Grand Canyon Railway 2-8-2 "Mikado" Locomotives in the USA

The Grand Canton Railway was started in the late 1800s by Lombard Goode and Company in partnership with a prospector named William Owen O.Neill in hopes of transporting ore from the mines that were being dug about 45 miles north of the town of Williams, AZ. Despite the many prospectors that came to the Grand County there was not enough ore to justify a railroad and the railway was in deep financial trouble by 1899.

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway saw an opportunity to make a profit from transporting tourists to the Grand Canyon so it bought the Grand Canyon Railway and completed track to the .rim. by 1901. The first tourist train to the South Rim ran on September 17, 1901. The Santa Fe built the El Tovar Hotel in 1905 with materials it delivered via the railway. For many years the railway was used to bring supplies and water to the canyon. The Grand Canyon Railway ceased service to the canyon in 1968 due to a decline in rider-ship.

In 1989, its current owners reopened the railway and today it carries over 150,000 passengers a year. The railway runs every day, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The railway obtained retired CB&Q number 4960 and rebuilt it for used on its railway.

The Grand Canyon Railway has two operable steam locomotives that have been restored to like-new working condition. Locomotive No. 4960 was built in 1923 by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia. It operated a freight- and coal-hauling service for the Midwestern Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad until the late 1950s and made its first official run on the Grand Canyon line in 1996. Locomotive No. 29 was restored in 2004 at a cost of more than $1 million and 26,000 man-hours of labor. An SC-3 class locomotive, Locomotive No. 29 was built in 1906 by ALCO in Pittsburgh and weighs 185 tons.


ClassQty.Road NumbersFrom Other RRYear AcquiredYear BuiltBuilder
Road Numbers4960
Wheel Arrangement:2-8-2
Drivers:64" dia.
Weight on Drivers:226,620 lbs.
Total Locomotive Weight:299,810 lbs.
Locomotive & Tender Weight: 
Grate Area:58.8 sq. ft.
Cylinders (dia. x stroke):(2) 27" x 30"
Boiler Pressure:180 psi
Tractive Effort:52,300 lbs.
Tender Capacity: 
Water:10,500 gals.
Coal:19 tons
  • 4960 (Bob Ribokas Photo)
  • 4960 (unknown photographer)
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Wes Barris