The Grand Canyon Railway Train: A Journey Through History and Nature

The Grand Canyon Railway Train is a historic train that takes passengers from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The train has been in operation since 1901, and today it offers visitors a unique opportunity to travel through history and nature on a scenic journey to one of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders.

History of the Grand Canyon Railway Train

The Grand Canyon Railway Train was originally built to transport ore from the Grand Canyon to the nearby town of Williams. However, as the demand for tourism to the Grand Canyon grew, the train was repurposed to carry visitors to the South Rim. In its early days, the train was a luxurious way to travel, with first-class coaches, dining cars, and even a barber shop on board.

The train operated for many years, but in the 1960s it fell into disrepair and was eventually shut down. However, in the 1980s a group of investors purchased the train and began a massive restoration project. Today, the Grand Canyon Railway Train is once again a popular way to travel to the Grand Canyon, and it has been named one of the top 10 train rides in the world by National Geographic Traveler.

What to Expect on the Grand Canyon Railway Train

The journey on the Grand Canyon Railway Train begins in Williams, Arizona, a small town located about 30 miles west of Flagstaff. The train departs from the Williams Depot, which was built in 1908 and has been restored to its original glory.

As the train makes its way to the Grand Canyon, passengers are treated to stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The journey takes about 2 hours and covers a distance of 65 miles. Along the way, passengers can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Coconino National Forest, as well as the wildlife that calls the area home.

Once the train arrives at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, passengers have several hours to explore the park on their own. They can take a shuttle bus to various viewpoints, hike on one of the many trails in the area, or simply relax and take in the stunning views.

Tips for Riding the Grand Canyon Railway Train

If you’re planning to ride the Grand Canyon Railway Train, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Book your tickets in advance. The train is very popular, especially during peak season, so it’s important to book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
  • Dress appropriately. The weather can be unpredictable in the area, so it’s a good idea to bring layers and be prepared for all kinds of conditions.
  • Bring snacks and drinks. Although the train does have a snack bar on board, it’s a good idea to bring your own snacks and drinks as well.
  • Plan your time at the Grand Canyon. Once you arrive at the South Rim, you’ll have several hours to explore the park on your own. Make sure you plan your time wisely so you can see as much as possible.


The Grand Canyon Railway Train is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the Grand Canyon. Not only does it offer a unique way to travel to the park, but it also provides a glimpse into the history of the area and the role that the train played in its development. If you’re planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, make sure you include a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway Train in your itinerary.

Ellis Wilder

Hey there! My name is Ellis Wilder, and I'm a student at the University of Calgary. When I'm not hitting the books, you can usually find me writing articles for sports and travel blogs. I've always had a passion for exploring new places and experiencing different cultures, so I love sharing my travel stories with others. Whether I'm hiking in the Rocky Mountains or exploring a new city, I always try to capture the essence of the places I visit in my writing. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy reading my articles as much as I enjoy writing them!

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