The Grand Canyon Railroad is a 64 miles railroad which connects Williams Arizona to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The original 64 mile route was built by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway company in order to construct and promote the Grand Canyon Village. The railroad was completed on September 17th, 1901. in 1901 a ticket could be purchase for the sum of $3.95.
The El Tovar Hotel is completed in Janurary, 1905. The hotel is constructed by the Santa Fe Railway to accommodate train passengers and uniquely located just 20 feet from the Canyon Rim. The initial success of this railroad is diminished with the widespread adaptation of the automobile and the highway system. Passenger Service is halted in July 1968 and later freight service is halted in 1974.
In 1988, the line is purchased by Max and Thelma Biegert, who restored the railroad and started operations in 1989. The Biegerts made their fortune in Nevada, operated the line until 2006 when the railroad was again sold to Xanterra Travel Collection. Today, the railroad offers both diesel and steam engine service and operates as a Heritage Railway and gives the passenger a brief means of enjoying a by gone era.
The Polar Express
Every winter, following the release of the Christmas classic movie the Polar Express, the Grand Canyon Railway’s offers a special train serice, the Polar Express. The Polar Express is a 90 minute journey from the nighttime wilderness of Williams, Arizona, to “the North Pole”. During the journey, passengers are encouraged to sing and treated with hot chocolate and a reindeer bell.
Grand Canyon Railroad Map
Grand Canyon Railroad Summary
|Grand Canyon Railroad
|Coconino County, Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park
|Years of Operation
|September 17th, 1901 – Current
|National Register of Historic Places