Sixty-one moose have died in Alaska so far this winter in the uneven contest between animal and locomotive.

Moose kill figures are kept from November to April, when deep snow drives the huge animals from their summer range in the mountains down toward the path of least resistance - firm footing on or near the cleared railroad tracks.A total of 329 moose were killed on railroad tracks during that five-month period last year, said Alaska Railroad spokeswoman Vivian Hamilton.

Mortality is particularly high on a 53-mile stretch of rails between Houston and Talkeetna.

An $11,000 study only proved that a slow train can kill a moose as surely as a fast one. The two locomotives assigned to the experiment struck 15 moose while traveling 49 mph and 14 animals while traveling 25 mph, officials said.