How The Grand Canyon Train Transformed Travel To The Canyon

The History of Travel to the Canyon

In the early part of the Grand Canyon’s history, before the Grand Canyon Train, tourists flocking to the Arizona landmark often rode the stagecoach to Williams, Arizona. When miners found that mining the canyon would not be lucrative, they turned their attention to the tourist trade. However, passengers had to travel by stagecoach. Those bone-jolting rides were a trial for some of the travelers.

It was not until just after the turn of the 20th century that the Grand Canyon Train brought in its first passengers to the canyon. The date was September 17th. Passengers arrived at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim onboard a train coming from Williams, Arizona.

Travel to the Grand Canyon Now

Fortunately today, travel to the South Rim is far more relaxing. That is thanks to the many travel companies based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Luxury bus tours allow Vegas vacationers to see the South Rim on day trip excursions. Tours begin with early pick-ups from passenger hotels and return around 6:30PM.

Luxury bus tours in Grand Canyon National Park allow visitors to take in panoramic window views from cushioned and adjustable seats. They also enjoy onboard restrooms and individually controlled air. Knowledgeable guides explain stories behind sights and attractions to make traveling even more fun.

Building The Grand Canyon Train

When the Grand Canyon first came into prominence, it was thought of as a distant and remote western destination. Back then, only adventurous explorers dared to battle the elements and visit this landmark. Initially, the main railroad line went from Chicago to Los Angeles. It was meant to transport ore from the Anita mines, situated 45 miles north of Williams.

The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway was responsible for building the track to the canyon in 1901. The company found that it could see a return on its investment as mining at that time was unprofitable. Instead of paying $15.00 for a stagecoach ride, passengers paid $3.95 for the train ride. Sixty-five miles of track was laid, representing a lifeline to the canyon and an increase in tourism.

The Railway Opens For Business

When the Grand Canyon Railway began service, many celebrities rode the line. Some included Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Franklin Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. All the supplies that built the popular Grand Canyon Village arrived by train. Water was also transported to the canyon until 1926.

Are you thinking of seeing the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on a Vegas vacation? If so, book one of the tours in Grand Canyon National Park. There is no better way to see the Grand Canyon than by train.