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A Truly Rare American Experience

May 13, 2017 Rail No Comments Email Email

THERE IS STILL ONE PLACE YOU CAN STILL SEE AND RIDE BEHIND A STEAM ENGINE ON A REAL WORKING RAILROAD IN THE U.S. The Grand Canyon Railway Will Run Steam Engines

The Grand Canyon Railway Will Run Steam Engines On President’s Day Weekend and Select Dates in 2017

WILLIAMS, Ariz. – January 17, 2017 – Talk about Throwback Thursday.  How about a Throwback Century?   Some say the invention that had the greatest impact on the world, before the Internet, was the steam engine.   It opened up continents, helped win wars, introduced people to new foods, culture and raced the sun (our time zones today were created by the railroads because the for the first time man could travel faster than on foot, or by horse).

But it is the very rare sight let alone experience to ride behind a massive steam engine on a real working railroad in the US.  Less than 200 steam engines still work, let alone run  (all are tourism railroads or museums).  But there is a place where the feel, sights, sound and aroma…and thus the romance, of a steam engine still lives and it’s on The Grand Canyon Railway in Arizona.

Starting on President’s Day and on select Saturday’s in 2017 (March 4 to October 7), the Grand Canyon Railway will celebrate American history and enterprise by firing up one of it’s two operational steam engines as they power the daily train from Williams, AZ to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

And these are no small engines.  Grand Canyon Railway steam engine #4960, built in 1923 weighs in at 310 tons and locomotive #29, built in 1906 tips the scales at 185 tons. While both engines are antiques in today’s high-tech world, they are considered a unique modern marvel for the fact that they run on recycled waste vegetable oil (WVO) collected from local restaurants and establishments around Williams and throughout Arizona. The “new” fuel vastly reduces carbon emissions, and once burned for power completes a fully closed waste stream.

Running the first Saturday of the month beginning and the 2017 Steam Schedule is as follows:

March 4
April 1
May 6
June 3
July 1
August 5
September 2
October 7

Special Holidays & Events
February 18 – Presidents’ Day
April 22 – Earth Day
September 16 – Grand Canyon Railway’s 116th Anniversary
September 30 – Man vs Machine Bike race, 3rd annual road race from Grand Canyon to Williams

Room, food and train packages with the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel are available.

Xanterra owns and operates the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel, as well as restaurants and lodges in several National Parks. For more information about the Grand Canyon Railway, visit www.thetrain.com or call 1-800-THE-TRAIN (843-8724).

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