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Rail Runner to Santa Fe

 Day Trip Map
The Rail Runner Express zips though ancient pueblo land with stunning scenery and connects to Santa Fe’s historic Plaza, museums and galleries. Spend the day riding the rails from Albuquerque to Santa Fe for less than $10 roundtrip.  Tickets are available onboard or online.
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Find the Rail Runner schedule, tickets and more for the train from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.
Whether you have a car or not, getting from Albuquerque to Santa Fe recently got easier. The Rail Runner Express train now connects the two cities with high-speed, no-hassle transportation for visitors and commuters alike. The 80-minute jaunt has been wildly popular since its inaugural run for reasons beyond the obvious economic savings to regular travelers.

The Rail Runner, painted to mimic the state bird, the Roadrunner, speeds through time as well as landscape. The scenery between Albuquerque and Santa Fe hasn’t changed much since Don Pedro de Peralta marched his army north along the Rio Grande and founded Santa Fe 400 years ago. The imposing peaks and buttes of the Jémez and Sangre de Cristo mountains frame the horizon with quintessential New Mexico scenery.

The tracks cut through some of North America’s oldest settlements, the Sandia, San Felipe, Santa Domingo and Cochiti Pueblos with glimpses of the villages and mission churches. The Indians ask train passengers to refrain from taking photos while passing through their pueblos.

Santa Fe Depot

The Railrunner terminates at the Santa Fe Depot in the historic Railyard District. Across the tracks, you can browse the shops and specialty boutiques at Sanbusco Market Center and catch a meal at one of the restaurants. One block away, galleries, boutiques, antique and craft stores, and restaurants line South Guadalupe.

The Plaza

Reaching the 400-year-old Plaza, the heart and soul of Santa Fe, is as easy as an eight-block walk. Or you can grab the free Santa Fe Pick-Up shuttle at the depot. The bus circles the Plaza with stops at the Main Library and St. Francis Assisi Cathedral, build in 1869, both one block from the Plaza, and at Canyon Road with its world renowned art galleries. At the Transit Center stop, you can catch the M Bus for Museum Hill.

At the Plaza, Indian vendors line the sidewalk in front of the one-story Palace of the Governors, built in 1610. Stores on and in the blocks surrounding the Plaza range from souvenir-quality to high-end galleries and Southwest fashion boutiques. The Museum of Fine Arts, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, New Mexico History Museum and Institute of American Indian Arts are all within a few blocks of the Plaza.

Canyon Road

Besides the vendors, museums and shops around the Plaza, art galleries line winding Canyon Road, a few blocks from the Plaza. If contemporary art is your interest, the galleries will thrill your spirit and challenge your credit limit. Once a trail along the river, the narrow lane has one of the highest concentrations of fine art in the Southwest. Because of its preservation, the American Planning Association rates Canyon Road as one of the “Ten Greatest Streets in the United States.”

Museum Hill

Dramatic outdoor sculptures from renowned Indian artists highlight the courtyard at Museum Hill, a short ride on the M Bus from the Transit Center near the Plaza. You can easily spend a day touring the four world-class museums. The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture exhibits more than 70,000 objects from native cultures of the Southwest ranging from ancestral artifacts to traditional and cutting-edge contemporary art. The Museum of International Folk Art contains an incredible collection of toys, textiles and religious art from cultures around the world. Dioramas with hundreds of hand-carved figures depict important aspects of indigenous village life.

The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, in an eight-sided building inspired by a traditional Navajo hogan, displays contemporary and historic Native American art. The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art features objects from throughout the Spanish Colonial world. Each museum contains a tempting gift shop and a central café satisfies your culinary needs.

After a full day of exploring “The City Different,” you’ll enjoy relaxing in the comfort of the stylish Railrunner coaches on your return trip. Kick back in the upper level and soak in the panoramic views as the train chauffeurs you back to Albuquerque.