Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway travels a historic rail line from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The first train trip to the canyon was on September 17, 1901, eliminating the arduous task of getting to the canyon by stagecoach. The line, operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, essentially opened the canyon for tourism by providing a convenient, safe and cost-effective ($3.95) means of transportation. The railroad built many of the structures than now grace the South Rim, including El Tovar Hotel, Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio and Hopi House, to make the canyon a destination with amenities people could enjoy after their long trek to the Southwest. On a deal that began with a handshake, the Santa Fe had the Fred Harvey Company manage the hotels and dining establishments at the Grand Canyon and in Williams. Now, more than 100 years later, the canyon and the structures along the South Rim remain much the same, but the Santa Fe and Fred Harvey Company are long gone – sort of. All operations at the South Rim and in Williams are operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts.