Ride Rio Metro Blog

Welcome to the Rio Metro Regional Transit District Blog! Here you will find resources and information related to the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, Rio Metro's bus services, public transportation, transit safety, special events and more. 

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Jan 12

18 Fascinating Facts About the New Mexico Rail Runner Express

Posted on January 12, 2023 at 12:00 AM by Riann Martinez

Train at Downtown Albuquerque StationThe New Mexico Rail Runner Express operates seven-days a week with 15 stations along a 100-mile corridor. Winding its way through the beautiful canyons and arroyos of New Mexico’s high desert scenery, one can gaze out the window and imagine what it must have been like long before there were any kinds of motorized transportation in the lush Rio Grande Valley. Today, the Rail Runner offers passengers the modern comfort and convenience of parking the car and leaving the driving to someone else. 

In the past 16 years of service, the train has become one of New Mexico’s notable icons with its sweeping stylized roadrunner on the outside. It carries commuters, students, senior citizens, leisure passengers, and tourists to destinations far and wide…always with the promise of a return trip!

18 Rail Runner Factoids

  • Belen Rail Runner Station at NightThe Rail Runner operates along a 100-mile corridor with Belen at the southern end and Santa Fe at the north. Most commuter rails average a 30-mile corridor.
  • The Rail Runner has been in service for 16+ years.
  • The Rail Runner runs through five Native American Pueblos: Isleta Pueblo, Sandia Pueblo, Santa Ana Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo, and Santo Domingo Pueblo.
  • Each train car holds 139 seated passengers.
  • Rail Runner Conductor and Trax the Rail Runner MascotThe Rail Runner transports more people on a daily basis than 67% of New Mexico’s roads.
  • There have been nine movie or TV productions that have filmed on the Rail Runner.
  • Former Channel 13 KRQE TV Anchor Deanna Sauceda got married on the Rail Runner.
  • It took 21+ months to construct and build the Rail Runner.
  • The Rail Runner remains the fastest start-up commuter rail in the country in the past 40 years.
  • Actors Performing Shakespeare on the Rail RunnerWe have a mascot called “Trax” who was born on May 2, 2014. Trax is a big hit in the community with all ages!
  • Prior to the pandemic, the Rail Runner hosted annual skits by UNM Theatre Department students performing “Shakespeare on the Rail”.
  • The Rail Runner has transported more than 13 million passengers since it began service in July of 2006.
  • 1,640 is the number of stops the Rail Runner makes in one week.
  • Each passenger car is capable of holding 8 bicycles.
  • Man with Bicycle Boarding the Rail Runner TrainSince the pandemic started in 2020, Rio Metro’s Marketing Department has won 29 local, regional, and international awards!
  • Each train set is staffed with an Engineer, a Conductor, and a Ticket Agent.
  • There are 136 total bike lockers at Rail Runner stations.
  • The Rail Runner’s top speed is 79 mph.