Lamy to Trinidad

This line was constructed in 1878-79, and was the main line until the Belen Cutoff was opened in 1908.

At Lamy (MP 835.2), the station is on the northwest side of the line, with yard tracks and a 7,500 ft. siding on the southeast side, with a road crossing within the siding and searchlight (in 1997) signals at the east end. East of Lamy, the line continues northeast, with a speed limit of 79-70, CTC starting at Lamy, past the Santa Fe Trail coming down the hill on the south side, two bridges over streams, and Intermediate Signals at MP 832.1, and enters the rocky confines of Apache Canyon, as the speed limit drops to 25-20, including a section of canyon so narrow that the train is only a few feet away from rocky walls on both sides at once, with the line curving back and forth, and a stream curving even more back and forth, passing beneath the line in several places with a deck girder bridge and three through girder bridges, and then past a dirt road grade crossing and another through girder bridge, searchlight signals (in 2006) at the west end of the 4,850 ft. siding on the north side at Canyoncito (MP 830.0), and searchlights (in 2006) at the east end. I-25 runs alongside to the north, and there is a short section of slide fence on the south side, with searchlight (in 2006) Intermediate Signals..

The line turns south-southeast at the summit of Glorieta Pass (el. 7,421 ft.), at the searchlight (in 2006) signals at the west end of the 5,800 ft. siding on the north side at Glorieta (MP 825.2), where the old depot (now a post office) is on the south side of the line, there is a spur on the north side and searchlight signals (in 2006) at the east end, with an evergreen forest both alongside the line and across the valley to the north, and descends at a 3% grade into the Pecos River Valley, where there is some kind of resort off to the northeast once owned by a film actress, turning east-southeast, with firs and pines along both sides of the line, past searchlight (in 2006) Intermediate Signals and a dirt road grade crossing, searchlight signals (in 2006) at the west end of the 8,500ft. siding on the south side at Fox (MP 820.4), and the searchlight signals (in 2006) at the east end, where the speed limit is 50-35 and the line turns south-southeast, past searchlight (in 2006) Intermediate Signals and two bridges over gullies, and then south, past a dirt road grade crossing, with the descending grade now 1.7%, searchlight signals (in 2006) at the west end of the 4,050 ft. siding on the north side at Rowe (MP 816.0), where CTC ends in favor of TWC, ABS, and the speed limit rises to 79-70, an ungated grade crossing within the siding, and searchlights (in 2--6) signals at the east end, where the line starts to rise  with a 1% grade as far as Gise.

The mountains east of Taos are visible to the west, there is a grade crossing, a bluff on the south side with a sharp rise on the side and antenna towers on the top, with I-25 on the east side, and the line turns southeast past the searchlight signals (in 2006) at the west end of the 6,632 ft. siding on the north side at Gise (MP 811.0), which has a dirt road grade crossing within the siding and searchlight signals (in 2006) at the east end, where a 1.5% descending grade starts, a dirt road grade crossing, and a detector at MP 809.2, east past Intermediate Signals (searchlights, in 2006) at Ilfeld (MP 807.0), where the speed limit falls to 50-45 and I-25 is still adjacent on the north side, southeast and east again, past a bridge over a gulley and a dirt road grade crossing, southeast past Intermediate Signals (searchlights, in 2006), a stretch of embankments and cuttings, a bridge over a gulley, searchlight signals (in 1997) at the west end of the 6,385 ft. siding on the north side at Sands (MP 803.3), where the speed limit is 79-70, there is a spur on the north side near the east end and searchlight signals (in 2006) at the east end, and east, past Intermediate Signals (searchlights, in 2006) and a dirt road grade crossing, to Ribera (MP 799.4).

The line crosses the Pecos River on a deck girder bridge at Ribera, followed by the start of an upgrade, a grade crossing, a water tank on the south side of the line, a bridge (which burned in 1996) over a gulley, and Intermediate Signals (searchlights, in 2006), after which the line curves through the double horseshoe curves (with speed limit 25-20 on the curves),  northeast, east across a dirt road grade crossing just west of MP 797, past searchlight (in 1997) Intermediate Signals, east northeast, a wide curve (first horseshoe) to the north across a bridge over drainage on the curve (MP 796.5), a curve (second horseshoe) through MP 796 until the line heads southeast, another curve to the northeast, and then one southeast and east again to the top of the immediate eastward upgrade out of the Pecos River valley, at MP 795, with I-25 alongside to the north, where a 1.7% eastward descent begins, past MP 794, to the searchlight signals (in 2006) at the west end of the 4,500 ft. siding on the north side at Blanchard (MP 793.6), where the speed limit is 45-40, the searchlight signals (in 2006) at the east end (MP 793), continuing curvily east past a bridge over drainage, a bridge over a gulley, Intermediate Signals at Bernal (searchlights, in 2006), an ungated grade crossing, two through girder bridges over streams, Starvation Peak on the south side of the line, and semaphore signals (in 2006) at the west end of the 5,400 ft. siding on the south side at Chapelle (MP 788.8), where the speed limit is 50-45, there is a water tank on the south side of the line, an ungated grade crossing within the siding, and semaphore signals (in 2006) at the east end.

There is a bridge over a gulley (which runs along the north side to the west of here and the south side to the east), a curve to the east-northeast, semaphore (in 2006) Intermediate Signals, a bridge over a gulley, a through truss bridge over an arroyo, a big turn to the north (with a speed restriction on the curve) at MP 785 with a dirt road alongside to the south and then east, climbing a 1.4% grade through savanna in the valley with wooded hillsides alongside,  past semaphore (in 2006) Intermediate Signals at Myers, still with a dirt road alongside to the east, a bridge over a gulley, MP 783, a bridge over drainage,  MP 782, a bridge over drainage, semaphore (in 2006) Intermediate Signals, a section on embankment, and semaphore (in 2006) signals at the west end of the 4,850 ft. siding on the east side at Ojita (MP 778.5), top of the grade out of the wooded hills and onto the grassy rangeland, and semaphore (in 2007) signals at the east end, crossing a bridge over a gulley, turning northeast at Romero (where the town is on the west side), past a road bridge overhead, a dirt road grade crossing near a horrible rock cut on I-25, a bridge over a gulley, and a grade crossing at the detector at MP 774.9, where I-25 is alongside to the west, semaphore (in 2007) Intermediate Signals (MP 774.2), a bridge over a river, a dirt road grade crossing, searchlight (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) Intermediate Signals, two bridges carrying I-25 overhead, and north again, bridging over a river, to the searchlight signals (in 1997) at the south ("west") end of the 5,700 ft. siding on the east side at Las Vegas, NM (MP 770.1), where the speed limit is 30 mph, there is a spur on the west side, a grade crossing within the siding, the depot and former Harvey House ('La Castaneda') are on the west side of the track, and a small and ever-diminishing yard (which once included a roundhouse) is on the east side (4 and then 3 tracks in 2006, used for storing bare table cars). The town, dating from 1833, is to the west. There is a bridge overhead within the siding, a grade crossing within the siding, and searchlight (in 2006) signals at the "east" end of the siding.

The line now  heads across the high plains of New Mexico, heading north-northeast past a grade crossing, a bridge over a river, semaphore (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) Intermediate Signals at Arriba (MP 767.7), where the speed limit is 79-70 again, two bridges carrying I-25 overhead, a road alongside to the west,  two grade crossings, a bridge over a gulley, past semaphore (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) Intermediate Signals at Velmora (MP 763.5), turning east-northeast, past the triple-light signals at the "west" end of the 7,602 ft. siding on the west side at Onava (MP 759.5), where the line turns northeast, there is a dirt road grade crossing within the siding, and semaphore (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) signals at the "east" end, sections of jointed rail alternating with sections of continuous welded rail, still with a pole line alongside, a bridge over drainage, semaphore (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) Intermediate Signals, a bridge over a gulley, a detector at MP 753.5, semaphore (in 2007) Intermediate Signals just east of the detector, I-25 along the west side, and semaphore signals (in 2007) at the "west" end of the 6,250 ft. siding on the west at Watrous (MP 750.2), which has a grade crossing within the siding and the town is on the west side, across a road from the siding with some "industry" on the east side, across a road from the line, and semaphore (in 2007) signals at the "east" end (MP 749.2).

The speed limit falls to 45-40 for a section of line that passes through Shoemaker Canyon, curving east among the deciduous trees, crossing a through truss bridge over a river, curving south, past semaphore (in 2007) Intermediate Signals (MP 746.2) with a rock wall along the east side for a moment, and both evergreen and deciduous trees along the river,  northeast, east, northeast, past an ungated grade crossing, semaphore (in 2006) Intermediate Signals, east-northeast, past a bridge over a river, a wooded area on the west side, and a bridge over a road, northeast, past semaphore (in 2006) Intermediate Signals, southeast, and east again, with rock cliffs on the west side, crossing a bridge over a stream or river, past a grade crossing, to the semaphore (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) signals at the "west" end of the 4,650 ft. siding on the west side at Shoemaker (MP 742.3), and then rises to 79-70 past the semaphore (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) signals at the "east" end of the siding, as the line turns north-northeast and bridges over a dirt road, with some 40 mph curves back and forth, past Intermediate Signals at MP 739.1/2, semaphore (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) Intermediate Signals at Optimo (MP 735.5), a bridge over drainage, Intermediate Signals (lights), an ungated grade crossing, semaphore (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) Intermediate Signals, two bridges over drainage, semaphore (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) Intermediate Signals, two bridges over gullies, a detector at MP 728.0, semaphore (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) Intermediate Signals just east of the detector, a bridge over a culvert, a dirt road on the east side, a dirt road grade crossing, a grade crossing just west of the semaphore (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) signals at the "west" end of the 3,800 ft. siding on the west side at Wagon Mound (MP 725.3), where the town is on the east side and there is a grade crossing within the siding, with semaphore signals (in 2006) at the "east" end, to the east of which is the eponymous geological feature that the early settlers thought looked like a Conestoga wagon.

The line turns just east of due north, with I-25 alongside to the west, passing semaphore (in 2006) Intermediate Signals at MP 722, semaphore (in 2006) signals at the "west" end of  the 6,100 ft. siding on the west side at Levy (MP 719.7), a road alongside to the west and a dirt road grade crossing within the siding, semaphore (in 1997)/triple-light (in 2006) signals at the "east" end of the siding, semaphore (in 2006) Intermediate Signals at Holan, a dirt road grade crossing, jointed track, semaphore (in 2006) Intermediate Signals, a bridge over drainage, a through girder bridge over a stream,  semaphore (in 2006) signals at the "west" end of  the 6,250 ft. siding on the west side at Colmor (MP 710.0), named for the counties (Colfax and Mora) on whose boundary it sits, which has a dirt road grade crossing within the siding and semaphore (in 2006) signals at the "east" end, a grade crossing, semaphore (in 2006) Intermediate Signals, a dirt road grade crossing, MP 705, a dirt road grade crossing, Robinson (which once had a siding on the east side that was the site of a fatal head-on collision of passenger trains resulting from a head-end brakeman's error), a bridge over a gulley, and a detector at MP 702.1, with semaphore (in 2006) Intermediate Signals just east of the detector.

The line curves north-northwest, with a bridge over a road below, at the 6,300 ft. siding on the east side at Springer (MP 699.4), where there is a grade crossing within the siding, the speed limit falls to 65-55 and CTC starts, and there is a road alongside to the west, northeast and then north again, with roller-coaster grades of 1-1.3%, past the semaphore (in 2006) Intermediate Signals at Dover, where the Canadian River is not far from the east side of the tracks, to York Canyon Junction (MP 691.5), where there is a dirt road grade crossing, signals, and the former SP Dawson Railway from Tucumcari once trailed in from the south-southeast, and the Santa Fe York Canyon line (built on the former right-of-way of the Dawson Railway) headed off to the northwest until the 2000s (there is still at least a wye remaining on the northwest side in 2006), a bridge over a gulley and a through truss bridge over a/the river, and the 6,050 ft. siding at French (MP 691.4), where the speed limit returns to 79-70 and there are searchlight signals at both ends in 2006, with a through truss bridge over a river north of the siding.

Now running along the Canadian River valley, with the river to the east of the line which is heading just east of due north, the line passes Intermediate Signals at Maxwell (MP 686.0), two ungated grade crossings, a bridge over drainage, Intermediate Signals, a grade crossing, a bridge over a/the river, where I-25 is alongside to the west, the 5,900 ft. siding on the east side at Schomberg (MP 678.8), two bridges carrying I-25 overhead, Intermediate Signals at Dorsay, just west of a detector at MP 675.8, Intermediate Signals, the 5,650 ft. siding on the west side at Hebron (MP 671.3), which has extra track on the west side at the "west" end and searchlight (in 2006) signals at both ends, where a branch to Van Houten once headed northwest, a location where the Santa Fe Cimarron area branches once headed west and ran north (in the other direction) along the east side of the river, Intermediate Signals near MP 667, a bridge over a stream, another bridge over another stream, Intermediate Signals at Otero, where the line crosses the river (whose ascending valley then heads northwest on the west side of the line), a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals at Dillon (where a branch to Brilliant once headed northwest), a bridge over a river, a grade crossing with a US highway, a bridge over a road, and the 9,500 ft. siding on the east side, with extra track on the west side, at Raton (MP 659.5), where the parking area is south of the stucco, southwestern-style depot, with an angled rectangular tower, is on the west side of the line and the yard on the east side, on a curve, with a road on the west side of the line, most of the siding north of the depot, and a road bridge overhead within the siding.

North of Raton, Fisher Peak is ahead to the north and east of the line, the speed limit falls to 25-20 and the line climbs sharply (3.2% grade) to Raton Pass, the highest point on the former Santa Fe railroad system, turning northwest, passing a bridge over a river at the north end of the siding,  and then gradually curving north-northwest, past a bridge over the river, a detector at MP 657.0, a bridge over the river, another bridge over the river, I-25 up on the hillside to the east, a 9,300 ft. siding on the west side at Keota (MP 655.2), with signals in the middle of the siding (MP 655.1/2), a dirt road grade crossing, and Intermediate Signals at Lynn (MP 652.8), after which the maintenance road keeps changing sides of the line with dirt road grade crossings, turns north and passes through the 2,746 ft. Raton Tunnel (MP 652.0), where there is an older closed-off tunnel on the east side to the 7,588 ft. elevation summit of the line, the Colorado border, and Wootton, CO (MP 651.8), where Two Main Tracks, CTC, start, with a spur on the west side and the tracks separated for a short distance.

The line then descends even more steeply (3.5%), turning curvily north-northeast, with Wootton Ranch on the west side, past a dirt road grade crossing, where the grade reduces to 3%, to a detector at MP 649.8, past a cantilever signal bridge (MP 648.8) carrying two searchlights facing west, then turning northwest (20 mph on the curve) past Morley (MP 648.1), where the grade reduces to 2%  and there is a spur on the west side, north through wooded hills on both sides, past the crossovers with cantilever signals bridges at both ends at Gallinas (MP 647.3), a bridge over a stream, two dirt road grade crossings, a road bridge overhead at MP 645.x, Intermediate Signals at MP 645.3/4, curving back and forth along the valley of a stream heading northward, with I-25 further up the hillside to the east, a bridge over a river, a dirt road grade crossing, Intermediate Signals at MP 643.4, an ungated grade crossing at the west end of Starkville, with a road alongside on the west side of the line and the houses beyond that, where the speed limit rises to 30 mph, past "the leaning church of Starkville" on the west side, MP 642.0, an ungated grade crossing, a two-lane road alongside to the east, two ungated grade crossings, Intermediate Signals at MP 641.4, a through girder bridge over the river (Las Animas Perdidas en Purgatorio), edging west of north, and then turning northeast as the stub of the erstwhile Colorado & Wyoming Railroad line trails in from the west-southwest at the cantilever signal bridges surrounding crossovers at Jansen (MP 638.6), passing through wasteland with straggly deciduous trees and a street alongside to the north, past an ungated grade crossing and a path alongside to the north with a pond beyond it, signals at West Trinidad (MP 637.1), where the speed limit falls to 20 mph, and a grade crossing at an intersection just west of the pair of road bridges carrying I-25 overhead, with another grade crossing at an intersection just east of the road bridges, just west of Trinidad (MP 635.8), where the depot, once on the northwest side of the line, was demolished for an I-25 construction project in 2007, with three total tracks (only 2MT, with the extra track on the south side) at this point. The 2MT continue past the station, a mile or so further east.