Grand Canyon Railway - Steam Saturday May 2018

Grand Canyon Railway - Steam Saturday May 2018

Posted by Keith Peters on May 21st 2018

One of our key interests is to photograph history - this includes ghost towns, cowboys and all things rusty. When you think of history especially in the west, steam locomotives are at the top of that list. And there is no better way to get the experience of a live steam locomotive than to visit the Grand Canyon Railway during one of their Steam Saturdays.

1250 Grand Canyon Railway Sunset On The Polar Express - Arizona

The Grand Canyon Railway has a great collection of working steam locomotives and rolling stock. This is a photograph of one of their locomotives on display at the depot in Williams. We took this photograph late in the day as the sun was setting. I like the way the side of the engine and the rails are picking up the late day sunlight.

1255 Grand Canyon Rail Yard At Night - Williams Arizona

This is a photograph of the rail yard across the street from the depot in Wiliams, Arizona. The Grand Canyon Railway keeps the lights on in the cars at night - this combined with the mercury vapor lights in the yard resulted in this great night photograph.

Each of the cars have their own special story, the car on the right with the platform is named the Chief and it has a very interesting history. The following is from the Grand Canyon Railway website.


The Chief was built in 1947 for use on the Atlantic Coast, in service between New York and Miami. It was retired in the early 1980s and sat in storage until it was purchased by a private investor where it was moved to San Antonio and after being refurbished for $250,000, was put into service for the Texas Southern Dinner Train from 1989-1991. After 1991, it served as a dinner car for charter in Mexico until 1993 when it was seized by the Mexican government. After a protracted legal battle the car was returned in 1994 to the US-Mexico border where it was picked up by the Union Pacific for delivery to San Antonio but the car was lost en route and found later that year in New Orleans. The car was subsequently damaged in a rear end collision on its return to San Antonio and the owner put it into storage before selling it in 1999. The next owner added the observation platform at a cost of $95,000 to cover up the damage caused in the collision, but decided to sell the car prior to completing the restoration. Grand Canyon Railway acquired the car in 2002 and put it into service in October of that year as the Chief. It is 76 feet long, carries 37 passengers, and features an open air rear platform.

1252 Grand Canyon Railway #4960- Williams Arizona

The Grand Canyon Railway (GCR) has a great collection of working steam locomotives and rolling stock. This is a photograph of GCR # 4960 at the Grand Canyon deport. 4960 is a 2-8-2 "Mikado" built in 1923 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia. One of the unique qualities of the this steam locomotive is that GCR converted this locomotive to burn recycled Waste Vegetable Oil. Using this engine to pull their monthly steam excursion trains, #4960 has become one of the most recognizable operational steam locomotives in the US.

1253 Grand Canyon Railway #4960 At Grand Canyon Station

This is a photograph of GCR # 4960 at the Grand Canyon depot.


1254 Grand Canyon Railway #4960 Departing Grand Canyon

Teresa positioned herself on a bend in the track to get this dramatic shot of the train starting it's return to Williams from the Grand Canyon.

Click here to see all of the photographs taken of the Grand Canyon Railway

This is a short video of Grand Canyon Railway Steam Saturday.