Items of Interest

The Seward-Fairbanks route has been officially selected for the United States government railway in Alaska, setting in motion many plans for the further development of resources in that territory. The property of the Alaska Northern Railway Company from Seward over the first stage of the journey has been purchased for one million one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The government system will include a thirty-eight mile branch to tap the Matanuska coal fields. The estimated cost of the system is given at twenty-six million eight hundred thousand dollars, and Congress provided not to exceed thirty-five million dollars.

Secretary Lane said construction work would be begun at once, and that probably forty miles of the extension of the Alaska Northern from Ship Creek would be completed this year. Construction will be carried on under contract, individual contractors building separate units of roadway. In one of the orders signed by the President, the Alaskan commission was instructed to guard conditions about the men at work and to adopt a system of compensation similar to that in force on the Panama canal.

The interior department statement said in part: "The route adopted is known as the Susitna route, and extends from Seward, on Resurrection bay, to Fairbanks, on the Tanana river, a distance of four hundred and seventy-one miles. It is to be a standard gage road. The Alaska Northern has been purchased for a price less than its physical valuation, as estimated by the Alaskan engineering commission and by the engineers of the interstate commerce commission. Under the contract approved by the President, the road is taken over free from all debt or obligation of any kind."

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A Universal Sermon
April 24, 1915

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