Grand Canyon Railway to Resume Steam Engine Excursions for 2024 Season

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Grand Canyon Railway to Resume Steam Engine Excursions for 2024 Season
Grand Canyon Railway to Resume Steam Engine Excursions for 2024 Season

While steam locomotives, once pivotal in 19th-century American transportation, have largely disappeared, one iconic railway rekindles nostalgia with a sustainable approach.

On February 23, the Grand Canyon Railway revealed plans to bring back its 1923 steam engine for the 2024 season, promising passengers a distinctive journey blending history and nature.

A historic restoration with a modern twist

The Grand Canyon Railway’s decision to revive its steam engine, GCR No. 4690, for the 2024 season marks a historic moment.

Fueled by almost carbon-neutral waste vegetable oil and snowmelt, the locomotive, once reliant on coal, now adopts eco-friendly practices. 

It has affectionately been dubbed the “French Fry Express.”

The railway’s announcement states that steam locomotive excursions, named Steam Saturdays, will take place from March to October, specifically on the first Saturday of each month.

The schedule includes dates like March 2, April 6, May 4, and more, with special celebrations for milestones such as No. 4960’s birthday on August 12 and the Grand Canyon Railway’s anniversary on September 21.

An accessible and affordable way to travel

One of the notable aspects of the Grand Canyon Railway‘s steam engine excursions is the accessibility and affordability they offer.

There is no additional cost to ride the train when the steam locomotive is in service, making it attractive for travelers seeking a unique experience.

Ticket prices for the Grand Canyon Railway’s round trip start at approximately $70 for adults and $36 for children aged 2 through 15.

Moreover, discounts are available for guests holding a National Park Service Park Pass or AAA membership.

For those looking to make the most of their journey, vacation packages that include a stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel are also available.

A unique and unforgettable journey

The Grand Canyon Railway’s excursion promises a full-day adventure, taking passengers from Williams, Arizona, to the Historic Village on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.

A three-hour journey from 9:30 AM to 11:45 AM lets you enjoy the Grand Canyon’s breathtaking landscapes.

After a memorable exploration, passengers board the train once more at 3:30 PM for the return journey to Williams, arriving at 5:45 PM.

However, for those wishing to extend their stay at the Grand Canyon, the railway offers flexibility, allowing travelers to book different departure and return dates to accommodate their preferences.

A chance to experience the U.S. in a unique, historical way

Travelers planning this journey, particularly those from eligible Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries, should ensure they have the required travel authorization.

To ensure a hassle-free ride on the Grand Canyon Railway, travelers should apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) through the official website.

This enables eligible travelers to enjoy their journey to iconic destinations like the Grand Canyon without a traditional visa.

The Grand Canyon Railway’s decision to reintroduce steam engine excursions for the 2024 season offers travelers a unique blend of history, sustainability, and adventure.