Just north of downtown Albuquerque is the Train History Museum, and while the designation “museum” is somewhat overstated considering that only two major pieces of equipment are on the grounds, those two pieces achieve the major objectives of a museum: to provide access to the contents of the museum; present the role of the contents in the history of a people or period in time, to educate visitors on the function, meaning, or purpose of the contents preserved in the museum, and to bring these historical features to life through the educational process.
So, if a museum is to safeguard our heritage, the Train History Museum is a model of the definition of “museum.” In today’s entry, I want to talk about what is present at the yard, and tomorrow I will talk about how this bit of history is being brought back to life.
Perhaps the name of the organization connected with the locomotive and tender on the grounds is a more accurate description of what to find on this working laboratory site: New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Rail Road Historical Society (NMSL&RHS).
“In 1943, the Baldwin Locomotive Works near Philadelphia began building a new class of steam locomotives for the Santa Fe Railway. The 30 engines were called the 2900 Class and boasted a top speed of well over 90 miles per hour.
“The engine was then donated to the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and placed on display in Coronado Park. Outside in the park, time and weather were not kind to 2926, and a great deal of deterioration was evident.
The work crew have named some of the heavy equipment which they use in the restoration work. Below is Lurch, which is used to move the locomotive short distances while work is being done.
"The group decided to tackle the rebuilding of the Tender first, which was a major project in itself.