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GCL Parker to Williams Page 1

The Grand Canyon Limited

Parker, AZ to Williams, AZ

May 15, 2012

Story and photographs by Richard Elgenson
RailNewsNetwork writer

After enjoying an air conditioned night of sleep on the Colorado River at the Blue Water Resort, I awoke to a nice view of the river.  It was an oasis in the desert.  Actually, I had been concerned about getting up on time since I could not get a wake up call from the resort and I didn't trust the clock radio in the room.  However, since I have to be at the worker bee job at normally 6:00 AM, I woke up before my cell phone alarm.

On the bus ride back to the Grand Canyon Limited train, I had a view of the A & C bridge over the river.  That photo was not worth posting, but the photo of the rear end of the train is.  Notice the pizza guy to the left of the bungalow.  To the right of the bungalow, one can see the two locomotives.  The red and white one is lettered for the San Joaquin Valley Railroad Co.  The motive power consist from Cadiz from the prior afternoon was also back at the yard.


On the first day, the Grand Canyon Limited ran 85 miles on the Arizona & California Railroad.  We were subject to a slow order of 15 miles per hour.  There was a lot of conjecture of why that happened.  First, transportation systems have rules and regulations.  The Federal Railroad Administration has jurisdiction over many aspects of railroads.  There are rules regarding freight only railroads and when a passenger train is to be run over freight only track, there is to be a physical inspection of said track.  So, an FRA rule caused the A & C management to run the GCL at a much reduced speed over the entire route which severely impacted our schedule.  We had expected to run at freight train speeds of 35 and 40 miles per hour.  We now had 106 miles from Parker to Matthie with a slow order.  That's life on a railroad, so we boarded the Grand Canyon Limited after not much of a night of sleep.

Being the rare visit of a train to a location such as this, people were out to see it en masse.


Once under way, people were still checking our train out.


A highway paralleled the track which enabled our entended family to follow us.



There were those people again and finally some industry with a rail spur.


We even had friends in the sky again today.


Word was passed around by the NRHS car hosts that we would be stopping for a run by.    We slowed to a stop at the town of Bouse.  It appears that citizens of Arizona take their arms seriously.  I think Arizona and Alaska have the best flags.  Imagine, Arizona is the 48th state admitted to the union and is celebrating 100 years of statehood and Alaska is the 49th state and just celebrated 50 years of statehood in 2009.  The fishing is better in Alaska though.


Our friend with the cool vest was on the ground in Bouse.  Philip had an Alaska Railroad patch as well as non railroad patches.  I think KCS is his favorite.  In any case, we all were about to enjoy a runby of the Grand Canyon Limited.  Even the town of Bouse and the automobile entourage could partake.


Grand Canyon Limited Page 2

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