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Philly NRHS - Railfan Pictures of the Week


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The Philadelphia Chapter of the

National Railway Historical Society

Established in 1936


Railfan Pictures of the Week - 09/28/2008

Grand Canyon Railway Grand Canyon Village AZ June 19 2008


September seems to be a pivotal month in the life of the railroad to the Grand Canyon. September 1967 brought the discontinuance of passenger service under the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. September 1989 saw the rebirth of passenger service from Williams AZ under the new name Grand Canyon Railway and new owners Max and Thelma Biegert. September 2006 came the announcement that the Biegerts were selling the line to Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the concessionaire that operates the lodges, restaurants, and stores in Grand Canyon National Park. Now September 2008 will mark the end of another chapter on the line as Xanterra announced a permanent cancellation of steam operations to the canyon. Reportedly due to environmental impact, indications are it was more than likely a business and economics decision to replace the costly steam engines with cheaper to run diesels.

I was lucky enough to visit the Grand Canyon earlier this year and although I was only in the village for an hour, it turned out to be the right place at the right time. Just after noon, there was GCRY 4960 picking up its tank car at the old station.

After a quick turn on the wye, it shoved back to couple up to its train at the loading/unloading area at the eastern end of the line, passing F40PH 239 and an FPB-4 sitting on the siding.
After picking up the two coaches and a caboose, the train departed but did not go far.
The departing train was waiting for the arriving train, led by GCRY 29, to clear.
As 29 pulled its train toward the old station, 4960 headed toward Williams.
And 29 shoved its train back east to allow its passengers to disembark.

All pictures June 19 2008 Copyright © 2008 John P. Almeida

Photographs for personal use only. All rights reserved by original owner of image. Reproduction or redistribution in any form without express written permission is prohibited.

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Last Updated September 28, 2008

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