot had a second floor, but the second floor was basically the usable portion of the attic under the roof and was thus significantly smaller than the main floor.  My only guess would be that this was a combination station and section house, unlike other locations where the station building and the section house were distinct structures.  Given the notoriously deep snows in the Copper River delta, it could be cut off for weeks at a time.  Also, having everything inside a single structure would be advantageous as you wouldn’t have to dig your way through 10-15 feet of snow to the tool shed, the kitchen, etc.

If anybody has more details about the Miles Glacier station, I’d love to hear them.

Abandoned Miles Glacier Station and bridge

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