A line of yellow Alaska Rail Cars sits off a scenic driveway on Chena Ridge above Fairbanks.
The train will always stand still.
Each car is transformed from a mode of transit to a place of rest. Susan Wilson and her husband Mike own the Aurora Express Bed and Breakfast.
She prepared brunch for friends last week in the dining car. The car has ceilings painted to look like the aurora borealis.
Unique Alaskan artifacts decorate the inside. Susan said this Bed and Breakfast, the Aurora Express in, was inspired by a dream 20 years ago.
Susan dreamed about her grandmother who had died eight years before.
"I had a dream we were walking down here," Susan gestures to the road running along the train, "here in our flannel nightgowns and she showed me this old train." Susan didn't waste time.
She called looking for an old rail car the next day. She got a caboose and quickly heard about several more train cars that were near Denali Park. The trains came cheap, but moving them was complicated.
"So my dream became my husband's nightmare," she said.
Mike Wilson laughed at that comment. He said it was too expensive to hire someone to move the cars, so he had to do it himself. Mike said it took about 3 days to prep each car for moving, then 6 hours on the highway. Winter was ideal for the project because the dirt road he parked them on was more stable.
"It was 40 below, and it was hard," he said about the project. "I hired a couple of guys from the 49er Bar and paid them a hundred bucks a day and fed them."
In the 20 years since, the couple and their son and daughter have all worked to build up the Aurora Express Bed and Breakfast. The hotel includes restored pullman cars from the 50s.
There's also a medical from World War II. Susan says the wall on the medical car started warping and the wall paper peeled off. What she found behind it was a surprise.
A strategic map of World War II in readable condition had been behind the wall the whole time. Now each train car has a theme.
Most are tributes to important women in Susan's life. There are rooms for her grandmothers, mother, mother-in-law and her daughter. The can-can room is dedicated to her daughter, Kaitlin.
Kaitlin works part time at the B&B. She laughed at how Susan had arranged some of the rooms. There's a bordello room meant to commemorate Fairbanks' seedier history and it's red light district.
That room is placed right next to the Immaculate Conception room, a nod to Susan's Catholic Faith. Susan said the placement comes from a time where the red light district in Fairbanks and the church were neighbors.
Susan says the trains can transport visitors back in time. She gives the example of what happens when women who used to use trains for transit see what she's done.
"Sometimes I get these old timers, like in their 80s," she said. "they all have the same story. The old ladies go in there and they go, 'oh I remember the first time I was kissed was in a caboose.' I go, reallly? What were these caboose guys doing?!"
Kaitlin says the unusual accommodations combined with a scenic setting is what draws people in, but it's Susan's whistle while you work demeanor that keeps the operation on track.