The Grand Canyon Railway is the only train tour to the Grand Canyon and the company makes the most of its history and status. Leaving from Williams, AZ, the streamliner era train passes through desert, prairie and pine on its way to the South Rim. The trip itself takes about 2 and 1/4 hours but rest assured, you won’t be bored along the way. Entertainers traverse the old style cars singing, acting and telling stories. Several levels of luxury are available for booking from traditional coach, to first class to parlor car. An observation car with panoramic window viewing offers a special treat on the second level of the train. Booking the parlor car means access to the rear platform for outdoor viewing, a bar and lounge-style seating. Costs vary according to your seating choice, but all in all, the train is an affordable tour package. Add-ons include jeep, float, helicopter and hiking tours and overnights in Grand Canyon or Williams hotels. The train runs every day of the year but only once a day so book early to ensure availability.
People traveling with small children appreciated the ability for kids to be up and about and entertained throughout the ride. The ride itself receives good reviews across the board. Customer service before and after, however, don’t always get a gold star. Serving so many guests a year, mistakes are bound to happen. Handling them with grace doesn’t always seem to though. But rest assured, once on the train, you’re likely to enjoy your experience.
Most popular tours
Coach Class: Enjoy comfortable bench-style seating in these classic air-conditioned 1950s era passenger cars. Strolling musicians roam the cars playing the tunes of yesteryear while your passenger service attendant will be there to add insight and answer questions.
First Class: Oversized, reclining seats with plenty of leg room and grand picture windows that enhance the scenic journey. Comfort abounds as fresh fruit, pastries, coffee and juice are provided during the morning.
Observation Dome: Room With a View – An unforgettable experience, thanks to a glass-enclosed streamliner that offers panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. Glide through the changing landscape in the comfort of padded high-back chairs from high above the train.