Steam is back at Grand Canyon Railway

Locomotive No. 4960, 2The Grand Canyon Railway is celebrating the history of vintage rail travel with several steam-powered excursions to the Grand Canyon. On Presidents’ Day, locals and tourists descended on the canyon’s station to take photographs of the 91 year-old Locomotive No. 4960 on the occasion of a special visit. This beauty was built in 1923 by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia and was used in a freight and coal hauling service for the Midwestern Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (CB&Q) railroad until the late 1950s. It made its first official run on the Grand Canyon line in 1996 and, today, it is fueled by waste vegetable oil (WVO).

John, Locomotive No. 4960's engineer
John, Locomotive No. 4960’s engineer

Locomotive No. 4960 will be taking visitors to the canyon on the first Saturday of each month starting April 5 and continuing until September 6. Additional runs will be made on Earth Day (April 19) and on the Grand Canyon Railway’s anniversary (September 17).

IMG_5006According to the railway company, “trains began traveling to the Grand Canyon Sept. 17, 1901 on a spur built and operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company. The Grand Canyon Railway continued to operate until 1968 when the spur was closed. In the mid-1980s businessman Max Biegert purchased the tracks and brought the Grand Canyon Railway back to life with the first train running Sept. 17, 1989, 88 years to the day after its maiden run.”

Photos by Donna Hailson

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Go Forward As If There Are No Obstacles

ObstaclesWe must learn to take God at His Word, and go straight on in duty, although we see no way in which we can go forward. The reason we are so often balked by difficulties is that we expect to see them removed before we try to pass through them.

If we would move straight on in faith, the path would be opened for us. We stand still, waiting for the obstacle to be removed, when we ought to go forward as if there were no obstacles.
–Evening Thoughts

Photos by D.F.G. Hailson

God’s Winds that Lift Us to Higher Levels

I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth (Isaiah 58:14).

Those who fly through the air in airships tell us that one of the first rules they learn is to turn their ship toward the wind, and fly against it. The wind lifts the ship up to higher heights. Where did they learn that? They learned it from the birds. If a bird is flying for pleasure, it goes with the wind. But if the bird meets danger, it turns right around and faces the wind, in order that it may rise higher; and it flies away towards the very sun.

Sufferings are God’s winds, His contrary winds, sometimes His strong winds. They are God’s hurricanes, but they take human life and lift it to higher levels and toward God’s heavens.

You have seen in the summer time a day when the atmosphere was so oppressive that you could hardly breathe? But a cloud appeared on the western horizon and that cloud grew larger and threw out rich blessing for the world. The storm rose, lightning flashed and thunder pealed. The storm covered the world, and the atmosphere was cleansed; new life was in the air, and the world was changed.

Human life is worked out according to exactly the same principle. When the storm breaks the atmosphere is changed, clarified, filled with new life; and a part of heaven is brought down to earth. –Selected

Obstacles ought to set us singing. The wind finds voice, not when rushing across the open sea, but when hindered by the outstretched arms of the pine trees, or broken by the fine strings of an Aeolian harp. Then it has songs of power and beauty. Set your freed soul sweeping across the obstacles of life, through grim forests of pain, against even the tiny hindrances and frets that love uses, and it, too, will find its singing voice. –Selected

Be like a bird that, halting in its flight,

Rests on a bough too slight,

And feeling it give way beneath him sings,

Knowing he hath wings.

From L.B. Cowman’s Streams in the Desert

Featured photograph of the Grand Canyon by D.F.G. Hailson.