Santa Fe 3751 to run May 2012 Grand Canyon excursions

The excursion train with Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751, heading from Los Angeles to San Diego, passes through the flowers at Poinsettia, just south of Carlsbad, on California’s Surf Line. Photo by Douglas G. Walker

Plans for Santa Fe 4-8-4 No. 3751 to pull excursion trains from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon in May 2012 are being finalized. This 9 day steam excursion will be operated under contract with Amtrak, BNSF, Grand Canyon and the Arizona & California Railroads. Trains and Travel International of Reno and Central Coast Railway Club from Santa Clara, Calif., will jointly sponsor trips to and from the Grand Canyon. Reservations and ticket sales can be made through Trains & Travel International, while the Central Coast Railway Club will be in charge of the operating portion of the excursion.

Dubbed the Grand Canyon Limited after a Santa Fe passenger train of the same name, the planned itinerary is as follows:

Day 1: Sunday, May 13: Los Angeles to Barstow via Cajon Pass on BNSF Railway, 155 miles.

Day 2: Monday, May 14: Barstow to Parker, 182 miles across the Mojave Desert on BNSF as far as Cadiz, Calif. The train will continue from Cadiz to Parker, Ariz. on the Arizona & California Railroad, a distance of 85 miles.

Day 3: Tuesday, May 15: Parker to Williams, Ariz., 256 miles. The first leg will be Parker to Matthie, Ariz. on the Arizona & California, then on BNSF’s freight only “Peavine” line to Williams.

Day 4: Wednesday, May 16: Williams to Grand Canyon round trip, 127 miles on the Grand Canyon Railroad. No. 3751 will doublehead on this trip with ex-Burlington 2-8-2 No. 4960.

Day 5: Thursday, May 17: Williams to Phoenix, 206 miles on the BNSF Peavine Line.

Day 6: Friday, May 18: Layover in Phoenix to service the steam locomotive and train.

Day 7: Saturday, May 19: Phoenix to Matthie round trip on the BNSF Peavine
Line, 116 miles.

Day 8: Sunday, May 20: Phoenix to Parker, 164 miles. Phoenix to Matthie on
BNSF and to Parker on the Arizona & California.

Day 9: Monday, May 21: Parker to Los Angeles, 333 miles. Parker to Cadiz on Arizona & California, then to Los Angeles on BNSF via Cajon Pass.

Plans call for photo run-bys to be made on most days, freight traffic and timing permitting.

The San Berardino Railroad Historical Society is home to Santa Fe steam engine, No. 3751, Northern class  4-8-4. and is dedicated to the preservation of Santa Fe Railroad operating and mechanical documentation and the maintenance and operation of former Santa Fe steam locomotive 3751.

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