(Standard DVD) American Railway: Vol 12 New Mexico "Roadrunners, Pumpkins and Stacks"
Run-time 1hour 27mins approx.
Between the high plains of Texas, to the east, and the state of Arizona, to the west, lies “The Land of Enchantment” – New Mexico. This programme concentrates on the central area of the state, south of its largest city, Albuquerque. We will take you on a journey west from Willard, along the double-tracked intermodal corridor that is the BNSF Southern Transcon, concluding with the spectacular scenery in the region of Rio Puerco. At Kayser, we highlight congestion caused by maintenance of way to the east, and a 12-loco light-engine movement. At Scholle, the recently-completed second track alignment through the Abo Canyon is featured, before continuing west to witness trains thundering through Madrone. In the setting sun at Jarales, an intermodal coasts west toward the servicing point at Belen, while heavy freights depart east, rumbling away from the yard. An interlude will focus on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express passenger trains, operated by Rio Metro, which serve the communities between Belen, Albuquerque and the state capital Santa Fe. The programme finishes with a glimpse of the railway bridge spanning the Pecos River at Fort Sumner in the east of the state. Operations at Fort Sumner will feature in more detail in a future edition of American Railway.
The BNSF pumpkins, which dominated the Southern Transcon during our visit, were three models of 4,400 hp General Electric locomotive. These were the Evolution Series ES44DC and ES44C4, and the older ‘Dash 9’ or C44-9W. During our visit, only one example each appeared in Warbonnet and Heritage 1 liveries. The only variation in BNSF locomotive type, was an EMD SD40-2 switching Belen yard. Amtrak’s Southwest Chief provided welcome relief at Rio Puerco, headed by three blue & silver Genesis P42DC locomotives.
The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is featured between Los Lunas, about 25 miles from Albuquerque, and Belen, the southern terminus. These push-pull trains consist of double-deck Bombardier passenger cars hauled by 3,600 hp MP36PH-3C locomotives manufactured by Motive Power Inc. Their livery includes a roadrunner motif that extends to the warning that the doors are closing – “beep-beep”!
At most locations, two cameras were used, in positions up to a mile apart. We hope that the additional views of the passing trains will enhance your enjoyment of this programme.
(Features Narration On/Off)