Scenic train rides in New Mexico include the world-class and a national historic landmark, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. The Cumbres & Toltec crosses the boarder between Colorado and New Mexico 11 times during it’s 64 mile scenic excursion, including 12 miles running at a 4% grade, making for some spectacular narrow gauge steam locomotive action.
Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 2-10-4 No. 5030 is on display at the Salvador Perez Park in Santa Fe and AT&SF 4-8-4 No.2926 is undergoing restoration in Albuquerque by the New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society.
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New Mexico, know as the the Land of Enchantment, is also home to the second transcontinental railway completed at Deming, NM in 1881 with the connecting of the Santa Fe and the Southern Pacific. New Mexico has 1900 miles of track that is used mainly by the Union Pacific and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroads today. New Mexico currently has seventeen steam locomotives, including several operable narrow gauge former Denver & Rio Grande Western steam engines that offer scenic train rides between New Mexico and Colorado.
The nonprofit Toy Train Depot Foundation is dedicated to the preservation, restoration, acquisition, display and interpretation of railroads of all scales and gauges, including 1:1, with a particular emphasis on the Miniature Train Company (MTC) park ride trains and their preservation. Remember when every village park or drive-in movie had a miniature train ride. The foundation has several different models on display and for you ride once again.
Once part of the old Fred Harvey House restaurant chain established along the Santa Fe Railway, the building now holds historical artifacts from the region, with many items related to the Fred Harvey Organization and the Santa Fe Railway. If you like watching freight trains, the museum is located on the west side of the Belen Railyard, which sometimes sees nearly 100 trains a day. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and admission is free.
Originally built in the 1880’s, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad operates 64 miles of track through the San Juan Mountains. Once operated by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, as part of it’s narrow-gauge railroad network, today it operates scenic train rides between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO. Four 1925 era Mikado type 2-8-2 narrow gauge steam engines climb steep grades, cross over the 137 foot Cascade Trestle and hug the edges of mountainous gorges. The Colorado & Toltec Scenic is recognized around the world for its spectacular scenery and unspoiled vistas, as well as the historic rolling stock and railroad structures that are preserved on the line. Many of the buildings and railroad equipment date to the turn of the twentieth century or earlier, making the C&TS the best preserved steam era railroad in North America. Directions
Built in 1907 for the Santa Fe Railway, the Clovis Depot Model Train Museum is a restored 1950-60’s era depot, featuring an operating telegraph station. Included in the Nation Register of Historic Places. The depot houses four electric model train layouts from circa 1920 to the 1960’s. Real train operations can be viewed from both the platform and the Dispatcher’s position in the Depot. The railroad’s communications can be heard over the P. A. system.
Take a four hour round trip on a real working mixed train, with vintage passenger coaches and freight cars between Santa Fe and the 1881 Lamy Depot aboard the Santa Fe Southern Railway. Enjoy daily trips, as well as night trains, and special events trains through High Desert scenery. Along with the scenic train rides, you can also experience a BBQ train with live music as well as scenic runs on Friday nights with complimentary bar snacks and a cash bar. Other excursions include family gatherings for Thanksgiving, Polar Express Trains, Santa and Holiday trains to name just a few available all year long. Open since 1992, the Santa Fe Southern includes an old historic 1880’s depot and gift shop. Directions.
Update 2014: Do to current economic condition the SFSR has discontinued operations.