Xanterra’s Grand Canyon Lodges & Grand Canyon Railway Honor the National Park Service Centennial with Special Presentation on Fred Harvey in June; and Rare Steam Train ‘Double Header’ in August
WILLIAMS, Ariz. – May 2, 2016 – Grand Canyon National Park Lodges will celebrate the
National Park Service Centennial with a special presentation on the Fred Harvey Company and
its involvement in the growth of tourism to the Southwest and to the Grand Canyon both before
and after it became a national park. Stephen Fried, author of The New York Times best-selling
book on Fred Harvey and his company “Appetite for America,” will present the program. The
presentation is open to the public at no charge at the Shrine of the Ages on Sat. June 4 from 6:30
– 8:00 p.m. There will also be a book signing and meet-the-author event at the El Tovar Hotel
from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Harvey is credited with creating the first restaurant chain in the U.S.,
leading the promotion of tourism in the American Southwest and civility to “The Wild West.”
Long before the Grand Canyon was officially a national park, it was already famous as a
destination on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad. The railroad completed the line in
1901, and in 1905 opened the magnificent El Tovar Hotel. What’s rather amazing is the railroad
line is still running year-round (except Christmas), taking people to one of the Seven Natural
Wonders of The World, and the hotel is still welcoming guests in style. The 1910 Grand Canyon
depot is one of only two log-cabin-style train stations still in use in the U.S.
And given the “iron horse” opened up “the West” and allowed people to travel and discover the
vast land easily, safely and conveniently, the Grand Canyon Railway will fire up and operate two
steam engines during the week of Aug. 24-27. For four consecutive days, one of the rarest sights
in railroading will take place as legendary steam engine #4960 and #29 power 1950s-era
streamliner rail cars – including “dome” cars and a classic “open platform observation car” – the
entire 65 miles from Williams, Arizona, right up to the South Rim of Grand Canyon. Special
events are now being planned, as #29 has not run in regular service in years, so please visit
www.thetrain.com or on Facebook often to learn about special events and schedules.
The Grand Canyon Railway offers visitors the most hassle-free way to visit the South Rim of the
Grand Canyon and will run two trains daily from May 28 through Sept. 5. The train takes about
70,000 cars a year off the one road into the Grand Canyon South Rim entrance, thus reducing
carbon emissions and helping to tread lightly on the environment. It’s also just good fun.
This is a tourist railroad, but it is also the real deal. Originally completed in 1901, the Grand
Canyon Railway departs daily year-round at 9:30 a.m. from Williams, Arizona (about 30 miles
west of Flagstaff, just off Interstate 40 and rolls almost due north to the South Rim of Grand
Canyon National Park, arriving at 11:45 a.m. The trip measures 65 miles and takes 2 hours and
15 minutes each way. The train arrives back in Williams at 5:45 p.m. When scheduled, a second
train leaves Williams at 10:30 a.m. and arrives back in Williams at 6:30 p.m. Each train laysover
at the Grand Canyon (steps from the rim itself) for 3.5 hours.
Round-trip rates begin at at $79 for adults and $47 for children in Coach Class and include “wild
west shootout, roaming musicians and attendants who bestow local knowledge, words of
wisdom” on the train itself. There are six classes of travel on the railroad, ranging from Pullman
and basic “coach” to an “observation dome” (kids welcome) to a “luxury observation dome”
class and “luxury parlor car” (16 years an older). Packages including hotel, meals, and in-park
tours are available.
For more information or to book a reservation, visit www.thetrain.com or call 1-800-THETRAIN
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Rene A. Mack, firstname.lastname@example.org, 201-312-4252
Additional photos, video and interviews available upon request.