Talk about Throwback Thursday. How about a Throwback Century? Some say the invention that had the greatest impact on the world, before the Internet, was the steam engine. It opened up continents, helped win wars, introduced people to new foods, culture and raced the sun (our time zones today were created by the railroads because the for the first time man could travel faster than on foot, or by horse).
But it is the very rare sight let alone experience to ride behind a massive steam engine on a real working railroad in the US. Less than 200 steam engines still work, let alone run (all are tourism railroads or museums). But there is a place where the feel, sights, sound and aroma…and thus the romance, of a steam engine still lives and it’s on The Grand Canyon Railway in Arizona.
Grand Canyon Railway steam engine #4960, built in 1923 weighs in at 310 tons and locomotive #29, built in 1906 tips the scales at 185 tons. While both engines are antiques in today’s high-tech world, they are considered a unique modern marvel for the fact that they run on recycled waste vegetable oil (WVO) collected from local restaurants and establishments around Williams and throughout Arizona. The “new” fuel vastly reduces carbon emissions, and once burned for power completes a fully closed waste stream.
Running the first Saturday of the month beginning and the 2017 Steam Schedule is as follows:
Special Holidays & Events
February 18 – Presidents’ Day
April 22 – Earth Day
September 16 – Grand Canyon Railway’s 116th Anniversary
September 30 – Man vs Machine Bike race, 3rd annual road race from Grand Canyon to Williams
Room, food and train packages with the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel are available.
Xanterra owns and operates the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel, as well as restaurants and lodges in several National Parks. For more information about the Grand Canyon Railway, visit www.thetrain.com.
NOTE: We would like to thank for the support of our attendance to IPW 2017 to the US Embassy in Bucharest, US Commercial Service.