One of America's oldest cities, Santa Fe, NM, will become the latest destination for commuter rail in the United States later this month. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has announced regular operations on the route from Albuquerque will begin Wednesday, December 17. He and other state officials will ride a New Mexico Rail Runner inaugural special two days earlier.
The service will initially offer eight weekday and seven Saturday departures, with a round trip fare to Albuquerque of $8. Sunday service will not be offered. Running times will be between 1:20 and 1:30. State officials expect the line to handle approximately 4,500 daily riders.
The line to Santa Fe is the second phase of the Rail Runner system. Service between Belen and Bernalillo commenced in 2006.
While Rail Runner was conceived primarily as a commuter service, the Santa Fe line is likely to appeal to tourists, as well. The Santa Fe depot, located, appropriately enough, in the Railyard district, a growing entertainment, dining and cultural destination, is also within walking distance of Santa Fe's historic downtown area and state office buildings.
Disclosure: This writer and his wife vacationed in Albuquerque and Santa Fe in 2007. We loved the area and look forward to going back. Can't wait to ride this train.
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