One of the most exciting tourist railroads in the United States is the Grand Canyon Railway located in northern Arizona. Operating on a line originally opened by the Santa Fe in 1901, it offers the unique combination of great scenery, exquisitely maintained steam and diesel motive power, vintage passenger cars, and high speed running. You’ll follow the daily Williams Flyer excursion train pulled by 2-8-2 steam engine 4960, which was thoroughly rebuilt in Grand Canyon’s own shops.
You’ll also ride in the cab of Alco FPA-4 diesel 6773 as it pulls another Williams Flyer to the Canyon. Then it’s a special Railfan Weekend featuring a doubleheader with 4960 and 2-8-0 engine 18. You’re trackside for all the photo runbys and onboard for a ride in the cab of engine 18. On the return trip, 4960 takes the siding with the railfan special while the 18 and 6773 roar past with the Williams Flyer. Visits to the railway’s locomotive shop, it’s museum in the former Harvey House at Williams, and the historic El Tovar Hotel at the Canyon’s rim round out your tour of this fascinating railroad!