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2002 NRHS Convention -- 3751 Grand Canyon Limited Excursion ~ August 24th, 2002

by Elizabeth Guenzler

There were no excursions scheduled for August 23rd but I did attend one of the seminars and walked around Williams and visited City Hall where I was given a municipal lapel pin to add to my collection. I just had a relaxing day and my friend Bob Alkire drove up from Scottsdale that evening so we could both attend the Saturday excursion.

3751 Grand Canyon Limited Excursion

It was an early start to the day and we had breakfast at Max and Thelma's before boarding coach Clinchfield for the trip up to the Canyon. I had my scanner, the Altamont Press Guide for Arizona, my camera and plenty of film so I was set!

My ticket for today's excursion. At Anita, we stopped for the first photo runby of the day.

The first photo runby at Anita, MP 18.8.

The rear of the train with some of the photo line.

Reversing in preparation for the second runby.

The second photo runby with a surprise - a double-header with GCRY 2-8-0 4960. This was my first such runby and I loved it.

The steam train passed the photo line and everyone re-boarded for the rest of the trip.

Upon our arrival at the Canyon, we all detrained and set up for photographs, firstly of ATSF 3751 being worked on.

As the coaches of the regular Grand Canyon Railway train reverse onto a siding, GCRY 2-8-2 4960 steams up the mainline track into the yard area.

Grand Canyon Railway 2-8-2 4960 approaching the yard area.

GCRY 4960 comes up on the adjacent track to 3751 and many photographs are taken.

Then, as a trifecta, GCRY 2-8-0 18 (the steam engine on the regular Canyon trains) joins us.

Cameras are working overtime as everyone captures this once-in-a-lifetime event and it is the first time three steam engines have been at the Grand Canyon. This was an incredible thing to witness.

ATSF 3751, GCRY 4960 and GCRY 18 at the Grand Canyon with El Tovar Lodge in the background.

Scenes that I will never forget.

The crews from the Grand Canyon Railway and San Bernardino Railway Historical Society pose in front of their steam engines.

GCRY 2-8-0 18 steaming up as it reverses out of the Grand Canyon station area. We had some time to walk around the South Rim before the return trip to Williams.

Proof that I was at the Canyon! Photograph by Bob Alkire.

On the return trip, we stop at MP 44.2 for another runby with ATSF 3751 and the train.

GCRY 4960 is then put on the point and a second double-headed runby is done to the delight of everyone.

I stayed on board for this runby at Willaha but Chris Guenzler captured it.

Just outside Williams, at MP 3, a double-heded sunset runby is staged for everyone. But wait! There was one more surprise in store.

GCRY 2-8-0 18 was added to the consist for a triple-headed runby in the dusk to cap off this fantastic day. Everyone returned to Williams and we returned to the hotel, freshened up and went to Rod's Steak House for dinner.

It had been an absolutely fabulous day and thoroughly enjoyed this unique excursion to the Grand Canyon. I was completely in my element with steam engines, private varnish and seeing part of the Canyon.