SOURCE: Verde Canyon Railroad

Verde Canyon Railroad

March 23, 2015 13:36 ET

Celebrate National Train Day at Verde Canyon Railroad

SEDONA, AZ and COTTONWOOD, AZ and CLARKDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - Mar 23, 2015) - Celebrating 25 years of wilderness excursions, Verde Canyon Railroad rejoices in railroad history this year and every year during the annual National Train Day event at the historic train's Clarkdale depot. On Saturday, May 9th, from 10:00am-1:00pm, this free event applauds the important history of American Railroads. Fun for all ages, this celebration includes exhibits and activities from local attractions and organizations as well as guided tours of the John Bell Museum and the train's vintage rail cars.

Keeping this vintage line alive and thriving takes continuous effort, ingenuity and outreach. Running as a scenic wilderness excursion since 1990 on rails completed in 1912, this year also celebrates completion of several key projects. The southwestern style depot has been given a facelift of refreshed adobe. The John Bell Museum has been updated with brand new displays illustrating the interesting stories of the railroad and its surrounding environs, and a series of colorful and educational storyboards now decorate the depot platform. In addition, the Verde Canyon Railroad's handsome midcentury FP7 locomotives wear a fresh coat of brilliant turquoise paint.

This free event at the Verde Canyon Railroad Depot is fun for all ages. It includes exhibits and activities from local attractions and organizations as well as guided tours of the John Bell Museum and the train's vintage rail cars.

Liberty Wildlife will be sharing rescued educational birds with all guests at the depot, as well as on board the train. The Verde Valley will be well-represented with area attractions including Out of Africa Wildlife Park, Local First Arizona, the Clarkdale Copper Art Museum and Clarkdale Heritage Museum, Blazin' M Ranch and Arizona Offroad Tours. Famous Arizona freelance writer Roger Naylor will be signing copies of his most recent books. Live music will entertain visitors as they enjoy a delicious BBQ ribs and chicken luncheon, available for purchase on the patio in addition to many refreshing beverage options.

Guests interested in continuing the rail celebration aboard the 1:00pm train are encouraged to book train reservations in advance, as the ride does sell out in advance of the depot festivities.

Railroads built the United States and continue to be an important and efficient method of transportation. Heritage railroads such as Arizona's Verde Canyon Railroad continue to thrive into the 21st century, sharing a glimpse of its storied past with the thousands of passengers who ride each year. Towns such as Sedona and Jerome benefited greatly from the railroad's construction in 1912, linking these small, rural communities to the world via the Santa Fe Railroad to the north. Officially deemed an "Arizona Treasure," Verde Canyon Railroad approaches its two millionth passenger carried through the scenic wilderness since becoming a passenger excursion train in 1990.

The train provides a comfortable, yet exciting journey through this historic setting as it travels a leisurely four hours from the charming Clarkdale depot to the ghost ranch at Perkinsville and back. Awe-inspiring rock formations, historic trestles, ancient cliff dwellings and soaring raptors are just a few of the trip's many highlights. First-class cars boast plush seating, complimentary appetizers and a full-service bar. Coach offers vintage Pullman-style seating and snack bars. Everyone has panoramic windows and limitless access to open-air viewing cars offering 360-degree views and spectacular photographic opportunities. 

Just 25 minutes from scenic Sedona and 10 minutes from historic Jerome, Verde Canyon Railroad is located in the heart of Arizona's Verde Valley, named one of Lonely Planet's top 10 destinations.

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