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Santa Fe Trail Association Hopes to Keep Rail Access Open

on March 30, 2014 - 8:00am
The view from the Southwest Chief as it travels from Lamy to Las Vegas, N.M. Photo by Inez Ross
 

Ron Kemp entertains passengers on the Southwest Chief Amtrak Train. Photo by Inez Ross

By INEZ ROSS

Members and friends of the End of the Trail Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association took the two hour train ride from Lamy to Las Vegas, N.M. and enjoyed the joys of train travel as they lunched in the dining car, took in views from the observation car and got to meet travelers on their way to Chicago.

The group was also raising awareness of historic sites along Apache Canyon and Glorieta Mesa.

Part of the Santa Trail may lose rail access along the route in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico because of declining condition of the mainline rails.

The New Mexico Legislature adjourned in February without passing legislation to secure funding for a solution. To keep the train on its current route, each state is asked to chip in $4 million per year over the next 10 years, with declining costs thereafter.

The Legislature will address the issue again next year, and Ford Robbins, a leading advocate for the train route, said goodwill and support seems positive for the next session.

Trail members followed along in their guidebooks to learn about the Civil War battlefield and the Harvey House at Las Vegas. At Las Vegas, train passengers rode a bus back to Lamy.

Inez Ross of Los Alamos is a member of the National Association of Railroad Passengers and the Santa Fe Trail Association.


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