Stretching over 500 miles of wilderness, cutting through dense forest and plowing into thick snow, lies the Alaskan Railroad. This October, Destination America makes a return trip through the Last Frontier with a second season of "Railroad Alaska", chronicling everyday challenges faced by isolated homesteaders living along Alaska's critical railway. The series follows an elite crew who tirelessly work to keep the train rolling 365 days a year in order to deliver life-sustaining supplies to Americans living off the grid and miles away from civilization. With dedication, tenacity and a bit of grit, these Alaskans have truly mastered the splendor of living life on the track.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Railroad Alaska - Alaska - Netflix
Alaska ( ( listen)) (Aleut: Alax̂sxax̂) (Inupiaq: Alaskaq) is a U.S. state located in the northwest extremity of North America. The Canadian administrative divisions of British Columbia and Yukon border the state to the east, its most extreme western part is Attu Island, and it has a maritime border with Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas–the southern parts of the Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest. It is the largest state in the United States by area and the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the 3rd least populous and the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States; nevertheless, it is by far the most populous territory located mostly north of the 60th parallel in North America, its population (the total estimated at 738,432 by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2015) more than quadrupling the combined populations of Northern Canada and Greenland. Approximately half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, and oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. Military bases and tourism are also a significant part of the economy. The United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U.S. dollars at approximately two cents per acre ($4.74/km2). The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912. It was admitted as the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959.
Railroad Alaska - Permanent Fund - Netflix
The Alaska Permanent Fund is a constitutionally authorized appropriation of oil revenues, established by voters in 1976 to manage a surplus in state petroleum revenues from oil, largely in anticipation of the then recently constructed Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. The fund was originally proposed by Governor Keith Miller on the eve of the 1969 Prudhoe Bay lease sale, out of fear that the legislature would spend the entire proceeds of the sale (which amounted to $900 million) at once. It was later championed by Governor Jay Hammond and Kenai state representative Hugh Malone. It has served as an attractive political prospect ever since, diverting revenues which would normally be deposited into the general fund. The Alaska Constitution was written so as to discourage dedicating state funds for a particular purpose. The Permanent Fund has become the rare exception to this, mostly due to the political climate of distrust existing during the time of its creation. From its initial principal of $734,000, the fund has grown to $50 billion as a result of oil royalties and capital investment programs. Most if not all the principal is invested conservatively outside Alaska. This has led to frequent calls by Alaskan politicians for the Fund to make investments within Alaska, though such a stance has never gained momentum. Starting in 1982, dividends from the fund's annual growth have been paid out each year to eligible Alaskans, ranging from an initial $1,000 in 1982 (equal to three years' payout, as the distribution of payments was held up in a lawsuit over the distribution scheme) to $3,269 in 2008 (which included a one-time $1,200 “Resource Rebate”). Every year, the state legislature takes out 8% from the earnings, puts 3% back into the principal for inflation proofing, and the remaining 5% is distributed to all qualifying Alaskans. To qualify for the Permanent Fund Dividend, one must have lived in the state for a minimum of 12 months, maintain constant residency subject to allowable absences, and not be subject to court judgments or criminal convictions which fall under various disqualifying classifications or may subject the payment amount to civil garnishment. The Permanent Fund is often considered to be one of the leading examples of a “Basic Income” policy in the world.
Railroad Alaska - References - Netflix