Grand Canyon Railway Earns The Governor’s Tourism Award for Outstanding Culture and Historical Preservation by the Arizona Office of Tourism for the Restoration and Operation Engine 29, a Steam Engine Built in 1906
WILLIAMS, Ariz. – August 1, 2017 – They opened The West, connected a continent and truly formed the United States of America, and in Arizona, enabled people to look in awe at the Grand Canyon. We’re talking of course about the railroad steam engine. Tens of thousands were built, but only a handful remain in the U.S. and even fewer run, let alone on a real railroad.
But the Grand Canyon Railway is not just any railroad. It’s steeped in Arizona territory and state history and is one of a few passenger railroads in the U.S. to service restored steam engines for revenue passenger trips.
On July 20, the Grand Canyon Railway was honored with the Governor’s Tourism Award for Outstanding Culture and Historical Preservation by the Arizona Office of Tourism for the restoration of steam engine Number 29, built in 1906 and “ a most significant contribution toward the cultural and/or historic preservation of some aspect of the natural, cultural or aesthetic legacy of Arizona to inspire domestic or international visitation to the state.”
Steam locomotive No. 29 was built in 1906 by the American Locomotive Company in Lima and retired in 1960. The Grand Canyon Railway purchased No. 29 and it ran from 1989 to 1995 and from 2004 to 2008. For the past eight years, the engine served as a static display in Williams and at the Grand Canyon.
In 2016, to celebrate the occasion of the National Park Service Centennial and to highlight the importance of rail travel to the history of Arizona state tourism, Grand Canyon Railway undertook the monumental task of restoring Number 29 and returning it to operational service on the Grand Canyon Line.
The Grand Canyon Line was built in 1901 when the Santa Fe Railway and Fred Harvey Company changed everything by completing the rail line from Williams to the South Rim, and developing Grand Canyon’s earliest infrastructure. Suddenly, with the availability of safe, reliable, and inexpensive transportation through the country to the remote canyon, as well as some helpful promotion from iconic Americans like President Theodore Roosevelt, visitation to Grand Canyon’s South Rim increased exponentially.
The future looks bright for Grand Canyon Railway, Number 29, and Arizona, as visitation to Grand Canyon National Park has steadily increased year over year. Looking ahead, Grand Canyon Railway will continue to provide a journey that evokes memories of days past, while our passengers make new memories of their experiences in the Grand Canyon State of Arizona. Sometimes behind with the sights, smell and sound of a steam engine.
For more information about the Grand Canyon Railway, visit thetrain.com or call 1-800-843-8724.
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