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Rail Yards History

Learn about the history of the Albuquerque Rail Yards.

Albuquerque's original economic engine once employed nearly one-quarter of the City's workforce. Built throughout the late 1800's and early 1900's, the Albuquerque Rail Yards put the City on the map, and catalyzed the City's transformation from a farming village to a booming valley of innovation.


1598 – “El Camino Real” Formally Established by the Spanish

1706 – Albuquerque Founded

1880’s – Rail Road Arrives, Establishes New Town Center Today Known as “Downtown”

1912-1924 – Rail Yards Rise, Employs 25% of Workforce

1926 – America’s Mainstreet Arrives “Route 66”

1940’s – WWII Employment Swells to Transport Troops and Goods

1950’s – Steam Engines Replaced with Diesel and Rail Yards Employment Declines

2007 – CABQ Acquires the Rail Yards

2008 – Rail yards Advisory Board Established

2014 – Development Plan Adopted; Rail Yards Market Opens

2018 – Contract with Master Developer Terminated; Mayor Tim Keller Makes Revitalization a Top Priority 

Feb. 2019 – CABQ Demolishes Non-Historical Structures on North End

March 2019 – State of NM Allocates $7.5M to Rail Yards

Sept. 2019 – CABQ Removes 1150 Cubic Yards of Contaminated Soil on North End

Oct. 2019 – Rail yards Market has Record Year with Over 150K Visitors, 230 Vendors, and Annual Sales Over 1.1M

Nov. 2019 – CABQ Completes and Unveils New Plaza

2020 thru 2021: New roofs were put on the Boiler and Tender Repair Shop. The Flue Shop is now an occupiable building with HVAC, restrooms, and updated windows. Sewer and water utilities were extended up the spine of the site, providing hook-ups for all major buildings.

2021: Began design on 2nd streetscape improvements.

Historical Images

View and download historical images of the Rail Yards on Free ABQ Images.