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A Trip to Ride the New Mexico Railrunner to Santa Fe

by Chris Guenzler

I was going to cover the Snowflake Special that was going to run but when it looked like that trip was not going to run {which it did not} I decided it was time to go ride the New Mexico Railrunner new line to Santa Fe. I contacted the Santa Fe Southern for the one way trip back to Lamy. I found the Sage Inn a new hotel in Santa Fe, .6 of a mile from the station, which I would stay at. The day of the trip I got a New Mexico Railrunner Day Pass on line then went home and packed for another rail adventure.

Metrolink 609 prepared to leave Santa Ana as I went across the bridge at Santa Ana.

Surfliner 583 2/12/2009

Surfliner 583 came into Santa Ana early and I boarded the cab car for the trip to Los Angeles. The train caught up to Metrolink 609 and had to run restricted and stopped at Santa Fe Springs.

The Union Pacific Tank Train across the Los Angeles River before we arrived in Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal on Track 10. I walked over to Track 11 to wait for my train to arrive into the station tonight.

The New Jersey Comet Cars that Metrolink will be using in the future. Surfliner 784 was running forty minutes late today and came and then headed to San Diego. I waited for the Southwest Chief to back into LAUPT.

Southwest Chief 4 2/12/2009

The Southwest Chief backed into LAUPT with Engines 206 and 98, Baggage 1212, Transition 39022, Sleepers 32075 Connecticut and 33072 Arkansas, Diner 38030, Lounge 33044 and Coaches 34084 and 31039 with Pacific Surfliner Coach 6413 {no seats inside} dead heading to the Beech Grove Shops. I boarded the Arkansas with the most excellent Ann Marie as my Sleeping Car Attendant with my room being number 14 for this trip east to Albuquerque. The train left LAUPT on time and headed to Fullerton. I was in the Dining Car at Santa Fe Springs seated with a man going home to Virginia via the Cardinal and a Canadian mother and son going to the Grand Canyon. I enjoyed the Flat Iron Steak and Chocolate Ice Cream. I listened to JD Peterson "Rhythm the Dream". I later visited with my conductor before calling it a night east of Victorville.

2/13/2009 Friday the 13TH

I was up at 7:00 AM and went to the Dining Car for French Toast and sausage patties. I was seated with my friend from Virginia again, a man going to Albuquerque and another man going to La Junta. Back in my room I read the USA Today and then watched my DVD of Blue Oyster Cult "A Long Days Night" as the train headed east from Winslow this clear morning.

The first Mesa as we entered New Mexico. Before Gallup Anne Marie gave all the Albuquerque passengers a piece of Valentine Chocolate, a nice personal touch on Friday the 13TH. The train paused in Gallup then took the North Track to Continental Divide where BOC finished and I put on my DVD of Poison "Live Raw & Uncut" that took me almost to Dalies. I relaxed the rest of the way to Albuquerque which the train arrived early into. I detrained and waited for the New Mexico Railrunner train to arrive from Santa Fe to Belen. I had been another excellent trip aboard the Southwest Chief!

The Southwest Chief left Albuquerque on time heading for Chicago. I waited for the New Mexico Railrunner train to Belen.

New Mexico Railrunner 509 2/13/2009

The train pulled into the Downtown Albuquerque Station and I boarded the Cab Car and I took the rear seat. My Day Pass was checked at my seat after we departed. This is my second trip on this route to Belen so check the first story for pictures all the way down.

Leaving Albuquerque.

The spare Amtrak unit was passed leaving town.

New Mexico Railrunners waiting their turns out on the mainline.

The former Santa Fe Shop Buildings in Albuquerque.

BNSF motive power in the BNSF yard.

Bernalillo County/International Sunport Station.

Isleta Pueblo Station.

Curve with mountains behind.

The bridge across the Rio Grande River.

Leaving the Southwest Chief route at Isleta.


West Isleta.

Small lake along our route.

Los Lunas Station sign.

Los Lunas Station.

Los Lunas.

The siding at Chloe is being removed.

The junction with the station line at Belen.

The BNSF Transcontinental Mainline at Belen.

Rolling the final stretch into the Belen Station which we arrived to on time. I detrained for some quick pictures.

The Cab Car end at Belen.

New Mexico Railrunner at Belen.

The train is now ready to leave for Albuquerque.

Santa Fe Station Sign at Chloe.

Los Lunas Santa Fe Station off site at Los Lunas. We waited for time at Isleta Pueblo Station before we arrived back into Albuquerque on time.

The train back in Albuquerque.

My train going into midday storage and now I waited for my train to Santa Fe.

Click here for the New Mexico Railrunner Trip to Santa Fe!