WILLIAMS, AZ – One place where romantics, rail enthusiasts, and younger generations can hear, see, smell, and feel the majesty of the Iron Horse is on the Grand Canyon Railway. Of the more than 30,000 steam engines originally built in the United States less than 200 survive today, only a few are still running, and even fewer on everyday passenger railroads (most are on museum lines).
The steam engine changed everything. It created time zones, kick-started the Industrial Revolution, and connected the East and West Coast, vastly reducing travel time across the United States. In 1901 the railroad reached Grand Canyon South Rim, providing access to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of The World and trains still run on the line to this day.
To the delight of many, Grand Canyon Railway has announced that in 2022 it will once again run the big steam engine: #4960. Constructed in 1923 and weighing in at 310 tons the #4960 is a "green machine" and is powered by waste vegetable oil and snowmelt.
Steam is scheduled to pull the 9:30 a.m. departures (at no additional cost) on the first Saturday from March through October as well as on February 21 (President's Day), April 22 (Earth Day), and September 17 (the anniversary of Grand Canyon Railway).