Sky Railway

Santa Fe, New Mexico | C.1992

Photo Credit: Micah Gallegos

What if George R.R. Martin was in charge of a railroad? Well, turns out he’s actually one of the owners of New Mexico’s Sky Railway on the historic Santa Fe Southern Railway line. And for the last two years, he and his team have transformed the once defunct railroad into an adventure-laden ride.

The Railway is no stranger to the influential and the eccentric. Sky Railway has ties to the Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Rail (AT&SF) lines established in 1859. Initially, track was designed to pass through Santa Fe, but the terrain proved too challenging, so the rail was rerouted through the tiny town of Lamy. In 1880, a spur line officially connected Lamy to Santa Fe.

For the next 112 years, the AT&SF ran passenger and cargo services, carrying artists, travelers, archeologists, and even a handful of American Presidents. Scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project rode the rail in disguise before being transported by car to the secret city of Los Alamos. Carrying all sorts of passengers from the clandestine to the cultured, the rail line helped shape the burgeoning city of Santa Fe.

AT&SF ceased operating the Lamy spur line in 1992. Shortly after, the track was purchased and renamed the Santa Fe Southern Railway (SFSR). Passenger and freight service continued sporadically for about a decade, but financial trouble eventually forced its closure. Then, one night after (allegedly) enjoying some margaritas, Martin and his friends made a decision that would change its fate.

They decided to buy the railroad. But the team’s dreams went far beyond freight lines or scenic byways. The Sky Railway now offers theatrics, music performances, and yes, lots of good drink. Sounds like Martin has embarked on his next great epic – except this time, he’s traded Westeros for the American West.

:memo: Written by: Kelly Murray

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