Tuesday, January 24, 2012

       To celebrate Arizona’s 100th birthday, Grand Canyon Railway(GCR) will operate the “Official Arizona Centennial Train” Feb. 14, 2012 by making a special round-trip run to the Grand Canyon using GCR’s steam locomotive #4960. This historic locomotive has been converted to use recycled vegetable oil for fuel, and reclaimed rain and snow melt are used in the boiler for steam.
       In addition, the National Park Service has designated Feb. 14 a “fee-free” day at Grand Canyon National Park.
       Centennial Train passengers will ride coach class in fully refurbished historic 1923 Harriman-style rail cars for only $7.50 round trip, approximately what it cost in 1912. The Winslow Harvey Girls and the Bill Williams Mountain Men will also be onboard to provide narrative information and stories from Arizona’s history.
       The Official Arizona Centennial Train will depart the Williams Depot at 9:30 a.m. and arrive the Grand Canyon Depot at 11:45 a.m. The train will then depart the Grand Canyon Depot at 3:30 p.m. and arrive in Williams at 5:45 p.m.
       “We are pleased that the state has designated Grand Canyon Railway’s February 14th steam run the official ‘Centennial Train,’” said Bob Baker, general manager of train operations. “Much of GCR’s history is intertwined with the state’s as we matured over the past century.
       Even those who are not riding on the train may wish to see the train off, said Baker. “Many train enthusiasts follow vintage steam engines, and each time engine #4960 is fired up it creates a photo opportunity and a chance to see this famous engine in action.”
       The pre-departure Wild West Show will be as entertaining as always, Baker added.
       That night the “Centennial Sweetheart Dinner” will be held at Sultana Theatre – also celebrating its 100th anniversary – in Williams. Now a special events center, the facility’s screen and curtain remain. The Sweetheart Dinner will feature a photographic account of Williams’ history as well as narrative accounts from local historians and a musical show recounting the previous 100 years. Proceeds from the dinner will be donated to the local Historical Society for purchase of preservation equipment to help preserve Williams’ historic artifacts. Tickets are available through the Chamber by visiting http://www.experiencewilliams.com/.

Posted by Anne Gordon on Tuesday, 24th January, 2012


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