New Mexico and Trains have history together. Albuquerque was the only place between Chicago and the west coast where a steam locomotive could be housed, hoisted and repaired from top to bottom. The building that all this work was done in still sits just south of Downtown Albuquerque in the historic Barelas neighborhood, and is used by the very active motion picture industry here in our state. These train yards will hopefully someday be home to the Wheels Transportation Museum, but I am getting off the track, so to speak.
Just north of downtown Albuquerque is another Train History Museum, and they will be opening their doors to the public and re introducing a classic – the AT&SF Steam Locomotive #2926 this weekend, October 1, 2011, (details below).
The New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society is a non-profit group dedicated to preserving the incredible railroad history of New Mexico. Their first project is restoring #2926, a Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad steam locomotive to a fully operational condition.
This locomotive had been retired to a park not far from the AT&SF main line at Interstate 40 and Fourth Street in Albuquerque. When my kids were little we used to take them to the “Train Park” and you could climb aboard. Years later the locomotive was closed off to the public by a chain link fence because of vandalism. Look, but no touch. It was so sad for me to even drive by it after that happened. It seemed the locomotive was lonely and in jail, with no job to do anymore.
A few years back I heard that the locomotive had been removed from the park to be restored somewhere else. I thought maybe it was going to be part of the new Wheels Museum, but just recently found out about the NMSL & RHS and the restoration of #2926 right here in our neighborhood, just a few miles from our Albuquerque bed & breakfast.
The site of the restoration is at 1833 8th Street NW, just 4 blocks south of Interstate 40 off of 12th Street, in the historic Sawmill District of Albuquerque. The NMSL&HRS will be holding an open house this weekend:
October 1st – 9 am to 4 pm.
1833, 8TH Street, NW Albuquerque, NM
This location is south of the I-40 6th – 12th St Frontage Road. There are several ways to get to this location, so check out my Google map and print out a copy to get you there.
There will be live entertainment, free hot dogs and beverages, and of course – tours of the locomotive project and historical displays. Bring the kids, and bring your camera. I also suggest you bring your checkbook and make a donation to this noble effort by volunteers dedicated to preserving New Mexico’s Railroad History and AT&SF Locomotive #2926.
If you can’t make it this weekend, the museum will be open on Saturdays and Wednesdays from 7:30 am to 3pm, sans live entertainment, food and beverages, but chock full of history. Groups may make appointments for other times. For more information, please visit this nmslrhs website.
I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!