Traveling by railroad offers you an experience like no other. Sit back, put your feet up, and relish the lush scenery as it passes you by!

If you love train travel and are looking for an adventure that will go down in your record book as incredibly memorable, consider a trip aboard the Grand Canyon Railway. The following are a few unusual secrets about this historic railway that we think you’ll find fascinating!

20-Year Hiatus, Vegetable Oil, and More!

The Grand Canyon Railway started operations in 1989 after nearly 20 years of inactivity. The excursion train started offering rides at a distance of 65 miles from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Locomotives used on the line today have unique features – one of the two steam engines runs on recycled waste vegetable oil from restaurants and has been dubbed the French Fry Express.  This year, the second steam engine will convert to run on vegetable oil, as well.

Stolen Parlor Car

One of the line’s luxury parlor cars was once confiscated by the Mexican government. After a yearlong struggle to get it back, it was returned to the border. However, there was allededly confusion about the delivery location. While the car was supposed to be returned to San Antonio in 1994, it was missing and only later discovered in New Orleans. Once found, the car was transported back to San Antonio. However, on the way, the train was rear-ended, so the buyer decided to conceal the damage by adding a unique rear observation platform where riders can step out while the train car is moving. Problem creatively solved!

Historic Grand Canyon Depot

If you are traveling the Grand Canyon Railway, you’ll be able to stop and check out the historic Grand Canyon Depot, established in 1910. One of only three log depots that are still standing, it is the only one currently operational.

While you’re enjoying the sights and historical stops, take note of the tracks that you’re traveling on. There are about 340,000 ties on the track and about 6,000 of them are replaced annually at about $79 each. Running a railroad is quite an investment!

Get ready to experience the Wild West like never before! If you’re looking for a trip that perfectly mixes history, culture, adventure, and relaxation, a journey on the Grand Canyon Railway is the perfect vacation getaway. Our agents at USA River Cruises are happy to help you book – call us today!