Lamy Station Destaffed Again

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I understand that the Amtrak station in Lamy has been destaffed again. It was destaffed about two or three years ago but then staffing was restored and I understand it has been destaffed a second time.

As I recall, the station at Lamy is owned by Santa Fe Southern and was being leased to Amtrak. After the first destaffing, some locals became voluntary station caretakers to assist passengers. Then apparently Santa Fe Southern allowed someone to operate a restaurant (Harvey's or Lamy Junction as I recall) and a brew pub called the Chili Line. At some point, perhaps when the station was being restaffed, Amtrak asserted its rights under the lease and kicked the restaurant and brew pub out. Corrections to my understanding of this history would be welcome.

Now that Amtrak has destaffed the station again, I wonder if the volunteer station caretakers, the restaurant and the brew pub will return and I wonder what the status of Amtrak's lease is as the Santa Fe Southern aka Skye railroad is coming to life again. The restaurant and brew pub seemed to be very popular when they operated.
 
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Very disappointing news from Lamy on another forum. A poster reports that the station is locked and there is no caretaker. Passengers boarding at Lamy have to wait outside sometimes for hours if the train is late. Sounds like a very poor situation.

Hopefully someone can provide some further updates. It doesn't have to be this way.
 

ZiaReba

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Following this thread, as I will be boarding at Lamy in March. My last trip with that station was great - the volunteers were very helpful and the beer was cold! A terrible station for Amtrak to close because there is NO cell phone service.
 

fdaley

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Lamy is basically a ghost town, and I don't recall any functioning business within walking distance of the station. So it's a bad place to be waiting with no agent or staff, no shelter and no phone.
 

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So the crux of this thread is that a ghost town with no active businesses, services, or workers should be able to staff a station for two trains per day in January during a pandemic? If you need more than a shuttle choose Albuquerque.
 

fdaley

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Well, it's a short car ride (15-20 min.?) from Santa Fe, while Albuquerque is more than an hour's drive away. On my visits there, Lamy regularly had a small crowd of passengers boarding/detraining in both directions to get to and from Santa Fe. Telling those people to go via Albuquerque instead probably increases the likelihood that some of them choose another mode of travel altogether.
 
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fdaley

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I don't think a full-fledged ticket agent is necessary, but there ought to be a caretaker or someone to make sure passengers don't get left stranded there. If the trains are on time, both east- and westbound arrive within 2-3 hours of each other in the afternoon.
 

SarahZ

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A terrible station for Amtrak to close because there is NO cell phone service.
To be fair, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T all have LTE voice coverage in Lamy.

Source: Mobile LTE Coverage Map

Whenever we traveled to Albuquerque, we'd call my boyfriend's dad as soon as we stopped in Lamy so we could give him an ETA, and that was back in 2011-2016.
 
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Lamy is basically a ghost town, and I don't recall any functioning business within walking distance of the station. So it's a bad place to be waiting with no agent or staff, no shelter and no phone.
Where'd you get that? The Legal Tender Saloon and Eating House is right across the street, I believe.

The Sky Railway runs tourist trains between Sana Fe and Lamy.

There are homes there. People live in those homes.

The New Mexico Magazine had this in its March 2021 issue:

Lamy Is A Small Town In New Mexico That Offers Plenty Of Peace And Quiet
If you wish to get away from the stress and worry of daily life in New Mexico, you need a destination that offers solitude, stillness, and relaxation. Just 18 miles south of Santa Fe is the small, quiet, and peaceful town of Lamy. With just over 200 residents, this Santa Fe County town is pleasant and calm, but also offers plenty to see and do.
 

fdaley

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Where'd you get that? The Legal Tender Saloon and Eating House is right across the street, I believe.

The Sky Railway runs tourist trains between Sana Fe and Lamy.

There are homes there. People live in those homes.

The New Mexico Magazine had this in its March 2021 issue:
I remember the saloon across the street, but it was closed up tight every time I visited. Granted, our last trip there was in 2018, and the others were spread out over the preceding 20 years. So perhaps it was shut down for a time and then revived. But for that one establishment, the immediate area seemed pretty desolate, and I was glad we had relatives with a car waiting for us.
 
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To be fair, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T all have LTE voice coverage in Lamy.

Source: Mobile LTE Coverage Map

Whenever we traveled to Albuquerque, we'd call my boyfriend's dad as soon as we stopped in Lamy so we could give him an ETA, and that was back in 2011-2016.
I don't doubt Sarah's cell phone experience at Lamy but there are a number of posts, some recent, which indicate that there is no cell phone service at Lamy. I have been to Lamy a number of times but have never had the occasion to try to use a cell phone there.

Hopefully someone can test this out while at Lamy and give us a current report.
 

SarahZ

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I don't doubt Sarah's cell phone experience at Lamy but there are a number of posts, some recent, which indicate that there is no cell phone service at Lamy. I have been to Lamy a number of times but have never had the occasion to try to use a cell phone there.

Hopefully someone can test this out while at Lamy and give us a current report.
If someone has a carrier other than those three, they may experience issues. That doesn't mean there is "no cell coverage", though. :)
 

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I don't think a full-fledged ticket agent is necessary, but there ought to be a caretaker or someone to make sure passengers don't get left stranded there.
Lamy is small and quiet but not hopelessly remote. If worse came to worse you could ask a stranger for help or even walk yourself to civilization.

There is no valid excuse for no telephone service !!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's hard to imagine someone who can shout to thirteen exclamation points needing a phone to reach anyone.
 
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dan

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I was at Lamy in October as a way to get to and from Santa Fe on the SW Chief. Amtrak has a deal with a local company to van passengers to Santa Fe. Station had an agent last fall. The restaurant acrosss the street was closed. The private train to Santa Fe from Lamy was not operating but was sotting there.
 
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It would be interesting to know if Amtrak's lease of the Lamy station from Santa Fe Southern, now Skye Railway, has been terminated or if Amtrak is still in possession of the station under the lease and is just choosing not to occupy the station while still paying rent.

And why the voluntary station caretakers from the community, who previously managed the station during the prior destaffing episode, have not returned. From all prior reports that I have read they did a very good job and helped out a lot of passengers and probably provided more help than an Amtrak agent would have provided.
 
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Some people suggest that Amtrak passengers going to Santa Fe should skip Lamy and detrain at ABQ instead and take the Rail Runner from ABQ to Santa Fe. That would certainly work for some and it would allow passengers to detrain at the Rail Runner station which is close to downtown Santa Fe.

However the interface between the Southwest Chief and the Rail Runner leaves a bit to be desired and I suggest that people should study the schedules of both operations. This option may appeal to railfans but I am not sure of its appeal to others.

The eastbound Southwest Chief is scheduled to arrive in ABQ at 11:20 a.m. The next Rail Runner to Santa Fe does not leave until 5 hours later at 4:26 P.M. That is why we decided not to take the Rail Runner on our last trip on No. 4 and continued on to Lamy instead.

Of course the 4:26 p.m. Rail Runner departure would be very convenient for connections from the westbound Southwest Chief which is scheduled to arrive at ABQ at 3:29 p.m. However if No. 3 is running late there is a chance of missing the last ABQ to Santa Fe Rail Runner which departs ABQ at 6:48 p.m. Based on the train status archive site, it appears that the 6:48 p.m. connection would have been missed a number of times in the past couple of months.

The weekend Rail Runner schedule seems to be worse. If connecting from the Rail Runner to No. 4, the Rail Runner is scheduled to arrive at ABQ at 11:31 a.m. while No. 4 is scheduled to depart ABQ 17 minutes later at 11:48 a.m. I don't know how the Rail Runner's timekeeping is but that seems to be close.

If I have misread any of the timetables, corrections would be welcome. For the Southwest Chief times I have relied on an ancient online timetable dated Oct. 2020 which I printed out months ago.
 

fdaley

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Some people suggest that Amtrak passengers going to Santa Fe should skip Lamy and detrain at ABQ instead and take the Rail Runner from ABQ to Santa Fe. That would certainly work for some and it would allow passengers to detrain at the Rail Runner station which is close to downtown Santa Fe.

However the interface between the Southwest Chief and the Rail Runner leaves a bit to be desired and I suggest that people should study the schedules of both operations. This option may appeal to railfans but I am not sure of its appeal to others.

The eastbound Southwest Chief is scheduled to arrive in ABQ at 11:20 a.m. The next Rail Runner to Santa Fe does not leave until 5 hours later at 4:26 P.M. That is why we decided not to take the Rail Runner on our last trip on No. 4 and continued on to Lamy instead.

Of course the 4:26 p.m. Rail Runner departure would be very convenient for connections from the westbound Southwest Chief which is scheduled to arrive at ABQ at 3:29 p.m. However if No. 3 is running late there is a chance of missing the last ABQ to Santa Fe Rail Runner which departs ABQ at 6:48 p.m. Based on the train status archive site, it appears that the 6:48 p.m. connection would have been missed a number of times in the past couple of months.

The weekend Rail Runner schedule seems to be worse. If connecting from the Rail Runner to No. 4, the Rail Runner is scheduled to arrive at ABQ at 11:31 a.m. while No. 4 is scheduled to depart ABQ 17 minutes later at 11:48 a.m. I don't know how the Rail Runner's timekeeping is but that seems to be close.

If I have misread any of the timetables, corrections would be welcome. For the Southwest Chief times I have relied on an ancient online timetable dated Oct. 2020 which I printed out months ago.
Yeah, the Rail Runner connections mostly don't work. Plus, if you're coming from the east, you'd basically have to go an hour past your destination to Albuquerque and then spend another hour backtracking to Santa Fe on the Rail Runner. My father-in-law did it once for railfan fun when he was traveling alone. But for our typical family visit to Santa Fe, with serious luggage and a wheelchair, I'd never attempt it.
 

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It would be interesting to know if Amtrak's lease of the Lamy station from Santa Fe Southern, now Skye Railway, has been terminated or if Amtrak is still in possession of the station under the lease and is just choosing not to occupy the station while still paying rent.
Amtrak's prior lease was set to expire shortly after the sale and the way they acted as leaseholder under Anderson did not fit with the goals of the new owner.

Some people suggest that Amtrak passengers going to Santa Fe should skip Lamy and detrain at ABQ instead and take the Rail Runner from ABQ to Santa Fe. That would certainly work for some and it would allow passengers to detrain at the Rail Runner station which is close to downtown Santa Fe.
So long as the shuttle remains bookable with a train ticket I would estimate that 99% of Amtrak passengers can continue using Lamy without issue.
 
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However the interface between the Southwest Chief and the Rail Runner leaves a bit to be desired and I suggest that people should study the schedules of both operations. This option may appeal to railfans but I am not sure of its appeal to others.
I'm traveling to Santa Fe this fall. As much as I would like to take the Rail Runner, it's not nearly as good an option. The rail runner won't wait for a several hour late train and it's schedule is pretty sporadic. I much prefer the dedicated shuttle connection.
 
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I'm traveling to Santa Fe this fall. As much as I would like to take the Rail Runner, it's not nearly as good an option. The rail runner won't wait for a several hour late train and it's schedule is pretty sporadic. I much prefer the dedicated shuttle connection.
Similarly for me. We have reservations to ABQ in March and during our stay there had planned to take the RailRunner to Santa Fe to visit my brother. So even though, as a disabled veteran, the RailRunner is free for me, we decided to get off in Lamy, see my brother up front, then after two nights, take the RailRunner to ABQ. This eliminates the need to do an unneeded round trip and try and coordinate the unreliable Amtrak arrival (or departure at the other end) with the RailRunner.

I'd recommend that people get off in Lamy if going to Santa Fe but I'd be more hesitant to suggest to people that they leave from there as an unmanned station with few services in the area and intermittant or non-existent cell service is a problem if the departure train is late - especially if significantly late. Better to depart out of ABQ where the station is in walking distance to downtown restaurants and hotels and the Amtrak station is also the RailRunner Station and the central city bus transfer point as well as being a short bus ride to Old Town where one can kill a lot of hours if the train is really late.
 
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What is the circumstances of this staff situation? Did they cut the position - did the person quit - or is it a real estate issue related to the station building or unknown?
 
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