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Wheels Museum

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Wheels Museum

1 week 4 days ago

Wheels Museum

2 weeks 4 days ago


The Santa Fe Rail Yards

The single most important factor in the development of Albuquerque between 1880 and 1930, in its transformation from a farming village into a commercial and industrial center, and in its emergence as the leading city of New Mexico was the railroad. Throughout this period, the Santa Fe Railway was the city’s leading employer. In addition, its buildings were viewed with community pride as signs of progress and prosperity. Because of the railroad’s leading role, these structures are prominent reminders of this important period in Albuquerque’s history.

The Historic Railroad Buildings of Albuquerque

The City has announced the adoption of a Master Plan to guide the redevelopment of the City-owned Rail Yards site in Barelas. The Rail Yards planning process will help guide redevelopment of this historic site.

Final Master Development Plan

Help identify the men who worked in the Shops

“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.”

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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.

Freed said the men’s work brought bigger things to Albuquerque.

“The railroad came and it built Albuquerque,” Freed said. “Had the railroad not come, we really think that Albuquerque would never have become a city.”

Leon Padilla of Bernalillo said his grandfather and uncles are in the photograph.

“I remember seeing the locomotives in the shop over there when I came to visit my grandfather,” Padilla said.

Dennis Baca, a retired railroad worker from Los Lunas, said he wants to know who the men are so their stories can be recorded.

“Once that history is dead, we will never see it,” Baca said.

Baca said the group has had some success identifying people in the photo.

“At the rail market one day, I saw a man who picked up the photo and he had tears in his eyes and he says, ‘I know this guy,’ and I said, ‘Who is that?’ He said, ‘That’s me,’” Baca said.

“Some people may have the old railroad records. They may have a lantern. They may have a photo of their grandpa,” Freed said.

Items that might be buried in a box could be pieces of history that belonged to the railroad or evidence of someone who played an instrumental role in keeping the trains running, Freed said.

Yeida Anderson
I took my son yesterday and the employees were so nice, we got greet by the resident dog Gus so handsome, thank you to the employee in charge of the model trains that took the time to speak with my son about trains. Everything was excellent.
Yeida Anderson
Robert Oberer
One of the docents took a lot of time showing us around !ND took us and the kids for a train ride.
Robert Oberer
Lupita Montoya
Wonderful fun place to learn and see old vintage machinery and photos and you can get a train ride! ❤️
Lupita Montoya
Don't miss this museum! Best kept secret...
Donald Gallegos
Must see in Albuquerque
Donald Gallegos
Henryk Sloma
An eclectic collection of transportation vehicles. Wonderful staff
Henryk Sloma
There is a lot to see in this museum! The volunteer staff was so nice and friendly, our 5-year-old son really loved it. Be sure to bring dog treats for the friendly resident dog, Gus!
Very friendly staff. My niece loved the train ride and learning about all the different types of transportation. Go if you get the chance.
Nice museum, lots o' wheels!


CELL PHONE PHOTO CLASS with Irene Fertik, Professional Photographer Monday, October 17 at 10 AM - noon. Suggested Donation is $20. RSVP: (505) 243-6269 More

WHEELS Sponsored Amtrak Las Vegas Trip October 21-23 Join the WHEELS museum for a scenic fall group trip to historic Las Vegas, NM. Reservation deadline is September 30. RSVP: (505) 243-6269 More

Revisiting the Diverse Men and Women Workers of the Albuquerque Railyard presentation by Cecelia Navarrete. Saturday, October 29 10-11:30 AM at WHEELS Museum. RSVP is a must: (505) 243-6269. Admission is free; donations are gratefully accepted. More

Jazz Music Events
Featuring some of the top Jazz live music acts in the Southwest, the "Jazz on WHEELS" series begins in October and runs through the end of December. The WHEELS Museum has partnered with local events production company Mariposa Music,, to utilize the power of music to benefit the museum. The Jazz on WHEELS performance will begin at 2pm on selected Sundays. Visit mariposamusicrocks.com for more information.