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Grand Canyon Railway

In 1968 the Santa Fe Railway discontinued rail passenger service to the South rim of the Grand Canyon. In 1987 the collateral on a delinquent loan put 22 miles of the old Santa Fe track into the hands of Max and Thelma Biegert. Seeing an opportunity they obtained the rights to the remaining right-of-way and restored the tracks. In 1989 the Grand Canyon Railway restarted rail trips between Williams, Arizona and the South rim of the Grand Canyon.

Horse statue

Addition of the Fray Marcos Hotel made the railroad a destination rather than just a route. Visitors can stay in Williams, ride the train in the morning, have a three-hour layover to tour the main canyon viewpoints, and then return to Williams on the afternoon train.

Hotel fireplace

Festivities start behind the station before the train leaves. A western "town" is used as the set for a gunfight between Marshal John B. Goodmore and various bad guys and gals. In classic western fashion, the marshal's gun prevails.

Marshal shooting

Dead bad guy


At exactly 9:30 in the morning the train leaves the Williams station.

In the summer steam locomotives are used; in the winter a classic diesel locomotive powers the train.

Along the 65-mile route the train moves through pine forests, high desert plains, and small canyons.

Entertainers stroll the aisles adding a bit of western flavor to the trip.

Guitar entertainment

Grand Canyon station

You arrive at the Grand Canyon station on the South rim at 11:45. From here it's a short hike to the canyon or one can take one of the shuttle or tour buses. (The station was built in 1909-10 and is one of three remaining log depots of the 14 built in the United States; and the only one serving a working railroad.)

Now that we're on the South rim let's visit a few viewpoints, starting at the Bright Angel Lodge viewpoint.


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