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When a trio of prospectors found gold in a tributary of the Klondike River in 1896, they triggered one of the world’s largest gold rushes. To begin with, stampeders had to hike the treacherous Chilkoot Trail to get their treasure. But between 1898 and 1900, a narrow-gauge railway was built through the seemingly impossible terrain to make the journey a lot easier. The White Pass & Yukon Railroad necessitated tunnels, trestles, grades of up to 3.9% and tight cliff-teetering bends; it climbs almost 1,000m in its first 32 kilometres. Now, it carries visitors along the Skagway River, squeezing between waterfalls, thick forest and groaning glaciers, crossing the US/Canada border at White Pass, and descending to Lake Bennett, once the site of a bustling tent city, where pre-train prospectors paused after surviving the Chilkoot Trail.