Railway Fact Sheet | Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel

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Railway Fact Sheet

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Grand Canyon Railway recreates the historic trip by rail to the Grand Canyon 364 days a year, providing passengers with the opportunity to relive an important part of American history.

Passengers depart from the historic Williams Depot and arrive at the Grand Canyon Depot, the last operating log depot in the United States. Located in the heart of Grand Canyon National Park’s historic district, near the world-famous El Tovar Hotel, Grand Canyon Depot is just 200 yards from the edge of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The trip to the canyon covers 65 miles of classic Old West territory, including high desert plains with endless vistas, small arroyos and portions of the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest.

Six classes of service are available

  • Coach Class: comprised of Budd Coach Class, 90-seat streamliner-era coaches named after the famous Budd Manufacturing Company.
  • First Class: a 42-seat area in the spacious Coconino, Kokopelli, Anasazi or Grand View cars, a 50-seat area in the Colorado River and Buckey O’Neill cars and a 68-seat area in the Arizona and Bright Angel cars.
  • Observation Dome: 24-passenger capacity in a unique second-story dome viewing area of the Coconino, Kokopelli or Grand View cars.
  • Luxury Dome Class: The Fred Harvey is a full length dome car available to passengers age 16+. It features 66 passenger seats in the upstairs dome, and an open seating bar & lounge downstairs.
  • Luxury Parlor Class: The Chief and Santa Fe are deluxe parlor cars with 41 and 33 seats, respectively. The Chief also features an open-air observation platform in the rear.
  • The Pullman Car: Available during the Spring & Summer months only, this 1920’s era classic passenger car features windows that open and seats that flip so groups of 4 can sit facing each other.

Trip highlights include a daily Wild West shootout at the 1908 Williams Depot prior to the morning departure; and entertainment and live action aboard the train, featuring roaming western singers, as well as the infamous Cataract Creek Gang and the justice of a Grand Canyon Railway Marshal.

The Railway’s very own Territorial Times newspaper is complimentary during the 2-1/4 hour journey. Cocktails can be purchased in First Class, Deluxe Observation Class and in the Luxury Classes. These classes of service also enjoy complimentary pastries, fruit, coffee, tea and fresh juice during the northbound journey, and a variety of cheeses, vegetables and soda on the southbound journey. Observation Dome and Luxury classes are also provided with a champagne toast on the southbound trip.

Vintage 1950s and 1970s-era diesel locomotives are utilized throughout the year. On select dates, we put our historic steam locomotive on the front of the train for the round trip journey.

Grand Canyon Railway is an authorized concessionaire of the National Park Service and Kaibab National Forest and was honored in 2004 with the prestigious Governor’s Tourism Special Events Award for its Polar Express special engagement train.

The Depots

The Williams Depot

Facilities include the Depot Gift Shop, a Java Crossing coffee stand, rest room facilities, ticket counter and the Grand Depot Cafe restaurant. An outdoor display of a Grand Canyon Railway steam locomotive and a caboose also can be viewed at the depot most of the year.

Grand Canyon Depot

Constructed in 1909-1910, Grand Canyon Depot is part of the Grand Canyon National Park Historic District and is a National Historic Landmark. Designed by architect Francis W. Wilson of Santa Barbara, Calif., the log and wood-frame structure is two stories high. Originally, the downstairs was designated for station facilities and the upstairs was inhabited by the station agent’s family. Today, the first floor is used for railway passenger services. The building is one of approximately 14 log depots known to have been constructed in the United States, and one of only three remaining. Of the three, the Grand Canyon Depot is the only one in which logs were used as the primary structural material and which still serves an operating railroad. The Depot’s logs are squared on three sides creating bearing surfaces, flat interior surfaces and a rustic exterior appearance.

Hours of Operation

Grand Canyon Railway operates daily service (except December 25) from Williams, Ariz. into Grand Canyon National Park. The Williams Depot ticket counter is open seven days a week, 7:30 am – 7:30 pm Arizona (Mountain Standard) time. Please note that Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time.

Round-trip arrival and departure times

Passengers have the option to stay overnight at the canyon and return to Williams on the regularly scheduled train at a later date. Click here to view our current schedule.


Click here to view our rates for each class of passenger service.

Note: Dome and Luxury Classes are not able to provide service for passengers with disabilities and children under age 16 are not allowed.

Driving Directions: From Interstate 40, take Exit 163 (Grand Canyon Boulevard) a 1/2-mile south to the historic Williams Depot located in quaint downtown Williams, Ariz.

Public Contact: Contact Katie Dabbs at Percepture at 720-206-7710 or via e-mail.

Group Sales Department: 1-800-843-8723

International Calls: Telephone 928-773-1976; fax 928-773-1610