Grand Canyon Railway made its first journey to the South Rim in 1901, long before Arizona was dubbed the “Grand Canyon State.” With the arrival of the train, people could get to the legendary canyon with ease and comfort. Today, you can travel to the Grand Canyon National Park along the same rail line your parents or grandparents did. Before paved roads, Grand Canyon hotels and restaurants, and even before the canyon was made a national park or Arizona made a state, let alone the “Grand Canyon state”, the Grand Canyon Railway brought interested travellers from all over the world to stand on the rim and ponder the feeling that touches all of humanity in a similar manner when they gaze upon the spectacle. Long before there were Grand Canyon helicopter tours, air tours, white water rafting tours or even mule tours, there was the Grand Canyon’s train.
The train was the lifeline to Grand Canyon National Park in the early 20th century. It was the railroad, along with the Fred Harvey Company, that commissioned and built most of the historic structures that still exist along the South Rim. The historic train almost faded into history itself when passenger service to Grand Canyon National Park stopped in 1968 as train travel gave way to the popularity of automobile travel. But like any legend it refused to die. As fate would have it, Grand Canyon Railway was reborn in 1989 when entrepreneurs brought the Grand Canyon’s train back to life. Today, the Railway carries well over 200,000 people by rail to the canyon each year. Journey to the Grand Canyon National Park aboard Grand Canyon Railway and take a trip not only to America’s most recognized spectacle, but a trip back in time. The railway travels 130 miles roundtrip from Williams to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. You will then have approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes at the Grand Canyon after the train arrives. The train pulls into historic Grand Canyon Village, where all the historic hotels, restaurants and shopping are located.