Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
Charlotte, North Carolina
April 30, 2010
From journal Ways to Have Fun in the Arizona Sun
by Craig Randall
April 11, 2005
The hotel is run by an Indian (not American or Asian) family. They are incredibly friendly and work hard to make sure you’re happy. Although a bit pricey for "budget," we were stuck. We had a double room that was comfortable for three bed-sleepers, and we set up the co-sleeper in the corner for the little one. The spartan accommodations did their utilitarian job. Wireless Internet access is free on site, which was nice and unexpected. There’s even a minimalist complimentary breakfast served in the morning. The blueberry muffins tasted homemade, and the kids enjoyed one of life’s simple pleasures: chocolate mini donuts, the kind with the plastic frosting.
Just north of the station there is a mock-up of a stable and saloon, complete with a wooden boardwalk where a shootout takes place each morning prior to the train departing for the canyon. The kids enjoy it as the local bandits argue over poker and who’s paying for breakfast ("Why don’t we get one of them there Egg McMuffins?"). One bandit gets shot as he’s standing over a pile of "horse hockey" and refuses to die in that spot. He asks to "rewind" that scene and to get "shot again" where there's no "number 2." The crowd enjoys the moment and the spirit in which this comedy is delivered.
The shoot out wraps and we board the train. The all-coach train consists of restored Pullman cars with about 20 rows of two seats on either side of an aisle. The seats can be "flipped" so that up to four people can face one another. The train makes the voyage in about 2 hours and 15 minutes. While you’re traveling, your car’s brakeman tells stories and fills you in on local lore. Traveling musicians entertain riders with everything from fiddling to banjo and cowboy guitar strumming. There’s a food car with snacks for purchase, and soft drinks (Pepsi) are complimentary to all.
After 3 hours of sightseeing at the canyon, the train makes its way back to Williams. All the kids are anticipating what they heard on the way up: The train is going to be robbed by the bandits on the way back. As it passes 5pm, a glance off to the east reveals the presence of the horseback gang. The bad guys pose for pictures, and eventually the marshal shows up and "arrests" them. The train arrives back into Williams in plenty of time for dinner, which, for us, was at Pancho McGillicuddy’s, right on Historic Route 66. The kids are exhausted and the canyon has been conquered.
From journal Two Days in Grand Canyon, AZ
St. Louis, Missouri
August 28, 2003
The Grand Canyon Railway is the company name for Rails to the Rim and they work very hard to give their customers a great experience. There are different classes of service on the train ranging from Luxury Parlor Car (adults $147, children $114 roundtrip) to Coach Class (adults $58; children $25). Plus there is a price break from October 15-March 31. They have a hotel at the Williams Depot, where you can stay, and they also arrange overnight lodging at the Grand Canyon. Varying packages are available at the number below or book this with AAA for special discounts. Also at the train station is a themed restaurant, Max and Thelma’s, and I recommend having a meal there. Another part of the packages you may opt for are tours once you get to the canyon. Some include lunch, some don’t, but they all take you to great overlooks.
When it’s time to come back, whether you’ve stayed a few hours as we did, or overnight, the train leaves at the same time 3:30pm. It’s "all aboard!" again and another fun filled ride back to Williams. This is well worth the price for a great day of traveling! Call 1-800-THE-TRAIN or use this website: www.thetrain.com.
From journal The Grand Canyon & Other Sites in the Area!
by TRAVELPRO guide
May 27, 2003
We liked seeing the trays and silver-plated serving pieces used on the white tablecloths when you dined at a Harvey House.
Most large railroad station had a Harvey House inside it for quick dining and fine dining.
The train ceased to operate in 1968, but in 1989 the Grand Canyon Railway started carrying passengers again on revamped steam locomotives.
From journal TRAIN, A GRAND WAY to see Grand Canyon
July 2, 2002
Your time at the Grand Canyon affords you three great options. One is taking the free east rim shuttle and selecting a couple of points at which to get off the bus as they run every 15 minutes. Another choice is visiting the shops at the village and having lunch. And the selection I made, to take the west rim hike of 1.75 miles one way to the Yavapai Observation Station stopping in route at the various historical buildings. This is a paved trail with little or no elevation change suitable for wheelchairs. The observation station offers a 180-degree view from inside with large glass windows. There are books on the Grand Canyon’s flora and fauna as well as geological displays.
On the relaxing return trip, gentlemen with guitars walk the aisle of each car inviting guests to join in singing songs from "This Land Was Made For You and Me" to "America The Beautiful". Shortly before reaching Williams a team of train robbers came riding up, forced the train to stop and walked through the cars demanding money. Western facades created a backdrop for a brief western comedy staged at the Williams Station.
A few facts about the Railway, in 1901 it was the first passenger train to arrive at the South Rim. The popularity of vehicles in 1968 began its demise, but reconditioning of cars began in 1989 with the Grand Canyon Depot completed in 1990. In 1995 the railways begin daily service and the Fray Marcos Hotel next door opened. By October 1998, the millionth passenger rode to the Grand Canyon.
The price of the train ticket includes admission to the Grand Canyon, which at the kiosk costs $10 per person or $20 per vehicle. I saved my train tickets for re-entry into the park and for my rafting, as it was valid for park entry for one week.
From journal 66 Kicks to Grand Canyon
Los Angeles, California
January 17, 2002
The office/depot is right in Williams. You can park your car there and ride in comfort in several different classes on the train. The train lets you off in the Grand Canyon about a block from the El Tovar. The journey takes about 2-1/4 hours one way. From the brochure I picked up there, it states that the train leaves Williams at 10:00 a.m. arrives Grand Canyon 12:15 p.m. Return trip leaves the Canyon at 3:45p.m. You could also overnight in any of the hotels in the park and return on another day.
The website for further information can be found at: www.thetrain.com/index.cfm
From journal California to New Mexico with my dog