Friday, May 17, 2013

National Train Day in Williams, Arizona

The Grand Canyon Railway runs the Polar Express every Thanksgiving through New Year's
Ever wonder where the Polar Express goes during the summer?  The Grand Canyon!  Actually, we stumbled upon the Polar Express at National Train Day in Williams, Arizona.  Every year the Grand Canyon Railway plays host to train buffs of all sizes.  Model railways are set up on display, the Harvey Girls come down from Winslow and a round-trip ride from Williams to Cataract Creek is only $15 for adults, $10 for children.  A grand adventure if you don't want to do the all-day trip to the Grand Canyon and back or if you've never been on a train before.

Ladie's fainting couch
I could not resist snapping shots of the "fainting couch" in the ladies room of the "Williams Flyer".  The men's room only had a single chair, but both facilities were far roomier than the current offerings on Amtrak.  The Flyer was Max and Thelma Biegert's personal railcar, when they owned the Grand Canyon Railway (now owned by Xanterra).  On this day it was the display area for the Fred Harvey china collection, complete with live Harvey Girls, who were more than happy to give commentary and answer questions about the china, the Harvey Company and the hotels it built along the railway.

Harvey Girls and Fred Harvey china
To even begin to describe the romance of train travel to a world enamored of the personal vehicle is an insurmountable task and would take far more room than I like to give to a blog post.  If you've ever caught yourself watching a model train go round and round its track, or if you've ever sat down with a preschooler and gotten caught up in an episode of "Thomas the Tank Engine", maybe you know what I mean.  Your next step would be to take a short train ride somewhere - not on a commuter train.  Perhaps you could take a short trip on Amtrak, or if your nearest train station has other options, give it a try.  You might get hooked!

Steam engine

Winslow Harvey Girls
P. O. Box 1
Winslow, AZ 86047 (928) 289-9110

The Winslow Harvey Girls are dedicated volunteers committed to preserving the history of Fred Harvey, the famous Harvey Girls, Mary Colter and the Santa Fe Railroad. They serve as meeters and greeters and ambassadors of goodwill for Winslow and Historic La Posada.
For tour information call Chris at (928) 289-9110 or Marie (detour agent) at (928) 289-3737.

No comments: