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The Bridges of Abo Canyon

This page and the next two pages (pages 3-4) are dedicated to Abo canyon. These three pages will mainly feature photos of the ATSF and the BNSF railroads and the bridges in Abo canyon. The Indians of this area used Abo canyon as a trade route. The Abo Indians would travel from Abo, to the area where Belen is located today. The Santa Fe Railroad followed this route eastbound from Belen to Mountainair. Today an average of 70 trains a day travel this route, due to the single track in Abo canyon this has become a bottlekneck. The BNSF now is trying to figure ways to either bypass Abo or double track it. Either solution is going to be a very expensive proposition. I will try to rotate various photos through these pages. I always list the bridges in Abo as 1 through 7, west to east.

Snowstorm at bridge 1

Here is a little different shot at bridge 1. An eastbound empty autorack train, led by a couple of sd45's and a sd40-2 is crossing bridge 1 in a mild snowstorm in the early 1990's. This bridge is the highest and longest off all of the bridges in Abo canyon. I always say there is no reason to be on these bridges; in particular westbounds descending Abo canyon on a still day can no be heard until they are on top of you.

Eastbound Piggyback Bridge 2

Easbound piggyback in the early 1990'S. This piggyback is led by a GP60 non superfleet unit, followed by a General Electric B40-8(notice the small plum of typical GE smoke)A GP 60B unit, a SDFP45 and a superfleet GP 60. They are running in perfect AABAA configuration which is rare to find. This bridge is just east of the old rock quarry and is not quite as long as bridge 1. Notice the clouds in the sky, that is not a common sight in New Mexico in the summer.

879 East at Bridge 3

This was an extremely hot day in the summer of 1995 in Abo canyon. This eastbound had 4 General Electric superfleets and was traveling at track speed. Right behind this intermodal came a rerouted Southern Pacific with two tunnel motors in full run eight possibly making 10 mph with a very heavy freight bound for Kansas City via Vaughn. Bridge 3 is between a long rock cut westbound and a long curve eastbound. Notice the red light on the pole. This is a slide detector warning light, if rock slides into the fences in the canyon these warning lights go off to warn of potential slides onto the tracks. click here to return to the main page