SOURCE: Verde Canyon Railroad

Verde Canyon Railroad

January 02, 2016 10:00 ET

Become a Member of Verde Canyon Railroad's Elite Honorary Engineer's Guild With a Ride-Along

SEDONA, AZ and VERDE VALLEY, AZ and CLARKDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - January 02, 2016) - After 25 years of requests, Verde Canyon Railroad is introducing a locomotive "ride-along" program for those wishing to see the magnificent Verde Canyon from inside the cab of a powerful railroad engine. Not more than 20 people, mostly employees, have experienced 1500 horses under the hood while riding a surge of enormous power since the Railroad's inception more than two decades ago. It is now time for enthusiasts to rub elbows with Verde Canyon Railroad's engineer and conductor aboard an historic FP7 locomotive and become members of an elite guild. With less than 10 FP7s operating in North America, this vintage midcentury locomotive is a rare steed and Verde Canyon Railroad has two of them making the canyon run on a daily basis, but only one ride-along guest crew member will be seated cab side each day, adding to the exclusiveness of the adventure.

Those wishing to take the ride will start the day dressed in complimentary Verde Canyon Railroad safety gear, ready to assist the engineer and conductor in their daily preparations for the passenger train's departure from the Clarkdale depot. The train crew will impart insider information on the rules of VCRR's rails, intimate little-known facts and history, colorful railroad terminology and behind-the-scene procedures that have kept this successful tourist train rolling through the wild and scenic Verde Canyon since 1990. All information about the ride-along will be preserved for the guest crew member in a personal portfolio for future perusing and sharing.

A complimentary lunch from the Copper Spike Café is included prior to the train's 1 p.m. departure. During the ride-along, the crew member will be seated between the engineer and conductor inside the cab of the Railroad's classic 1953 General Motors EMD FP7 locomotive during the entire four-hour rail journey to Perkinsville and back.

At Perkinsville, the ride-along guest will join the conductor in detaching and reconnecting the locomotives for the return to Clarkdale, or as they say in track terms, "pinching it down, letting the knuckle loose and lacing it back up, giving the green light back to the tie-up point." Upon arrival at the depot around 5 p.m., a framed, numbered and signed (by owner) Honorary Engineer's Certificate and photograph will be presented to the guest crew member to commemorate the perfect day and membership into this close-knit guild.

People wishing to participate in the ride-along must pass a background check, a simple safety rules test and have sufficient stamina to perform such tasks as climbing a vertical ladder into the cab and movement between the locomotive and other train cars.

Traveling on a rail line completed in 1912, Verde Canyon Railroad offers a rare glimpse of our country's history preserved in this riparian red rock canyon. It's an America carved from metal and rock with muscle and sweat; an America of eye-catching wilderness and broad blue skies; an America that was built to last. It's an America one will want to savor from inside the cab of a rare and powerful American-built locomotive.

This is the surprise gift that will fulfill an entire bucket list. For pricing and information on how to reserve this once-in-a-lifetime adventure for yourself or someone special, visit or call 800.293.7245. Only two hours from Phoenix and 25 minutes from Sedona, a ride inside a locomotive on Verde Canyon Railroad is the ideal quintessential day trip.

It's not the destination, it's the ride of a lifetime journey!

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