Division of Spill Prevention and Response


White Pass & Yukon Railroad Yard

Incident location map. Summary Date: March 2005 View detailed information from database on this site.arrow
Status: Active Database Name: White Pass & Yukon Railroad Yard
Location: North end of Skagway at the terminus of State Street, Skagway Latitude/Longitude: See database entry
DEC Contaminated Sites Contact: William Janes, Project Manager – 907-465-5208
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site location



The 20-acre White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad maintenance yard has been an active railroad maintenance facility since the early 1900s. The military leased the property from 1942-1945. The roundhouse apparently burned in the late 1960s. Older shop buildings and warehouse facilities were demolished at about the same time. A new diesel maintenance shop was constructed adjacent to the roundhouse area. Other structures include a gas shop, steam shed, and a paint storage building. Drums of hazardous liquids are stored in a covered and fenced concrete containment compound near the diesel shop.


Public Health and Environmental Concerns


Routine equipment maintenance, especially degreasing, released a number of contaminants to soil and groundwater over the years. Two cholorinated solvents, TCE and PCE, were detected in drinking water samples collected in 1983 from the City of Skagway ’s wells downgradient of the site. Since that time, these compounds have been detected consistently in the municipal well. Various field investigations have detected chlorinated hydrocarbons in both soil and groundwater. Other detected contaminants included petroleum hydrocarbons and heavy metals.


Current Status


A major cleanup effort, initiated in 1998, included the excavation and off-site treatment of approximately 15,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil, and the in situ treatment of dredge spoil material that had been placed on the northern portion of the yard. A soil vapor extraction (SVE) system was operated on a seasonal basis between 1999 and 2001 to address dissolved chlorinated solvents and volatile petroleum hydrocarbon compounds. Additional groundwater monitoring and soil vapor surveys were conducted during the fall of 2004. These results have not yet been submitted to DEC; however, in the event that contaminant concentrations show an upward trend it may be necessary to re-instate the soil vapor extraction system.

For more information and updates on this site, please see the database entry--link at top of page.


More Information


  • September 2004 Interim Status Cleanup Report (PDF 11MB)
  • March 2005 Groundwater Monitoring Report (PDF 3MB)