Santa Fe Depot (Rail Runner station)
|Santa Fe Depot
Rail Runner Express commuter rail station
The Santa Fe Depot
|Address||410 South Guadalupe Street
Santa Fe, NM 87502
|Connections||Santa Fe Trails
Santa Fe Southern Railway
|Platforms||1 side platform|
|Opened||9 February 1880 (ATSF)
17 December 2008 (NMDOT)
|Fare zone||Zone F|
Santa Fe Depot is the northern terminus of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter rail line. The station also serves as the northern terminus, offices, and gift shop of the Santa Fe Southern Railway, a tourist and freight carrying short line railroad. It is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico at 410 Guadalupe Street, within an area of urban renewal referred to as the "Railyard". Rail Runner service to the station began on December 17, 2008.
The station is served by Santa Fe Trails routes 2, 4, and M, a shuttle connecting the station to several locations in and around downtown Santa Fe, a shuttle service to Taos, and a shuttle to the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in Pojoaque Pueblo.
Each of the Rail Runner stations contains an icon to express each community's identity. The icon representing this station is a locomotive, representing the history of the rail yard at the site; however the station is devoid of the Rail Runner's distinctive signage portraying the station name and icon.
The depot proper was the namesake station of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe (ATSF) starting February 9, 1880 and for most of the twentieth century. The depot is the northern terminus of a former ATSF spur line running from Santa Fe to Lamy, New Mexico, 18 miles to the south. The spur line was built to connect the railroad's namesake destination to its system when the prohibitive grades into Santa Fe were bypassed by the westward expanding railroad's mainline. An expansive network of track once dominated the area around the Santa Fe Depot, which at its height was served by another station shared by the narrow gauge, D&RG Chili Line trains traveling to the north, and New Mexico Central Railway trains going south. Both of these railroads had been dismantled by 1942.
The ATSF ceased offering passenger train service to Santa Fe with the advent of the Interstate Highway System and replaced it with a motorcoach connection operating up to four daily roundtrips to connect with their long distance trains at Lamy. The operation of motorcoaches was later turned over to Amtrak and private bus shuttle companies. As the area's industrial activity declined, much of the track and facilities were sold off in favor of other uses.
Scheduled passenger rail was restored as a tourist operation with the Santa Fe Southern Railway's purchase of the freight-only Santa Fe spur, including the depot, in the early 1990s. Much of the rail yard was purchased by the City of Santa Fe which later established an enterprise, the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation, to oversee the urban renewal of its parcel. The master plan for the transformation preceded the Rail Runner by several years but the arrival of the Rail Runner was nonetheless accommodated. The result of the development, which was mostly complete as of January 2009, is a train themed district housing community uses such as a park, a youth center, Site Santa Fe, a farmers' market, and commercial activities alongside the working railroads. The park was designed with input from local residents, and was made possible through funding and support from The Trust for Public Land.
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