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Two Arizona Train Towns

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Trains helped settle the American West, bringing supplies to remote communities and transporting precious metals, cattle, and other resources from those communities to larger cities where they could be sold. They were essential to survival, and every city or town of any significance had train tracks running through it.

It was no different in Arizona. Over the years, more than 75 railroads operated throughout the state, and although only four remain today, two of them are dedicated passenger trains: The Grand Canyon Railway in Williams and the Verde Canyon Railroad in Clarkdale. Both trains combine the luxury of train travel with the beauty of the Southwest for a journey you’ll never forget.

Explore Williams & The Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway Steam Train

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Williams • Grand Canyon
The railroad has played an important role in Williams since the city’s earliest days. In 1882, the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad first rolled through, connecting Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Needles, California. While it still operates today, the more famous Grand Canyon Railway debuted not long after, thanks to the efforts of Prescott Mayor, sheriff, and miner, Buckey O’Neill. We’ve got more to share on the history, but the offerings today include historic steam trains to the Canyon, the world famous Polar Express® experience, cowboy poets onboard, sleeping cars, luxury parlor cars, and so much more. Nestled in the center of Williams, it’s the perfect adventure to start your visit and venture out for Route 66, Bearizona, the Canyon Coaster Adventure Park, and more.

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Clarkdale • Verde Canyon

The story of Clarkdale’s railroad actually begins in Jerome where copper ore was discovered in 1876. While many considered the deposit too remote to ever be profitable, Senator William A. Clark developed the United Verde Mine and eventually made more than $60 million from it. Before he could sell the ore, he had to smelt it and transport it to markets. That’s where Clarkdale came in. There’s more to the story there, but today, the Verde Canyon Railroad offers four-hour, narrated trips through the canyon to Perkinsville and back. Watch for bald eagles overhead and wildlife along the Verde River as you sit in first-class seating inside the vintage train or stand outside on an adjoining observation car. In addition to the regularly offered 1pm rides, the Verde Canyon Railroad hosts special event rides such as its Magical Christmas Journey to the North Pole, Ales on Rails beer tasting, and Grape Train Escape wine tasting.

Explore Clarkdale & The Verde Canyon Railroad

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