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Well-traveled Grand Canyon train station closes

Service at the Williams Junction station ended Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. Passengers now are dropped off and picked up in downtown Flagstaff.

In this Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 photo, an

In this Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 photo, an Amtrak employee signals that all passengers are clear as the train departs the Williams Junction station outside Williams, Ariz. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — An Amtrak station used by thousands of people a year to reach the Grand Canyon has closed.

Amtrak's twice-daily trains between Los Angeles and Chicago had stopped at the bare-bones William Junction station since at least 1999.

From there, passengers were shuttled 3 miles (5 kilometers) to and from the small city of Williams. Many had tickets for a train to the Grand Canyon.

Service at the Williams Junction station ended Monday. Passengers now are dropped off and picked up 30 miles (48 kilometers) away in downtown Flagstaff.

Xanterra Parks and Resorts owns the Grand Canyon rail line and operated the shuttles. Spokesman Bruce Brossman says train schedules were inconsistent and a hotel lobby became a waiting room.

Xanterra decided last year to end the shuttle service, effectively closing the Williams Junction train stop.

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