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Grand Canyon Railway to discontinue Amtrak shuttle service


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#61 KmH

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 11:30 PM

On Google Maps it looks like the Holiday Inn Express is a fairly new addition in Williams.

https://www.google.c...m/data=!3m1!1e3

It was a vacant lot back in September of 2011:

https://www.google.c...!7i13312!8i6656

 

And there will soon be, or is, a La Quinta Inn & Suites adjacent to the Holiday inn Express.

 

Grand Canyon Railway Hotel (Xanterra) has new competition re accommodations.

 

It was a vacant lot back in September of 2011:

https://www.google.c...!7i13312!8i6656


Edited by KmH, 10 November 2017 - 10:05 AM.

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#62 Chaz

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 08:40 AM

Effective January 1, 2018 service will be discontinued at Williams Junction (WMJ). Trains 3 & 4 will no longer stop at Williams Junction. New Thruway service between Flagstaff and Williams(WMA) begins January 1, 2018, stopping at the Holiday Inn Express, NOT the Grand Canyon Railway(WMA). These changes will be reflected through the reservation channels beginning November 15th




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#63 neroden

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 11:32 AM

Effective January 1, 2018 service will be discontinued at Williams Junction (WMJ). Trains 3 & 4 will no longer stop at Williams Junction. New Thruway service between Flagstaff and Williams(WMA) begins January 1, 2018, stopping at the Holiday Inn Express, NOT the Grand Canyon Railway(WMA). These changes will be reflected through the reservation channels beginning November 15th

Do we know whether the new Thruway service is meeting the trains from *both directions*?


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#64 greatcats

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 11:40 AM

I am going to go investigate in the next few days. If it wasn’t for that spooky at night forest Road, this would undoubtedly be handled differently.


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I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#65 greatcats

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 12:07 AM

I took a drive over to WILLIAMS today and located the Holiday Inn Express, which is a 2 year old Hotel and it is a few blocks walk to the Grand Canyon Railway. The gentleman at the desk knew nothing about the upcoming Amtrak arrangements, but gave me the manager’s card. Had a good dinner at Red Raven.


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Edited by greatcats, 13 November 2017 - 12:07 AM.

I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#66 Bob Dylan

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 10:14 AM

So typical of Amtrak to make Major adjustments and those that will be directly affected ,ie the employees @ the Holiday Inn Express in Williams, know nothing about it!

Good thing the changes don't start for a few years eh, no wait....🤔

Edited by Bob Dylan, 13 November 2017 - 10:15 AM.

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#67 jis

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 10:38 AM

But Jan 1 is still more than 6 weeks away. I am actually not surprised that a desk clerk at the Holiday Inn  does not know anything about it at this point. I am actually wondering what eaxct role anyone in the Holiday inn has in all this. Are they going to be handling bagagge and tickets? If not, and if it is merely a bus stopping in front of the hotel, what do they have to do?



#68 greatcats

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 10:43 AM

I agree that this is not surprising. I was just reporting on what I found yesterday. The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel I have observed is in touch with Flagstaff ticket office as to the number of passengers expected, but they have been the ones running the shuttle, but do not handle tickets or baggage.


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I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#69 Chaz

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 10:49 AM

So typical of Amtrak to make Major adjustments and those that will be directly affected ,ie the employees @ the Holiday Inn Express in Williams, know nothing about it!

Good thing the changes don't start for a few years eh, no wait....


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#70 MikefromCrete

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 10:51 AM

It's not surprising at all that some random desk clerk doesn't know about the upcoming shuttle stop. I imagine the hotel will only be a place to pick up and drop off passengers, with the hotel employees having little to do with the operation, other than check in passengers who are staying at the hotel. 



#71 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 12:01 PM

It's not surprising at all that some random desk clerk doesn't know about the upcoming shuttle stop. I imagine the hotel will only be a place to pick up and drop off passengers, with the hotel employees having little to do with the operation, other than check in passengers who are staying at the hotel.


I'm not surprised the clerk doesn't know, and presumably somebody will say something before the service begins, but if the ball is dropped I wouldn't want to depend on the good graces of an uninformed check-in clerk in the middle of the night during a Northern Arizona winter.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 13 November 2017 - 12:01 PM.

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#72 greatcats

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 10:33 PM

Tonight I was in downtown Flagstaff and strolled over to the station between the numerous long freight trains.   I asked the gent on duty in the station what he knew about the discontinuance of the Williams Junction stop.   He has only heard something about it, and does not rely on rumors, and has heard nothing official.   Another poster earlier in this thread quoted a notice, which I do not find on the Amtrak website, that a shuttle was to be provided to from Flagstaff to the Holiday Inn Express in Williams.   I have punched in reservation dates for January and it says there are no trains serving this station.   The way it reads now, January 1 will be the last day of service to Williams Junction.    To me this indicates one of two things:   1.   Amtrak intends to completely drop service to Williams after January 1 ( and no reservations are currently being accepted ) or 2:they are still trying to hammer out details of how to arrange a shuttle.   In previous posts, while i am not pleased about this, I can see some of the reasons for the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel dropping out of the picture.   I would think that Arizona Shuttle, which provides frequent service to Phoenix Airport and also to Grand Canyon via Williams, could be contracted to meet the Amtrak trains.  


I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#73 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 08:49 AM

When I rode the Chief last year, I had dinner with a man who was also going on the Grand Canyon railway. I was getting off in williams, and he was going on to Flafstaff and taking a bus from there. He ended up in Williams the next day, so I am assuming that bus does exist?

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#74 greatcats

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:06 AM

Yes, there are I believe two, sometimes three trips per day that operate Flagstaff- Williams- Grand Canyon ( South Rim. ). They do not correspond with the times of the Amtrak train, although they originate at Flagstaff station.


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I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#75 KnightRail

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 11:50 PM

Greatcats, what is unclear at this point?, other than the gent in Flagstaff hasnt been reading his advisories.
Train service to Williams Junction(platform in the woods) is totally going away in the new year. No Amtrak train will stop anywhere in Williams. Any travel to Williams by Amtrak train will be via Flagstaff. The new thruway services operated by Arizona shuttle are defenitly loaded and available to book. City code Williams, AZ - Holiday Inn Express (WMH)

FLG-WMH
8954 6:00a>6:45a
8953 10:10p>10:55p

WMH-FLG
8854 4:15a>5:00a
8853 7:30p>8:15p

While some of the times do not correspond exactly with train times, these are the established thruway connections for Williams for Trains 3 & 4.

Edited by KnightRail, 30 November 2017 - 11:53 PM.


#76 greatcats

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 12:05 AM

Sure wasn't clear to me, and I have been poking around Williams and Flagstaff asking questions.   I don't see any service advisory on Amtrak website..   So, anyway, thank you for the information.   I am not going to use this service, but since I am a tour guide of sorts for National Park Service I give out all kinds of advice.     It is a rather time wasting proposition to and from the west, more practical to and from the east.   


I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#77 Ryan

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 05:15 AM

If you try to book travel after the first of the year to WMA, it shows you going through Flagstaff to WMH, and then a self transfer to WMA.

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#78 neroden

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 11:29 AM

Well, at least they got the bus connection to both trains, but it's going to be *quite unpopular* with the 11 PM hike along the streets of Williams.
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#79 greatcats

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 11:33 AM

How about the4am bike?


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I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#80 TiBike

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 12:50 PM

No change for cyclists. No baggage service at Williams, so no bikes, except folders. They'd have to go to Flagstaff anyway. It's actually a service upgrade: the thruway is a new Plan B, if the weather or arrival times or whatever turn ugly.

 

It would be different if Amtrak long distance staff could ever figure out how to deal with a bicycle at a station that doesn't have baggage service. Maybe they could ask the 8 year old kids who have figured out how to do it on the corridor trains?

 

 

How about the4am bike?


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