From tomorrow there’s a new way to travel to the Grand Canyon in style. The Rail Baron Charter, a private luxury train comprised of three 1940s and 1950s railcars, will be operating on the Grand Canyon Railway.
The train set comprises The Kansas – a rear open-aired observation car (Photo above); The Utah – a parlor/café and lounge car; and The California – a vista dome/sleeper car. It will be available for charters for the first time ever from Williams, Arizona, to the Grand Canyon, from 1st Nov 2019.
Grand Canyon Railway is not a tourist railroad or heritage museum – it’s a working passenger railroad that runs 65 miles from Williams (on historic Route 66) to within steps of the South Rim of Grand Canyon.
Two other historic rail cars will also be made available for charters: The Santa Fe – a luxury parlor/lounge/café car; and the Max Biegert – also a luxury parlor car with an open-air rear platform. Charters have a choice of engines – a traditional diesel engine or a classic steam engine.
You could charter the train for a private family trip to the Canyon, if your pockets were deep enough, but the Rail Baron marketing is aimed squarely at the corporate events market and large group events such as weddings or reunions. The five cars can accommodate 200 guests. So a full luxury train charter could cost less than $160 per person.
Charters include an engineer, brakeman, conductor, and passenger service attendant to provide for every need. It’s possible to add stops along the way (on sidings) for a Chuck Wagon dinner, bar service, live entertainment, custom food service (these passenger cars have kitchens) a personal chef, or even to have a sleepover in the private sleeping cars.