Grand Canyon Railway plans restaurant, new cars

GRAND CANYON, Ariz.--The Grand Canyon Railway announced the development of a 300-seat restaurant and the addition of two specialty train cars.

The Grand Canyon Railway carries more than 130,000 passengers to the south rim of the canyon. The railway has services both at its Williams, Ariz., depot and on board the train.

Located adjacent to the Williams depot, the Grand Canyon Railway's new restaurant will open early in 1999. The restaurant is named after the railway's owners, Max and Thelma, and will offer passengers and area visitors a varied menu. The restaurant chefs will prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees at an open-display cooking area.

A one-of-a-kind, LGB scale model train will circle the interior of the restaurant. The backdrop behind the train will simulate day, night and seasonal weather conditions. This aerial track system will include a trestle crossing for the enjoyment of train buffs.

The railway expects increased tour group and convention business; the restaurant will have meeting facilities and will be able to support large numbers of people.

The railway is also slated to add two train cars this fall.

The Cafe Car, a moving gift shop and deli on tracks, will provide passengers with the opportunity to browse for area souvenirs, plus essentials for a Grand Canyon visit, such as film and sunscreen. Breakfast items, made-to-order deli sandwiches and snacks will be served from a customized, stainless-steel kitchen.

A second First Class passenger car will also be added, offering upgraded service for passengers. This car will be wheelchair-accessible as well.

The Grand Canyon Railway offers an excursion from Williams to the south rim of the canyon. Meandering at a relaxing pace, the train passes through dense pine forests, high desert plains with endless vistas and small arroyos as it makes its way into Grand Canyon National Park. Arriving just steps from the Grand Canyon's rim, passengers can explore the attraction before the return trip to Williams. Overnight accommodations are available at the railway's Fray Marcos Hotel.

The railway offers a variety of discounts on such options as an overnight at the Grand Canyon, bus tours that include lunch, and continental breakfast at the railway depot.

Grand Canyon Railway, Phone: (800) THE TRAIN.

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