Arizona Train Trips

Those who are interested in "riding the rails" have several options from which to choose in Arizona. Scenic tours offer renovated cars that travel through tunnels and along canyons, while Amtrak maintains modern passenger service throughout the state. During peak times, such as summer months and holidays, reservations may be required for train trips.

Verde Canyon Railroad

The Verde Canyon Railroad makes a four-hour round trip from Clarksdale, an old mining community, to a ghost ranch in Perkinsville. Along the route, visitors are treated to views of Sycamore Canyon, ancient cliff dwellings, abandoned frontier homesteads, trestles, and bridges. The cars have all been refurbished and are equipped with restrooms and climate controls for passenger comfort. Canopied outdoor platforms are also available. The caboose is a private car for one group of six or fewer adults. Guests are served champagne and appetizers during the trip. First class passengers receive champagne and southwestern style appetizers while seated at either a table and chair or love seats. Coach service offers Pullman seating, and passengers can purchase snacks and beverages during the trip. Open air cars allow both first class and coach passengers to enjoy the view in shaded comfort while listening to guides narrate points of interest. The schedule changes with the seasons, but the normal departure time is 1 p.m., with special "Starlight Rides" departing at 5:30 p.m. The days of operation depend on the season. Rates as of 2010 are $600 for the caboose charter, which is for up to six people. First class tickets are $79.95, and coach fares are $34.95 for children under the age of 12, $49.95 for seniors over 65, and $54.95 for adults. Tickets for the special trains, such as the Tequila Sunset Limited or the Grape Train Escape, range from $89.95 to $119.



Verde Canyon Railroad

300 N. Broadway

Clarksdale, AZ 86324

800-582-7245

verdecanyonrr.com

Grand Canyon Railway

The Grand Canyon Railway departs from the Williams depot daily at 9:30 a.m. It makes a 130-mile round trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, returning to Williams at 5:45 p.m. The first class rates for 2010 are $140 for adults and $110 for children. The observation dome ($170) and Luxury Parlor ($190) do not allow passengers under the age of 15. All passengers receive snacks, such as pastries or fruit in the mornings, and beverages. The coach rates for 2010 are $70 for adults and $40 for children. The railway also operates the "Polar Express" annually from mid-November until the first week of January. The train leaves Williams daily at 6:30 p.m., with a second train at 8 p.m. most days. Rates for 2010 are $29 for adults and $19 for children under the age of 15, except for the Christmas Eve train, for which the tickets are $58 and $38.



Grand Canyon Railway

233 N. Grand Canyon Blvd.

Williams, AZ 86046

800-843-8724

thetrain.com

Amtrak

Amtrak operates stations in Benson, Camp Verde, Flagstaff, Kingman, Maricopa, Phenix, Sedona, Tucson, Tusayan, and Williams, Arizona, as well as the Grand Canyon National Park. However, passengers can schedule a custom route between any points desired, depending on the availability of equipment. Fares and schedules will depend on the exact route desired and the ages of the passengers.



Amtrak

800-872-7245

amtrak.com