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Rail Yard Could Be a Movie Set

By Alan Schwartz
Letters to the Editor – Albuquerque Journal

Wednesday, August 27, 2003
THE RAIL YARD PLAN ENVISIONED BY THE URBAN COUNCIL seems to be a redux of the Embassy Suites project, although admittedly on a more grandiose scale. Create a few hundred jobs for what the industry now euphemistically calls “hospitality workers” immediately adjacent to a poor neighborhood. The only thing missing from this scenario is the request for tax abatements, credits and bond subsidies.

The city and state claim to be serious about pursuing the growth of local motion picture production. I can’t think of a better potential location for studio activities than the rail yard. In addition to the large buildings, which could be suitable for conversion to sound stages, the vintage buildings easily lend themselves as period sets, and the site is suitable for real time rail operation. One can easily envision a scenario where an operating Wheels Museum collection could be used by movie production companies.

Compared to the minimum wage housekeeping and wait staff jobs offered by a hotel/convention/expo center, studio production demands a wide range of skills from the arts and crafts— actors, directors, gaffers, electricians, carpenters, drivers. The salaries from these jobs could easily support Downtown housing and revitalization of the Barelas neighborhood.

Motion picture production in Albuquerque may or may not be a viable idea, but it will never have a chance of coming to fruition if we don’t get off our backside.


Railyard Worker Commemorative Plaques. Honor a loved one who worked on the railroad, honor a WHEELS volunteer or honor the WHEELS Museum. WHEELS is now selling plaques with name plates for $100.00 per name.  Keep the memory of these people alive in perpetuity with a gorgeous wooden plaque with brass name plate. Thank those who made our city and state successful, built the railroad, continue to work to preserve our history and create our future. The plaques will be displayed in the Community Room at WHEELS.

Contact Paulette Miller Weir who is graciously supporting the project and has volunteered to orchestrate this work. Her phone number is (505) 227-3270.  Please send checks for $100.00 per name and a few other words such as dates of birth or death or job held to WHEELS Museum, PO Box 95438 Albuquerque, NM 97199 or contact Ms. Miller Weir for any questions.  We can also accept credit cars payment by calling WHEELS-6269.

June 24, 10 - Noon, “LEGO Club Meeting”. See how LEGOS become vehicles, houses, bridges, animals and view amazing Lego displays. Learn how to build with Legos and meet Lego Masters. Space is limited.  Children are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult. Call Leba at (505) 243-6269  or email to Leba4@aol.com.. Admission is free, donations are encouraged.

July 1, 1-2 pm, "Strings and Sings" Robin Howard in concert. “Strings and Sings” is a solo project of singer/songwriter Robin Howard. Robin covers all popular styles of music including Country, Classic Rock, Folk, Blues, and even original tunes. His music has earned him both praise and support from local musicians in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. RSVP:505-243-6269 or email to Leba4@aol.com. Fee: $ 10.00

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.