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Wheels Museum

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Wheels Museum

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Wheels Museum is a non-profit organization that works to preserve the history of transportation and travel, especially as it pertains to Albuquerque and the west. The museum is in its early stages and is located on the site of the Santa Fe Railroad Shops and yards in Albuquerque’s historic Barelas neighborhood downtown. The museum has model trains, full-sized vehicles, a gift shop, and more.

Built-in 1914 during the railroad boom, the Albuquerque rail yards serviced steam locomotives for the Santa Fe line. The yards were in operation from about 1915 to the 1960s, and during that time, the area around the railroad boomed and created what we now think of as old Albuquerque.
The railroad depot created jobs, and businesses sprang up to service the railroad’s travelers as well as those who worked at the yards. The Alvarado Hotel was nearby until it was destroyed in the early 1970s. Rail related businesses thrived for the decades that the trains ran.
Current plans are underway to restore the yards, with long term and short term goals. One of the first things to open will be a blacksmithing shop where visitors can see the dwindling art and its craftsmen.
The Wheels Museum will be part of the area’s renaissance. In the meantime, the Wheels Museum is gathering artifacts to house within its large, airy space. The museum has on display wooden wheel carriages, horse buggies, gas pumps, wagons, carts, cars, model railroads, and even a locomotive or two. The museum is home to the central idea of transportation in Albuquerque, and how that evolved over time. So a model of a horse might stand next to a Model T Ford, which are not too far away from a Mobil Oil sign of a red-winged horse, which could be found at gas stations up and down America’s roadways.

To find out more, please call (505) 243-6269 or e-mail: info@wheelsmuseum.org


New Lego exhibit at the Wheels Museum. View The New Mexico Lego Users Group has
partnered with WHEELS to have a beautiful Lego Train layout for children of all ages to enjoy. The exhibit will vary from season to season and we invite you to come see this new Lego train exhibit.

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.

Febuary 16, 11 am. Bob Bovee Long Steel Rails concert. This program for all ages presents songs and stories about the famous trains, rail workers, hobos, train wrecks and train robbers. Call or email Leba Freed for reservations at (505) 243-6269 or leba4@aol.com.

March 17, Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at WHEELS. Movie, tours, train ride and food celebration.

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.