Re: Santa Fe Southern

Bill Wasinger

The biggest question is where Santa Fe Southern will operate from. As Barton noted, their previous base in the station is now a tourist information center iirc and the nearby area is now a popular destination called The Railyard, which is home to a number of shops, restaurants, a faux water tank, and their farmers' market (which is a destination in itself). Seem to recall the dodgy state of the SFS equipment didn't mesh with the aesthetic they were trying to establish (their passenger cars, and engine, and some other rolling stock have been parked there rusting for years now). Also need to consider the Railrunner Express operating a schedule of trains between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Hopefully the star power will be enough to work out something to allow them to run out of the Railyard, but like others, I'm still wondering if the lure of a slow moving excursion ride that relies on tourists is enough to generate a profit.


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On Monday, May 18, 2020, 10:44:24 AM CDT, Barton Jennings <b.jennings@...> wrote:

Some ideas here:

[1] Do they need significant revenues? Do the investors have enough funds that this is simply their train layout in the basement? Since some are involved with philanthropy, their focus could be on helping the community, much like the group involved with the East Broad Top.
[2] Ridership on the old excursion train was generally good, but a deterioration in service and the local economy hurt.
[3] There have been several requests for freight service, but small volumes which don't justify regular service. This becomes either a plus or a minus.
[4] There is a connection with Amtrak. This is the short route to Santa Fe - are they looking at a quality connecting service, maybe similar to the Grand Canyon Railway? Buses and vans currently handle this route.
[5] With theatrical connections, and Santa Fe really an arts town, can the train be made part of this experience?
[6] There is the challenge of a good downtown station in Santa Fe, as the former station was leased and there was a push to move the train out of this booming area.
[7] Quite a bit of investment will be needed in track work, certainly not cheap. Good equipment will be needed, but there seems to be quite a bit of quality equipment currently available since the PVs aren't being used on Amtrak.
[8] Obviously the virus is currently an issue, but this gives time to get work done before any kind of large opening.
[9] The owner names alone will attract a crowd initially. Long-term may be different.

Bart Jennings

From: "Tom Roise via" <tomroise@...>
To: "sunsetexpress" <denmeg_hogan@...>
Cc: "RS-TALON" <>
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2020 9:24:29 AM
Subject: Re: [Railspot] Santa Fe Southern

How do they expect to create revenue where others could not?

Tom Roise

On May 18, 2020, at 8:44 AM, Dennis Hogan <denmeg_hogan@...> wrote:

The Santa Fe Southern Railway has new owners who aim to restore excursions on the 18-mile short line between Santa Fe and Lamy, N.M. — and one of them will be will known to fans of “Game of Thrones.” George R.R. Martin, who wrote the books adapted into the HBO series, on which he was co-executive producer, has joined movie-theater owner Bill Banowsky and arts philanthropist Catherine Oppenheimer to purchase the railroad, the Albuquerque Journal reports. Their goal is to resume excursions by 2022.--Trains News Wire Digest

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