The Yards - the former AT&SF Railway yards - have been the site of many scenes from feature-length films and television series. The Blacksmith Shop at The Yards is now being re-purposed as a casual event space in the heart of Barelas.
Once an integral symbol of the industrial age in Albuquerque, the former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railyards complex still stands proudly, even if in a bit of disrepair, on the southeastern edge of the city.
One of the buildings - the Blacksmith Shop - has been cleaned up and outfitted for use as a casual rental space. It's a nostalgic brick and steel structure with floor-to-ceiling panes of green and yellow glass, and more open-air than indoor, but for the right kind of event, it's a cool, unique venue.
This unique venue has a capacity for up to 999 people (depending on event layout) and is approximately 25,000 square feet.
Photography and Tours: At this time, access to the Rail Yards is limited to programmed events and activities in the Blacksmith Shop. A weekly market held on Sundays provides regular opportunities to photograph that structure and others nearby, but full access to the site is not currently available due to ongoing redevelopment activities.
Reservations and Deposits. Spaces may be scheduled up to 12 months prior any event date. Reservations are accepted on a first come, first serve basis. A verbal request will hold an available date on the calendar for up to 7 business days. A Blacksmith Shop Rental Agreement is required. A reservation will be confirmed when the Rental Application is complete and the Damage Deposit is paid. The Damage Deposit will be refunded after the event providing the event has complied with The Yards rules and there is no damage to the facility.
Fillable Rental Application PDF Form
For best results, download form and open with Adobe Reader, fill out, then save and send form to City of Albuquerque Special Events by email.
Timeline. Event permits and preparations may take several months to complete. Please plan accordingly.
Insurance. An insurance policy must be provided for the rental dates in the amount of $1,000,000.
For complete Rental Information please contact City of Albuquerque Special Events by email or call (505) 768-3556. 311 locally or TTY 711.
Railroad shops and a roundhouse were first erected on the site of the former Santa Fe Railway Shops in the 1880s, after Albuquerque was designated as the division point between the AT&SF railway and the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. After buying out the A&P in 1902, the Santa Fe Railway began expanding and modernizing the old A&P shops in 1912. The first buildings to be completed were the roundhouse, storehouse, power station, and freight car shops, all of which were located south of the surviving complex near the present Bridge Boulevard overpass. These structures have since been demolished, but the subsequent buildings completed after 1915 are all still standing.
The site consists of eighteen surviving buildings erected between 1915 and 1925. The complex is located south of downtown in the Barelas neighborhood, bounded by Second Street, Hazeldine Avenue, Commercial Street, and Pacific Avenue. The shops were one of four major maintenance facilities constructed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, the others being located in Topeka, Kansas, Cleburne, Texas, and San Bernardino, California. The railway shops were the largest employer in the city during the railroad's heyday.
The blacksmith shop was completed in 1917 and stands to the east of the boiler shop. It is the third largest building on the site at approximately 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2). The building is of steel frame construction with brick and glass exterior walls. The blacksmith shop was responsible for repairing cracked locomotive frames as well as forging replacement parts.
 Wilson, Chris (1986). The Historic Railroad Buildings of Albuquerque: An Assessment of Significance. City of Albuquerque Planning Department. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
 Albuquerque Rail Yards: Redeveloping the City's Historic Rail Yards (Report). Urban Land Institute. February 2008. p. 11. Retrieved 5 February 2012.