The Grand Canyon Railway Steams to the Canyon
Monday, February 17th is the 1st ‘Steam to the Canyon’ scheduled in 2014. Historic steam engine 4960 will pull passenger cars to and from the Grand Canyon. It isn’t often that this happens. Most days in the year, The train is pulled by a diesel engine.
The Grand Canyon Railway is fueled by waste vegetable oil (WVO), driven by an iron will, powered by ingenuity. The Grand Canyon Railway preserves our historic trains and the environment through which they run.
We celebrates the history of vintage rail travel with several steam-powered excursions to the Grand Canyon. You, too can ride all the way to the Canyon and back behind 90 year-old Locomotive 4960.
For years the Railway operated steam engines from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but in 2008 we discontinued regular runs because of environmental considerations. Operating an all-diesel fleet of locomotives year-round saves a considerable amount of fuel and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants associated with steam locomotives.
The railway recently became the first tourist railway in the United States to receive ISO 14001 third-party certification of its environmental management system (EMS) after a two-year process involving complete review, development and implementation of environmental initiatives in all of its operations.
There are two operable steam locomotives that have been restored to like-new working condition. Locomotive No. 4960 was built in 1923 by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia. It operated a freight and coal hauling service for the Midwestern Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (CB&Q) railroad until the late 1950s and made its first official run on the Grand Canyon line in 1996. Locomotive No. 29 was restored in 2004 at a cost of more than $1 million and 26,000 man-hours of labor. An SC-3 class locomotive, Locomotive No. 29 was built in 1906 by ALCO in Pittsburgh and weighs 185 tons. No. 29 currently enjoys semi-retirement as a prominent fixture on the platform in Williams.
For more information on the Railway and Its Steam Engine events please visit The Train.