Railroads in New Mexico

Notable Dates in New Mexico's Railroad History

November 1, 1878

  • Building southward from Colorado the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway reaches New Mexico via the Raton Pass, beating out their rival company the Denver and Rio Grande.

December 7, 1878

  • First locomotive steams into New Mexico.

February 13, 1879

  • First passenger train into New Mexico.  Brought members of the legislature of the State of Colorado to Otero in Colfax County, via the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

February 9, 1880

  • Completion of the spur line between Santa Fe and the Lamy Station of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway System.

April 8, 1880

  • Celebration in Albuquerque noting the commencement of construction of the Western Division of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, driving westward from Isleta.

April 10, 1880

  • Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe rails reach Albuquerque. Official arrival celebration held April 22, 1880.

March 8, 1881

  • East-West continental connection established through New Mexico at Deming -- the second transcontinental railway in North America.

June 11, 1881

  • AT&SF lines reach El Paso.

January 8, 1887

  • Northward spur from Santa Fe, the narrow gauge "Chile Line", links up with the Denver & Rio Grande.
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