Amtrak’s Southwest Chief passenger train route through northeastern New Mexico will not be altered. The train is the economic lifeline for many people in the affected service area.
Raton Mayor Sandy Mantz says Amtrak’s decision not to stop service is wonderful news, because every summer thousands of passengers arrive in town by train and are responsible for almost half the yearly sales at local shops.
“The announcement to keep the Southwest Chief running in this northern route, it was a big relief,” Mantz said.
For years Amtrak has been trying to get New Mexico to share the cost of maintaining deteriorating tracks.
The company had threatened to reroute the train, which would have cut off service to Lamy, Las Vegas and Raton. That's where the tracks are in the worst shape.
But even though New Mexico has still not committed money to track maintenance, Amtrak announced they are not going to alter service because they believe that New Mexico will come up with the cash.