Last summer my husband, Karl, and I took our daughter to the Verde Canyon Railroad. It runs from Clarkdale, AZ to Perkinsville AZ and back. It is a four hour trip starting at 1:00 pm. Clarkdale is within easy driving distance from most places in Arizona.
The Verde River flows through a canyon that is only accessible by rail. We passed through towering red cliffs, over fortified trestles, and through a 680’ man made tunnel. The hostesses in each car and the hostesses in the open air flat cars alerted us to interesting rock formations, wild life, and historic ruins that we saw along the way.
None of us had ever been there, but fortunately the ticket agent recommended I spend a little extra and buy the first class tickets. The two first class cars served food along with a full bar, soft drinks, tea, coffee, and water. The drinks were an extra charge, however, after the first one. The other advantage of the first class was in the open air flat car that we used for viewing. Many fewer people were in our car so the views were easy to see and spectacular.
The engines look very sleek and modern, but actually this model of locomotive FP7 is now rare in North American. The passenger cars are renovated, clean and comfortable. I wish I had known about the possibility of the caboose. It is a flat rate for a group of no more than 6 people. They have the whole car and the outside platforms at either end. I think I’ll look for a group of 6 next time!
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