Railway Preservation News

Grand Canyon Railway Charter --> Photo Album!
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Author:  KevinM [ Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Grand Canyon Railway Charter --> Photo Album!


On February 7th and 8th of this year, Lerro Productions operated an all-steam photo charter on the 64-mile Grand Canyon Railway. First built in 1901 as a branch line on the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, this line operated for nearly 70 years hauling tourists and freight between Williams, AZ and the Grand Canyon Village on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. After falling into disuse for a time, the line was revived in the late 1980s as a pure tourist line called the Grand Canyon Railway. For nearly two decades, the line ran daily steam-powered trips utilizing 3 different steam engines. Although daily steam came to an end with a change of ownership in the 2007 time frame, the line has continued to maintain a steam capability, operating occasional excursions on a monthly basis. Two steam engines are still on the property. The former Chicago Burlington & Quincy #4960 is a large Baldwin, 2-8-2 Mikado and was the first to be converted to burn waste vegetable oil. It has been the primary steam power for the last several years. Recently, the former Lake Superior and Ishpeming #29, a 2-8-0 Alco Consolidation type was also brought back into the fleet with the vegetable oil conversion. The two engines alternate in service and occasionally doublehead on special occasions.

The Lerro Productions Charter featured the 29 with a string of Pullman-built "Harriman-style" commuter cars on the first day, and on the second day, the 4960 was initially featured solo and was later joined by the 29 for some double-heading. Although cloudy skies dominated the first day, we were treated to an amazing sunset as the clouds broke. The second day feature much brighter skies and yielded some really pretty images of the two locomotives running together.

I've prepared a Flickr Album featuring some of the better stills from the two-day event. Take a look if you enjoy preserved steam:

Grand Canyon Steam!

If you're planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, you may want to check their excursion schedule and plan around one of their monthly steam trips. This is one of America's fastest steam tourist trains, with speeds regularly reaching 40 mph. Its a great scenic take and your patronage will assure the operators that folks still care to see regular steam on the line.

/Kevin Madore

Author:  Zak Lybrand [ Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Grand Canyon Railway Charter --> Photo Album!

KevinM wrote:
This is one of America's fastest steam tourist trains, with speeds regularly reaching 40 mph.

It really is impressive. More than half of their total mainline trackage is 40 mph. According to my copy of the employee timetable,32.4 miles out of 63.7 have no permanent speed restrictions, meaning trains can go track speed - 40 mph. Of those 63.7 miles, the first 11.6 miles, the last 17.5 miles, and a brief stretch of 1.9 miles almost exactly in the middle are track speed. It makes for a great show.

Disclaimer: My timetable is almost six years old now, so it may be slightly off. However, I know the alignment and/or grade of those speed restrictions make it highly unlikely that the speed restrictions will ever be removed.

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