July 23, 2011
GRAND CANYON RAILWAY TRIP
Click on photos to enlarge
By FRANK BARNING
I love railroads. My dad worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad for more than 30 years at Penn Station in New York City as a ticket seller. When I was a youngster, our family traveled on trains a great deal because dad could get free passes. As an adult, in my travels, railroad trips are sought. We have been on them from Finland to New Zealand.
One of my favorites, and only four hours from our home in Las Vegas, is the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, Ariz. directly to virtually the canyon's rim. Our train was attacked by gunmen on horseback, ala the notorious Jesse James gang.
According to its website (http://www.thetrain.com/), "Grand Canyon Railway made its first journey to the South Rim in 1901, long before Arizona was dubbed the "Grand Canyon State." With the arrival of the train, people could get to the legendary canyon with ease and comfort. Today, you can travel to Grand Canyon National Park along the same rail line your parents or grandparents did. Select from one of four vintage classes of service which have been lovingly restored. Journey to Grand Canyon National Park aboard Grand Canyon Railway and take a trip not only to America's most recognized spectacle, but a trip back in time."
Vivian and I took the train trip in September 2005 with our friends from Kansas, Anita and Dr. Charles Lenoir. Charles' dad was also a railroader and he has traveled on more trains than anyone else I know. He and I have discussed taking a train trip from Sydney to Perth, Australia, a ride longer than from Maine to California. The Grand Canyon ride was long enough for me, so I am not up to a cross Australia jaunt.
In any case, check out the Grand Canyon Railway on the internet, if this blog post piques your interest.
My photos might give you an idea of what it was like for the Lenoirs (see photo of them at the rim of the canyon) and the Barnings.
Photos by Frank Barning