Wheels Museum

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Our friends at the New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad

Wheels Museum

3 weeks 5 days ago


Wheels Museum

1 month 4 days ago

WHEELS Museum Newsletter Spring 2023

WHEELS Museum Newsletter Spring 2023

Volunteers are always welcome at WHEELS. We especially need more volunteers as we add Saturday visiting times to the museum.

WHEELS will be asking the NM Legislature for funds to continue our project to add new track next to the museum for full size rail car exhibits. We are also seeking for funds for WHEELS development as the Railyards develop. If you can help or simply know legislators who might help please contact Leba at (505) 243-2629.

What’s next? City of Albuquerque sees new vision for Rail Yards Master Plan

By: George Gonzales
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  The city has come out with a new master plan 16 years after buying the Albuquerque Rail Yards to redevelop and preserve it. The new plan lays out the rules for what can and can’t go at the site. It also lists what they’d like to see from developers.

The 167-page plan lays out rules, such as maximum height limits for new buildings and mandating shops along Second Street facing the Barelas Neighborhood as the city looks for developers to build apartments, a hotel, shops, restaurants, galleries and performing spaces. They also plan to refurbish old buildings. The updated plan also pushes for a new train stop at the rail yards, underground parking garages, and a rebuilding of the historic turntable and smokestack. Leba Freed with the Albuquerque Wheels Museum said in the same June meeting… “The turntable is the heart and soul of this property along with these historic buildings. so to me, it is very obvious that the turntable has got to be functioning.” More

Leba Freed – Albuquerque’s Wheels Museum

Leba Freed has been recognized by the Albuquerque Historical Society with an Albuquerque History Accolade for her efforts over two decades to preserve Albuquerque’s historic railyards and for creating a museum that honors the nation’s history of transportation.

Leba Freed’s family is one of the mainstay families in Albuquerque’s history. Her father created Freed and Company which had a store on Central downtown for decades. Leba worked there as a child and became the owner/operator later in life. During these years, she rarely gave any notice to the abandoned buildings that were mostly home to pigeons in the 1990s. However, a visit there to the enormous structures caused her to envision turning these industrial Gothic spaces into a world-class museum of transportation. She imagined that the museum would showcase how all forms of transportation have contributed to the nation’s prosperity and the history of Albuquerque specifically. It would pay tribute to the men and women who built the buildings and worked there helping to move people and goods across the country.


© 2022 Albuquerque Historical Society, Inc.

WHEELS Museum Winter 2023 Newsletter

WHEELS Museum Winter 2023 Newsletter

Volunteers are always welcome at WHEELS.  We especially need more volunteers as we add Saturday visiting times to the museum.

WHEELS will be asking the NM Legislature for funds to continue our project to add new track next to the museum for full size rail car exhibits.  We are also seeking for funds for WHEELS development as the Railyards develop.  If you can help or simply know legislators who might help please contact Leba at (505) 243-2629.

Albuquerque Rail Yards Men

“We have a photo of many of the men who worked in the shops. They’re on a locomotive, and we would love to identify the men,” said Leba Freed, the president of the WHEELS Transportation Museum in Albuquerque. “Sadly, they’re gone now, but we are hoping many of the family members would be able to identify them.”

Greasy, covered in their hard work, the men were machinists and boilermakers who kept the railroad running from 1920 through the 1960s. “They restored as many as 40 locomotives, and each one weighed as much as a million pounds,” Freed said. If you can identify someone in the photo, please call the museum at (505) 243-6269.

January 6, 2023 – New Mexico’s Anniversary of Statehood

New Mexico became the 47th state on January 6, 1912. Visit — NewMexicoHistory.org to view thousands of entries: photos, videos, podcasts, Timelines for the five periods of NM History & More ! 

Railroads and New Mexico

Fred Harvey: Civilizer of The West

Harvey Girls

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter

Railroads Of Santa Fe County

Fred Harvey New Mexico with author Stephen Fried

In December 2014 I had a story in New Mexico Magazine about the Fredaissance in New Mexico, with a sidebar on how to tour the Harvey heritage spots in the state. Since the sidebar is a little tough to access online, here’s an easier version, with all the links.

Fred Harvey Store

Stephen Fried / MightMakesWrite LLC email: Here

Wheels Museum Tour

Eclectic Videos Vlogs and More

Architecture and The Fred Harvey Houses – The Alvarado and La Fonda

by Dr. David Gebhard

The architectural forms which had arisen in the American Southwest in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries – a blend of the Indian and provincial spanish architecture from Mexico – had long held a fascination for the American from the eastern sections of the country.


Photos from the Las Vegas Trip Oct 2022

Photos from the scenic fall group train trip sponserd by Wheels Museum to historic Las Vegas, NM.
By Brenda Pace.

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March 31, 5 pm. Join us for a Shabbat with Friends special gathering called Shabbat Night at the Museum at the Wheels Museum in ABQ. Roam through the museum, enjoy a festive Shabbat potluck meal and finish with an hour of singing our favorite Seder songs with the Oneg Shabbos Ensemble to get in the mood for Passover that arrives on a few days later. Pre-Registration is required to attend. A Shabbat Night at the Museum.

Do you have a few hours each month to help the Wheels Museum? Volunteers are needed so the Museum can be open more; run the model railroad trains, also help needed with events, marketing, fund raising. Call Leba Freed at (505) 243-6269.

April 1, 1 pm. Doug Figgs and Badger. Back by popular demand. By reservations only (505) 243- 6269. Doug’s show was sold out last year, so call early! Donation: $10.00.

April 8, 11 am. “Historic Albuquerque” Ronn Perea will present old Albuquerque anecdotes including delightful stories about our beloved Alvarado Hotel and the politicians, actors and entertainers who stayed there. This is a free event but, of course, donations are always appreciated.

April 22, Wheels Museum Day trip to Rancho De Chimayo Restaurante, El Santuario de Chimayo and the Santa Fe Plaza. Call Leba or Janet at (505) 243-6269 for more information. The museum is a 501C3 non-profit community organization whose mission is to create a transportation museum at the downtown Albuquerque Steam Locomotive Repair Shops.

May 19-May 23, Train trip to the Grand Canyon. Only a few spaces left.Scheduled through Amtrak Vacations, call Leba or Janet at (505) 243-6269 for reservations and more information.

May 27, 10 am. “Railroad Time” Historian Roland Penttila introduces you to Sir Sanford Fleming and describe how missing his train got him thinking about time and how we understand it. His work led to the world time zones and the standardized use of time that was a boon to the emerging industrialized world. Reservations (505) 243 6269. Admission is free, but of course, donations are gratefully appreciated.