LAMY, N.M. — Santa Fe Southern Railway rarely operates anymore, but on June 27, 2019, more than 200 people visiting Santa Fe from the University of Iowa chartered the four-car train from Santa Fe to Lamy. The train departed the Santa Fe Railyard on time at 5:15 p.m. for its 18.3-mile journey to Lamy.
Unfortunately, the special train’s power, EMD GP16 No. 93, suffered a failure of the governor, climbing a short grade near Avenida Eldorado at milepost 13.4. Passengers had to be bused back to Santa Fe. Another charter is planned for July 10, but it will depend on whether Santa Fe Southern can complete repairs to No. 93 before then. The locomotive was originally built in 1952 for Louisville & Nashville Railroad as GP7 No. 414.
Santa Fe Southern began operations in 1992 after the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad ended operations on the line. It was purchased by a group of local businessmen who operated it as a freight line between Lamy and Santa Fe, later adding passenger service.
After changing hands several times, SFSR ceased operations in September 2014. Santa Fe Southern officials said that they were unsure when the railroad would resume operations, and at the present time it is still shut down for regularly scheduled passenger excursions, although it is running private charter events and the occasional movie or TV film shoot. “There really isn’t enough demand to run any kind of scheduled service, but the train is used by the movie industry, and we also charter it out from time to time,” says SFSR General Manager Karl Ziebarth. The railroad was featured in AMC TV series “Breaking Bad” season 5 episode “Dead Freight.”
Allan Affeldt, who has renovated La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Ariz., and La Castaneda Hotel in Las Vegas, N.M,. has expressed interest in the line as a means of bringing traffic to the Legal Tender restaurant in Lamy, which he recently purchased.