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October 14, 2005
From journal Santa Fe - Next to the Railway Track
Sierra Vista, Arizona
February 7, 2004
Granted, I could have done some more research before booking, so it's partly my own fault. If I had looked, I would have realized that Lamy is only 12 miles from the train depot in Santa Fe. This is a four and a half hour tour. You do the math. This train moves slowly, people. Now, the scenery is nice, I will say that much. However, there are a few other things that aren't hyped on the website quite as much as the beautiful surroundings. Like, say, oh, the fact that Santa Fe Southern still carries freight cars to make some cash and they have to pick them up halfway through the ride. There goes 20-30 minutes of jockeying around to pick up the cars.
Then you get to Lamy and there's absolutely nothing there other than the Amtrak station, which has a Coke machine. The website says to pack a picnic, but doesn't say why. Apparently, it's because there is nothing to eat for miles around, except for the ridiculously overpriced packages of M&Ms they sell on the train.
Then you have to wait in Lamy for an hour (ended up being closer to two for us) while they did something to the train, which seemed to us to be simply pulling back and forth on the track in front of the station for quite a long time and never actually succeeding in turning around, like they told us we were going to do. They did, however, make us all wait in the station (because it was about 18 degrees outside), which was crowded to the brink of exploding (did I mention there were about 25 pre-school kids on a field trip that day with us?) Oh, I forgot to mention that? Well, SFS forgot to tell us that, too. I like kids. Honest. However, I also like it when parents pay attention to their kids. That didn't happen.
Honestly, if my cell phone had gotten reception way up there in the mountains, I would have called a cab to go back to Santa Fe. I'll never take a train tour again.
From journal Four Days in Santa Fe