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Rail Runner to Santa Fe: Where’s Waldo Canyon?

August 7, 2007

Eighteen miles between the New Mexico Rail Runner and Santa Fe, soon no more. KRQE reports the State has contracted Albuquerque-based Twin Mountain Construction II (the same group responsible for reassembling the the Big-I) and Herzog Companies of Missouri to lay new track from La Bajada to Santa Fe. The new track will break from the current BNSF tracks (Santa Fe via Lamy) and cut up Waldo Canyon, intersecting County Road 57 along the way.

Examining the Albuquerque-Santa Fe Transportation Corridor Alternatives Analysis Final Report (a light read at a mere 305 pages), I’ve whipped together this little Google Map of the new tracks. Construction starts this September. Albuquerque to Santa Fe rail reality arrives November 2008 not soon enough.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2007 11:26 pm

    “Not soon enough”? I understand your impatience (I myself can’t wait to start riding to Santa Fe) but keep in mind this is the fastest start-up of a commuter rail system in a long, long time. A project like this just doesn’t happen overnight.

    Anyway, it’s fantastic to see the project moving ahead. Let’s hope there isn’t a delay with the rail producer like there was with Phase I…

  2. El Orange permalink
    August 10, 2007 5:43 pm

    My ‘not soon enough’ comment was intentionally catty. I agree — all things considered, the Rail Runner is making remarkable progress. The November ’08 Santa Fe deadline is probably a reasonable goal.

    First, new tracks need to cut through wilderness. Second, new track needs placement along the I-25 median. If the line is complete by Nov. ’08, I’ll be pleased.

  3. Phil permalink
    August 13, 2007 10:50 am

    Waldo Canyon runs north from Galisteo Creek through the La Bajada escarpment and up onto the Santa Fe Plateau. I was involved with the archaeological survey of this area and getting a passenger train through there will really be an engineering feat. It’s not exactly “wilderness” – there are too many cowboy drinking sites and junked 1960s cars for that – but it’s a very steep, narrow canyon…this is gonna take some doing. That said, they wouldn’t have hired these guys if they didn’t think they were up to the task. November 2008, here we come.

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