22nd Alaska State Legislature
Information from Representative Jeannette James (R)
House Majority Leader

Click image for large 5'' x 7'' picture, 97.27k Session:
State Capitol, Room 214
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Toll Free: (800) 565-3742
Phone: (907) 465-3743
Fax: (907) 465-2381

Personal Web Site:

post office:
PO Box 56622
North Pole, AK 99705
Phone: (907) 488-9339
Fax: (907) 488-4271
3340 Badger Road
Beaver Brook Mall, Suite 290
North Pole, AK 99705
Phone: (907) 488-1546

Sponsor Statement for HB 241
Rail and Utility Corridor to Canada

An Act relating to a railroad utility corridor for extension of the Alaska Railroad to Canada and to extension of the Alaska Railroad to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.
Released: April 17, 2001
Contact: Richard Schmitz, Legislative Aide to Rep. Jeannette James,
at (907) 465-3743

If all government-funded employment in Alaska disappeared one day, only a few thousand private sector family-wage jobs would remain. It can be argued Alaska does not have an economy. Rather Alaska has a series of boom and bust cycles tied to the price of, and demand for, natural resources.

Alaska's economic future will be built on improved infrastructure. Connecting Alaska to the rest of North America by rail will benefit the mining, agriculture, tourism, military, manufacturing, and oil and gas sectors of the economy, while reducing the cost of bringing goods to the state as well as exporting our products.

The purpose of House Bill 241 is to begin the process of completing the last transcontinental railroad. Without appropriating funds, HB 241 authorizes the Alaska Railroad to delineate a transportation and utility corridor from existing tracks at Eielson AFB to the Canadian Border. After a survey and full delineation is achieved, state land would be transferred fee simple title.

This bill also authorizes and encourages the Alaska Railroad Corportation. to obtain ownership or a right of way through any other lands, whether federal or private.

HB 241 mandates a 500-foot wide transportation and utility corridor that could allow for pipelines for gas or water as well as electric transmission lines and fiber optic cable. HB 241 allows the Alaska Railroad to use funds it can obtain, such as from federal appropriations or by sale of bonds, to survey and obtain a right of way to the Canadian border.

A separate section of this bill authorizes the Alaska Railroad to investigate extending to Whitehorse, Yukon.

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