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Grand Canyon Railway is a passenger railroad operation
that transports passengers from Williams, Arizona, to
the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The line,
originally completed in 1901 by the Atchison, Topeka and
Santa Fe Railway, made its first run on September 17 of
that year. As was a common practice of railway companies
of that era, in order to better accommodate tourists the
railway constructed the El Tovar Hotel, which was
located just twenty feet from the rim of the Canyon and
opened in January of 1905. Due to competition with
visitors travelling to the Grand Canyon via automobile,
Santa Fe closed its Grand Canyon Railway route for
passengers in 1968, although the line continued to be
used for freight until 1974. At this time the tracks
were abandoned, and many of the building constructed by
Santa Fe along the line were abandoned and torn down.
Despite many attempts at resurrecting the historic
railway, it wasn't until 1989 that the railway was
privately purchased and restored, resuming service on
September 17, 1989 to commemorate the original opening
date. The original Santa Fe Railway Station in Williams
was restored, and the northern terminus is still The
Grand Canyon Depot, owned by the National Park Service.
The Grand Canyon Railway runs with refurbished vintage
diesel and steam locomotives as well as restored
Harriman coaches dating to the 1920s with varying
classes of service and luxury accommodation.
For a truly unforgettable visit to the Grand Canyon,
the Grand Canyon Railway opens the doors to the past of
the golden days of travel.
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