Trains Serving The Grand Canyon

The California Limited was one of the named passenger trains of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. It carried train Nos. 3 & 4 and ran between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California. Billed as the "Finest Train West of Chicago," it made its first run on November 27, 1892. By 1904 it provided access to the Grand Canyon with a connection at Williams, Arizona.

The journey from Chicago to Los Angeles took 83 hours and 50 minutes and required fifteen locomotive changes. During the summer multiple sections were necessary to accommodate demand; reportedly 23 sections once operated from Chicago on one day.

The train carried first-class Pullman sleeping cars only for most of its life The California Limited was withdrawn on June 15, 1954, giving it the longest tenure of any train on the Chicago-Los Angeles run of the Santa Fe.

In 1901 a spur of the Santa Fe Railroad to Grand Canyon Village was completed. The first scheduled train with paying passengers of the Grand Canyon Railway arrived from Williams, Arizona, on September 17 that year.

Today, you can travel to Grand Canyon National Park along the same rail line your parents or grandparents did. Select from one of five vintage classes of service which have been lovingly restored. Journey to Grand Canyon National Park aboard Grand Canyon Railway and take a trip not only to America's most recognized spectacle, but a trip back in time.

The Grand Canyon Railway operates a vintage train ride from the town of Williams, Arizona to the Grand Canyon Village (travel time is 2.5 hours in each direction). The terminus at Grand Canyon Village is within walking distance of some accommodations.

The train features a historic steam locomotive on special occasions during the summer season, restored Pullman cars, and a staged old west style shoot-out. However, the Grand Canyon is not visible from the train.

Current AMTRAK Trains

Amtrak's Southwest Chief, with trains operating daily between Chicago and Los Angeles, stops at Williams Junction, with connections to the Grand Canyon Railway.

Amtrak provides rail service to Flagstaff with connecting bus service to the canyon. The small shuttle service, Arizona Shuttle Service, which carry passengers and luggage from the Flagstaff Amtrak station to The Grand Canyon. The tickets for this shuttle may be purchased from Amtrak.

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