Guide to The Grand Canyon Railway Train
The Grand Canyon Railway provides a fun journey in the heart of canyon country. If you are looking for a historical adventure, a Grand Canyon Train ride is an authentic wild west experience!
Even before the famous Grand Canyon was declared a National Park in 1919, train tracks existed in the region since 1901. The early railroad was instrumental in opening up the remote canyon to tourism, mining, and exploration.
Lovingly restored and chock full of Old West charm and personalities (musicians, cowboys, mock train robbers, and more), the 64- mile Grand Canyon Railway trip from Williams, Arizona to Grand Canyon Village is a trip back in time aboard 1950s diesel locomotives.
It is one of the most authentic and enjoyable experiences available when you visit the Grand Canyon.
After the two hour and 15 minute ride, you’ll be dropped off only a few hundred feet from the Grand Canyon rim. On the train, you’ll hear musicians spinning historical Western tunes and the passenger attendant, available on each car, will relay tales of canyon history and lore to enhance your knowledge of the region.
The entire Grand Canyon Railway is listed as part of the National Register of Historic Places. Jump ‘all aboard ‘ the antique rail cars today and take in the sweeping views on this journey through history!
Grand Canyon Railway History & Details
The historic Grand Canyon Railway made its first journey to the Grand Canyon on September 17, 1901. All supplies used in the construction of Grand Canyon Village came to Northern Arizona aboard the train. The train also brought all water to the Grand Canyon until 1926.
Grand Canyon Railway stopped service to the Grand Canyon in 1968. The railway was reopened for passenger service in 1989. The tracks were rebuilt and the historic depots at both ends of the line were lovingly restored allowing passenger service once again to return to the National Park.
Since its reopening, the Grand Canyon Railway ranks as one of the best ways to experience the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon Train offers full-day adventures on the rails with its 9:30 a.m. Arizona mountain standard time daily departures (except during November/December when it leaves at 8:30 a.m.).
On this trip, you’ll arrive at the historic Grand Canyon Depot, which dates from back in 1910. Once at Grand Canyon Village, visitors have three hours to explore the heart of the National Park. Check out the historic buildings that date back to the founding of the railway, explore the canyon on one of the many breathtaking day hikes that leave from South Rim trailheads, grab a bite to eat, and check out the informative visitors center.
The train departs the Grand Canyon at 3:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m November/December) and arrives back to Williams at 5:45 p.m (4:45 p.m. November/December).
The Grand Canyon Train also has a number of holiday themed events, including the Polar Express around the Christmas holiday, and also maintains two vintage steam locomotives that pull the train on specified “Steam” events throughout the year.
You can check for upcoming Grand Canyon Railway events here.
Train Rides to Grand Canyon Address and Prices
The Grand Canyon Railway is located in William, Arizona. The address is:
There are 6 different ways, in different classes of service, to ride the Grand Canyon Train:
Experience travel circa 1923 in a classic rail car with bench-style seats and windows that open to let in the fresh mountain air.
Travel to the canyon in streamlined cars made in the 1950s with big windows and air conditioning in warmer months.
Spread out with oversized seats, big windows, bar service, and complimentary snacks.
Ride high above in a streamliner-era dome. Children under 15 are not permitted. Bar service is available, with complimentary snacks provided.
This car features a full-length dome up top and a spacious lounge down below with private bar service, cocktails, and morning and afternoon snacks.
Travel like a rail baron in a plush parlor car with a private bar. You can step out on the rear platform for a fresh perspective.
More information on prices and levels of service for the different classes can be found here.
Grand Canyon Train Packages
You can book a Grand Canyon train package that offers discounts if you bundle train fare, overnight rooms, guided tours, and meals.
These packages let you stay at the historic Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, AZ, dine at the historic Fred Harvey Restaurant, and offer guide tours to various scenic points along the South Rim.
These multi day packages allow you to spend more time in the region and explore the wonders of the National Park and surrounding area. Our handy Grand Canyon National Park Guide and Grand Canyon South Rim guide are full of things to see and do if you have the extra time!
The one exciting activity you will not find as part of the Grand Canyon train packages are Grand Canyon helicopter tours! These can always be booked with Papillon, along with other popular Grand Canyon South Rim tours.
Grand Canyon Train FAQs
How much does it cost to ride the Grand Canyon Railway?
The Grand Canyon Railway offers six classes of services at various price points. They range from bench-style Pullman seating, priced at around $70 per adult and $30 per child, to luxury parlor cars that cost approximately $225 per passenger.
Where does the Grand Canyon train pick up and drop off?
The Grand Canyon train starts in Williams, AZ, travels for 64-miles, and drops passengers off at Grand Canyon Village.
How long does the Grand Canyon train take?
The Grand Canyon Railway trip from Williams, Arizona to Grand Canyon Village takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. It usually departs daily at 9:30 a.m. and arrives at the Grand Canyon at 11:45 a.m.