Exploring The Fascinating Albuquerque Rail Yards

The Albuquerque Rail Yards are now home to the Rail Yards Market and are also available as a filming location for movies.

Shopping at the Albuquerque Rail Yards Market

Built in 1917, the now defunct Albuquerque Rail Yards has been repurposed by the city. The main function of the Rail Yards is to host the Rail Yards Market which happens every weekend from May until October. There is also a Holiday Market in December.

The Albuquerque Rail Yards Market hosts numerous local food vendors and artisans making it one of the more unique places to visit in Albuquerque. The market is also held indoors, providing some shelter from the famous New Mexico sun and wind.

Exploring the Albuquerque Rail Yards

Abandoned building at the Albuquerque Rail Yards.
The Albuquerque Rail Yards are now home to the Rail Yards Market and are also available as a filming location for movies.

Full disclosure, shopping at the Rail Yards Market is fun but I had an ulterior motive . The reason I went is because visitors are allowed to wander around the property and take pictures of the buildings. Incidentally, without obtaining a special permit from the city, this is the only way to access and photograph the buildings. The doors are open but visitors are not allowed to enter so you have to shoot from the door. Please, please, please do not trespass on to the Albuquerque Rail Yards property without permission. It will not end well for you.

The beautiful old buildings on the property are largely intact and absolutely fascinating to explore. The Rail Yards can be seen in several movies and television shows including Breaking Bad.

History of the Rail Yards

During the 1880’s the rail road arrived in Albuquerque and established a new town center. This is the area currently known as “Downtown”. The Rail Yards were built between 1912 and 1924 and employed nearly 25% of the workforce. During World War 2 employment swells to meet the demand for troops and supplies. In the 1950’s steam engines are replaced with diesel and employment at the Albuquerque Rail Yards begins to decline. In 2007 the City of Albuquerque acquires the Rail Yards with plans to both save them from further destruction and to use them for something profitable.

Today, the Albuquerque Rail Yards Market draws over 150,000 visitors a year and generates a annual revenue of over $1M.

Abandoned building at the Albuquerque Rail Yards.

Other fun places to visit in Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a wonderful city that is ready to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for all who visit. While you’re here, be sure to ride the Sandia Peak Tramway, shop in Old Town and visit the ABQ BioPark’s Aquarium, Botanic Garden and Zoo! After hours, stop by Casa Flamenca for a live performance of a traditional Tablao.

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