• Grand Canyon Railway

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Tadman
Any of yall ever take the GCR? Have any thoughts to share?

I'm interested but I really don't want the fake cowbodys-n-indians show that they talk about, I'm not too into the Disney-type stuff.
  by Backshophoss
Been a few years,did ride the line with the wife,both the "shoot out" at the station(Williams)and the onboard "robbery" are somewhat "historical"
reenactments based on AZ state history,can be entertaining with the kids.
Rode behind the 4960 mu'ed to FA/FB/FB set in 1 of the SP coaches,decent track, 40-45 mph speed. there are AC coaches and Dome cars,extra fare however.
The train wyes and backs into Grand Canyon Station,owned by the Park service. There's a shuttle bus service to various points in the Park.
Heavy car traffic during the summer in the Park,beware!
Have enough time to visit 1-2 park attractions,and view the Canyon before the return trip.
During the "peak season" GCRY runs 2-3 round trips.
One of the other sets in use is the "Boise Budds"(MBTA/Caltrain) set with dome cars behind a pair of F-40ph's.
Can be hauling a Water Tank Car to the Grand Canyon at times as well.
This was before the Xterra buyout of the original owners behind the branch rebuilding .
  by Tadman
Thanks, appreciate the tips. I was debating what class to ride. My first thought was dome, then the obs car with open platform. I'll be going in a few weeks so not sure if the open obs is worth the money if I cant sit out back due to cold weather. Open obs is one of the few things I haven't experienced with regard to train features.
  by Backshophoss
Weather this time of year is COLD,and snow covered,Williams Jct (on the transconn) is just a platform,Shuttle meets train there for ride
to the Hotel(9:33 p(# 3)3:50 a(#4) if on time)read note 50 in TT,Flagstaff is a full service staffed station.
OBS is The most $$$$ farewise.(Has adult beverages)
GCRY has a website,should include hotel reservations at Williams,and the shuttle to/from Williams Jct.
Steam runs on special occasions,and uses deep fryer oil as fuel!
Decent Gift Shop in Williams Station,also a small museum about the Crookton cutoff reroute done by ATSF.
Single track branch with passing sidings.
  by StLouSteve
Williams is no more—Amtrak connection is now at Flagstaff.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/travel/ ... 997320001/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As far as the observation car, you can upgrade for just one direction of travel. Also if you buy obs tickets, you can walk forward and sit in a dome during the trip as train won’t be full during off season.
  by ExCon90
Is that the same heavyweight obs that used to run in the Wabash's Banner Blue between Chicago and St. Louis? I rode it in 1967 from Chicago to Decatur and then much later on the GC. If it is, I'd say it's worth it for the experience, and you can always sit inside if it gets too cold out there. Comfortable parlor-car seats, as I recall.
  by Tadman
If you're referring to the "Lafayette", that's at New Orleans Public belt as an office car, still in Wabash blue.
  by ExCon90
I thought I heard something but couldn't remember the details. So what car is GC operating now?
  by frequentflyer
I was just at the GC this week and saw a consist at the GC station while another was arriving that afternoon. Take it both F40/ sets are ex Amtrak? Saw a F unit but it looked like it was roped off at the end of the track. Prices are pretty steep so I guess that’s why it’s profitable. Most guests ride it and stay the night and the return trip next day.

Who knows,when Amtrak retires the Superliners they may find new home there.
  by Backshophoss
GCRY has a bunch of ex VIA FPA's and FPB's,that were they mainstay power to the Canyon, They have a set of (nee MBTA,ex CalTrain) Boise Budds
that normally are the 2nd train to the Canyon during peak season.
The Ex SP commuter Coaches with the Dome cars are the normal consist year round.
They added a pair of ex Amtrak F40's and a ex NJT unit to their roster.
The Steam engines are used on special trips,run on used FRY oil from the Deep Fryers used in area restaurants.