LAMY, N.M. — It’s been over 18 months since George R.R. Martin, Catherine Oppenheimer, Bill Banowsky, and several others bought the Santa Fe Southern Railroad and started the transformation to what is now Sky Railway. Based in Lamy, the railroad has seen several owners since the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe ended operations in 1992 on the 18-mile line between Lamy and Santa Fe.
Sky Railway operated its first excursion on Friday, Dec. 3. The “Pablo’s Magical Holiday” special departed Lamy for a 16-mile round trip with Santa Claus aboard the “Pablo the Dragon” Train, telling a story of Santa helped Pablito save Christmas in New Mexico. The train, with livery designed and painted by Santa Fe muralist Joerael Numina, crawled through the high desert outside of Lamy before returning where passengers could enjoy a winter elf village and cocoa and cookies. While the paint scheme is controversial, a dragon train makes perfect sense to Martin, a Santa Fe resident who wrote the book on which the HBO series Game of Thrones was based, as well as writing parts of the TV series.
Asked about ticket sales, Sky Railway engineer Erich Brock says, “We were sold out!” There are many other adventure-themed rides planned, promising not just a ride on a train through the high desert of New Mexico, but entertainment featuring music, cocktails, history, and of course, a murder mystery. More information is available at the Sky Railway website.