Santa Fe’s New Mexico Division: Varnish, Coal, Copper and Cattle


By Robert D. Walz.

Another installment in the Society’s series of divisional histories.  This volume covers the history of the New Mexico Division from 1877 to 1995 as the division was constituted in 1942 with a main line from La Junta, CO to El Paso, TX, and associated branch lines.  The New Mexico Division was unique in that passenger traffic was five times greater than freight traffic through most of its history.  Almost all of the Santa Fe’s famous name trains passed through the division at one time or another.  Coal and copper, zinc and iron ore contributed the bulk of online freight traffic.  It was also a scenic division and frequented by Otto Perry, Richard Kindig, Preston George, Stan Kistler, Steve Patterson and Joe McMillan, all of whose work is represented.

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