Valuation of the Alaska Railroad

RCED-83-61: Published: Nov 24, 1982. Publicly Released: Dec 9, 1982.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reported on the market value of Alaska Railroad assets proposed for transfer at no cost to the State of Alaska under provisions of S. 1500. GAO was also asked to identify a contract that might affect the railroad's future profitability.

GAO found that neither the Federal Railroad Administration nor the Alaska Railroad has a complete and accurate inventory of all of the railroad's lands. The railroad's estimate of 38,000 acres appears to be the only available information on railroad land holdings. Although there is no well-documented estimate of the value of these lands, three valuations exist, ranging from approximately $180 million to $307 million. GAO made some estimates of the value of the natural resources of these holdings. Regarding contracts affecting future profitability, GAO found that the railroad has five annual contracts to ship from 150 to 300 freight cars of building materials. As of early October 1982, an additional contract was being negotiated with a foreign shipping company which would increase the railroad's annual coal shipments.

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