Santa Fe Railroad Depot

Santa Fe Southern's ex-ATSF GP7 and Rail Runner MP36PH-3C, Santa Fe Train Depot, The Railyard, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe Southern’s ex-ATSF GP7 and Rail Runner MP36PH-3C, Santa Fe Train Depot

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

Santa Fe Railroad Depot

The Santa Fe railroad depot is home to two very different railway companies: the Santa Fe Southern Railway and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express.  The depot began in February 1880 when the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe (ATSF) built a spur line from Santa Fe to Lamy, New Mexico, 18 miles to the south.  This spur line was built to connect Santa Fe with the ATSF system when the town was bypassed by the westerly expanding mainline due to the difficult grades that would be encountered to bring the mainline directly to town.

The ATSF ceased offering passenger train service to Santa Fe with the advent of the Interstate Highway System. Scheduled passenger rail was restored as a tourist operation with the Santa Fe Southern Railway’s purchase of the freight-only Santa Fe spur, including the depot, in the early 1990s.

Much of the rail yard was purchased by the City of Santa Fe which later established an enterprise, the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation, to oversee the urban renewal of its parcel.  The result of the development, which was mostly complete as of January 2009, is a train themed district housing community with uses such as a park, a youth center, Site Santa Fe, a farmers’ market which we visited in the previous post, and commercial activities alongside the working railroads.

Santa Fe Southern's ex-ATSF GP7, Santa Fe Train Depot, The Railyard, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe Southern’s ex-ATSF GP7, Santa Fe Train Depot

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

The Santa Fe Southern Railway (SFS) began its operations in 1992, initially carrying freight over the spur line to Lamy with passenger service added later.  The railroad operated mixed trains, hauling both freight, which consisted largely of building supplies and passengers.  Services run at least twice a week, depending on the season.  Currently, though, service is suspended due to circumstances beyond the SFS’s control.  It is hoped that service will resume in mid-April or May.

The SFS operates two locomotives both EMD GP7s, although the one seen in these images has been rebuilt to GP16 specifications.

On May 20, 2011, the SFS was evicted from its headquarters at the Santa Fa depot to make way for the new visitors center planned to serve the New Mexico Rail Runner Express.

Rail Runner MP36PH-3C, Santa Fe Train Depot, The Railyard, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Rail Runner MP36PH-3C, Santa Fe Train Depot

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express (NMRX) is a commuter rail system serving the metropolitan areas of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Phase I of the system, operating on an existing right of way from Belen to Bernalillo that NMDOT purchased from BNSF Railway, opened in July 2006. Phase II, the extension of the line to Santa Fe, opened in December 2008.

The Rail Runner power consists of nine Motive Power MPI MP36PH-3C diesel-electric locomotives currently run on diesel fuel. The use of biodiesel fuel is under investigation.

10 Comments

  1. Nice write up on the history Mark. I knew a little about SFS but now I know a lot more! Nice images too.
    Len Saltiel recently posted..Anchorage ReflectionsMy Profile

    • Thanks, Len. Glad you found the write-up useful. I always think that it helps to know a little bit about the subject matter of my images. Its so nice to know that others are enjoying my narratives, too.

  2. Man how I love these railroad shots and back-stories. The photos look awesome enlarged. Nice work, Mark.
    Jimi Jones recently posted..Boat with No NameMy Profile

    • Many thanks, Jimi. I’m waiting to get some larger sheets of Red River Polar Metallic paper so I can put one of these on my wall in my office. An 8.5 x 11 just does not do it!

  3. Great post, love the Rail Runner
    Mike Criswell recently posted..redruMMy Profile

  4. Excellent post and images Mark.
    Edith Levy recently posted..All The World’s A StageMy Profile

  5. I just love train photography, and all three of these are great Mark!! Perfect compositions, GREAT subjects, really a fabulous post that I enjoyed very much!
    Toad Hollow Photography recently posted..A Time Before Satellite TVMy Profile

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.