Machine Shop

Albuquerque, New Mexico, has a long and vibrant history, encompassing more than three hundred years and counting; a significant part of that history has to do with the steam engine days of the railroad. The railroads not only came through Albuquerque, but made the city one of their main hubs, and with that, came the iconic rail yards. When the steam engines ruled the rails, they needed service and maintenance; and that, in turn, required significant facilities and manpower. By 1919, one quarter of Albuquerque was employed by the yards.

The machine shop was built in 1921, and encompasses 165,000 square feet. Imagine what it must have been like when the building was in full swing. The hum, the clatter, the tools, the noise, the commotion, the business of the building must have been staggering to behold. Truly a marvel of engineering, the building was a model of efficiency.

Alas, diesel quickly overtook steam, and slowly the rail yards fell into disuse. They were occupied all the way into the 1970s, but time marches on, this time, without the storied rail yards. Today they are empty and silent, still standing strong as testament to the days gone by.

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