Albuquerque Shops













  The Albuquerque Shops was one of AT&SF's four big system shops. The other three were San Bernardino, California (now gone), Cleburne, Texas, and Topeka, Kansas. Built between 1914 and 1924 on the site of the old A&P roundhouse, they embodied an evolution in industrial design that began with brick, stone and wood and finished with steel, glass and concrete. During the days of steam, the Albuquerque Shops handled class 1 through class 5 repairs. All locomotives on the Southern District of the Western Lines and all freight locomotives east of Winslow, Arizona on the Coast Lines were assigned to Albuquerque for major repairs. After WWII, the Albuquerque shops made the transition from steam to Diesel, but only for a short period after which it became a maintance-of-way rebuild center. In the mid 1980's, Santa Fe deemed the shops surplus and closed them. Efforts to preserve and convert the complex to a convention center, hotel, retail shops, and museum made significant progress when the organization known as Urban Council purchased the shops and land from the BNSF for 2.5 million dollars in November of 2000. Urban Council is a coalition of civic, state and business developers. The official title of the project is The New Mexico Exposition Center, and is slated to open in 2004. For more information and history on the project, navigate to the link
  Viewed from Avenida Ceasar Chevez bridge looking north, the city skyline gives you an idea how closly situated the shops are to downtown Albuquerque. Coveted real estate for developers. Reports as of 30 November indicate that the shops have been sold to the Albuquerque Development district. The main line is to the right of the shops. Behind the view is Albuquerque yard.
In addition to the major shops, Albuquerque supported a fairly large roundhouse, despite the fact that it was not on the mainline and most passenger trains didn't swap engines. All that remains is the turntable.  
  Within the massive compound sits an A&P holdover. The wonderful stone structure appears to have been an office or supervisory building. All photos were taken 1 July 2000.