Historically, the central spine of New Mexico is the Rio Grande Valley. Within the valley the migration from Mexico City to Santa Fe took place that lead to developing this new territory. It took place in this corridor on the Camino Real Trail. Much of the history of New Mexico is evident in this corridor as the Native American populating that preceded the Spanish and Mexican migration also utilized the rich Rio Grande Corridor. The remains of that historic trail run right alongside the Rail Runner tracks.
The Rio Grande Corridor is a landmark of New Mexico. The river is one of the best know in North America.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway was one of the larger railroads in the United States. The company was first chartered in February 1859. The rail road came to New Mexico in the 1880’s. To by-pass the steep grade of Raton Pass the AT/SF began construction of the Belen Cutoff in 1902 and completed it in 1908. It logically followed the Rio Grande Corridor and the Camino Real Trail.
Up into the late 1950’s the Santa Fe operated the first commuter train on the Belen cutoff, connecting El Paso to Albuquerque. In 2007 Belen Mayor Ronnie Torres discovered the original Doodle Bug train in California and brought it back to Belen.
The Rail Runner was born in 2006.
(Details to be added soon)