Santa Fe Southern Railroad | Accidentally Wes Anderson

Santa Fe Southern Railroad

Accidentally Wes Anderson - Santa Fe Southern Railroad Enlarge

Santa Fe, New Mexico | C.1992

Photo Credit: @victoriajewel

The historic Santa Fe Southern Railway grew out of what was once one of the largest train companies in the U.S. That line, the Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe rail (AT&SF), began service in 1859. Though originally intended to pass through Santa Fe, the terrain proved too challenging, and company engineers instead rerouted the train through the tiny town of Lamy.

In 1880, a spur line connected Lamy to Santa Fe, just 18 miles (29 km) to the north. The train ran passenger and cargo services through the town for the next 112 years.  

AT&SF ceased operating the Lamy spur in 1992, just four years before dissolving altogether and merging with Burlington Northern Railroad. Shortly after, a group of local business people bought the track, renaming it the Santa Fe Southern Railway (SFSR). Passenger and freight service continued sporadically for about a decade, but financial trouble eventually forced its closure. 

Though occasionally run for  private charters, corporate events,  and movie shoots, the line has remained mostly dormant since 2014. However, as of March 2020, exciting plans to revitalize the Santa Fe-Lamy spur are in the works. Famed “Game of Thrones” author, George R.R. Martin, together with two Santa Fe business owners, purchased the line and its signature cars with hopes of turning it into a rolling entertainment venue.

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