AT&SF Archaeology. Framed by the ruins of a decaying Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Section House at Willaha Siding, Grand Canyon Railway Locomotive #29 highballs north to the Grand Canyon Village with a short passenger special.
The ruins of several such structures line the 64-mile run from Williams to the Grand Canyon Village. This line was built in 1901 as a branch line on the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe, and hauled both tourists and freight to the south rim of the Grand Canyon until 1968. By then, Highway 64 was the primary means by which tourists reached one of America's most scenic National Parks. The line continued to function as a freight line until about 1974, when it was basically abandoned. Over the course of the next decade and a half, a number of attempts were made to revive the line as a tourist operation, but none succeeded until 1988 when Max and Thelma Biegert developed the present-day Grand Canyon Railway. The line operated all-steam operations for many years, until it was taken over by Xanterra in the 2007 timeframe. Since that time, the line has operated primarily with diesel power, running steam specials on the first Saturday of each month, during the tourist season.