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The Yards

Once an integral symbol of the industrial age in Albuquerque, The Yards still stands proudly.

Logo for The Yards, the former ATSF Railway yards in Albuquerque.

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The Yards: Location

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About The Yards

The Yards, once an integral symbol of the industrial age in Albuquerque, the former Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Rail Yards complex, still stands proudly, even if in a bit of disrepair, on the southeastern edge of the city.

This historic structure, now almost 100 years old, once employed one quarter of Albuquerque’s work force. It was a hub of cultural and industrial activity, making it the perfect historical site.

The vaulted wooden and steel ceilings, green and yellow stained windows, and industrial architecture offer an incredible atmosphere.

Photography & 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 (May-October) provides regular opportunities to photograph that structure and the exterior of others nearby, but full access to the site is not currently available due to ongoing redevelopment activities.


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.[1]

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). [2] The building is of steel frame construction with brick and glass exterior walls. [1] The blacksmith shop was responsible for repairing cracked locomotive frames as well as forging replacement parts.

source: Wikipedia

[1] Wilson, Chris (1986). The Historic Railroad Buildings of Albuquerque: An Assessment of Significance. City of Albuquerque Planning Department. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
[2] Albuquerque Rail Yards: Redeveloping the City's Historic Rail Yards (Report). Urban Land Institute. February 2008. p. 11. Retrieved 5 February 2012.