Prime railfanning spots on the old Santa Fe Transcon, Amarillo-Gallup- need help

friscobob Apr 26, 2006

  1. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    I'm back out on the road again, this time at the IHS Hospital in Crownpoint, NM, in the Navajo Nation. I won't be far from the old ATSF Transcon,and I plan on getting shots from Amarillo to about Gallup. I've been told about Belen, and I wanna try to get some stuff in Amarillo, but how about in between? How accessible by family car is the Transcon from, say, Amarillo to Belen? Or from there to where it joins I-40 west of Albuquerque?

    Any and all help is needed, since it looks like I'll have plenty of time to railfan this line from now 'til August (as if that's a bad thing).

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2006
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter


    How long will you be in that area?


    Boxcab E50
  3. Shaun

    Shaun TrainBoard Member

    Only been that far E. on the transcon one time, spent about 3 hrs at the Gallup Airport,yard is right across the road from the airport. Saw almost nonstop action while there. Think I-40 parallels the rails for atleast some distance

    this might help a little, but not sure

    Good luck and Happy hunting
  4. Mike Hackbarth

    Mike Hackbarth E-Mail Bounces

    I visit Clovis NM quite often because I was stationed there back in 94. Out of Albuquerque take I-40 to 285(Clines Corner) take that south to Hwy 60 there you'll Join up with the current Trans-con. Take Hwy 60 east all the way across the state to the border of Texas. The Trans-Con parallels the road most of the way. The reason I mentioned Clovis,NM is it a major hub/crew change point for the line. If you go to the old rail station it's about 5 FEETfrom the yard tracks !!:D Clovis is about 13 miles east of the Texas border. I think it worth the 5-7 bucks to get in and view the history of the line as well as some real cool Layouts from All over the world.:teeth:

    If for some reason this Isn't what you were talking about Please disreguard:embarassed:
  5. tom huffman

    tom huffman TrainBoard Member

    mike i think you have your clovis area mixed up. clovis is about 13 miles WEST not east.
    also theres a museum in clovis next to the yard area with a scanner/pa system.

  6. Mike Hackbarth

    Mike Hackbarth E-Mail Bounces

    :embarassed: bad. I was thinking of the TEXAS BOARDER being 13 miles EAST of CLOVIS. Just reversed it in my head.
  7. LittleGiant

    LittleGiant TrainBoard Member

    I travel frequently from Northern Arizona to Illinois. Almost all of the former AT&SF mainline is visible from I-40 between Flagstaff, Az and Grants, NM. In late march I counted 17 trains (almost all containers) between those two points. That drive is a railfans dream. There are many places you can leave the Interstate and travel on paved roads that are closer to the tracks. (Much of this is the former Route 66).

    There are two significant yards on that stretch, Gallup and Winslow.
    I have never taken any photos as I am usually pressed for time or just plain tired as I make the trip, but I will someday.
  8. Gunns

    Gunns TrainBoard Member

    Another good spot is from Belen west past Abo Canyon. the canyon is single tracked and there are a 110 + trains a day try'n to get through.....

    And if you are in ABQ on a Sat or a Wends come see us at our restoration site. maps and stuff here...

  9. Advertiser


    Last time I checked Abo was +/- 27 miles east of Belen by rail.

    As to the line there are several excellent points that pop up all along the line. Stay clear of Gallup. The Special Agents in that area take a dim view of photogs. Even those on the highway RoW. Stop in if you have time and we can discuss several options.
  10. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    So far I've gotten some good shots in Gallup. Since I'm here, I can't avoid the place, esp. since there is an Escalante-Western SD40 on the east side of the yard, and I can shoot it from non-railroad property. That, plus I live here.(GRIPE WARNING)As for SAs, I do my shooting off the property, and carry a copy of the Photographer's Rights with me. As long as I'm on private property, they can't do (censored) to me. If they're gonna bother me for taking pics of trains from my motel balcony (which is across the street from the tracks), they better bring a lunch, 'cause it'll be a long day, and the boys in Ft. Worth WILL pay me coin for harassment. I do my best to stay off RR property to avoid trouble. (GRIPE OVER)I've paced the line as far east as Grants, and as far west as the first exit in Arizona (so far). I've also paced thru Abo Canyon, and got good shots at Mountainair and further into the canyon, just west of the stretch of single track that still exists. Belen is still on my gotta-get-there list.One thing I noticed- if you don't like GEs or stack trains, this stretch of railroad is gonna suck, 'cause there's a heavy preponderance of both. I get excited every time I spot an EMD, even an ex-BN FURX rent-a-wreck.

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