Railroads have an important place in New Mexico's history.
When the railroad arrived from the north it immediately took up rapid transport of goods and passengers such as had previously come in along the Santa Fe Trail, fueling a new prosperity and growth in the Territory. A wider variety of people more readily moved into the area, including homesteaders.
The railroads became vital not just along the East-West and North-South corridors, but also because of the many branches and lines which led to lumber, livestock, mineral, and cultural resources. Some of these lines, and whole railway companies, are long gone now, the only traces being some route cuts and embankments and the occasional rusty spike. Towns boomed when a railway came through, and dwindled when the tracks were taken up.
For more information about specific dates, routes, or companies, please click here.