Securing a Place for a Loved Landmark

KSFB Board Member Rick Martinez walks around the caboose at Cerrillos Road and St. Francis Drive. Martinez led an effort to restore the caboose and helped raise funds to purchase it so that it stays in Santa Fe. (photo credit: Luis Sánchez Saturno/New Mexican)

With the help of citywide fundraising, along with the infectious energy of Keep Santa Fe Beautiful’s longtime board member Rick Martinez, Santa Fe’s iconic red caboose has a home in the city for years to come. 

Purchased by KSFB from the Santa Fe Southern Railway in 2015 as a collective effort kicked off by a challenge grant from The Texas Historical Foundation, the caboose sits at one of the busiest intersections in Santa Fe— at St. Francis Drive and Cerrillos Road. Its bright colors and size and shape have made the restored caboose a highly loved and highly visible landmark for locals and curious visitors alike.

The train underwent initial restoration, and later, a new paint job with a cannot-be-missed yellow Zia symbol against its red paint and the words Santa Fe, New Mexico. “The caboose is a different kind of welcome sign,” says Keep Santa Fe Beautiful Executive Director, Carol Branch. “People love trains, and they also seem to love seeing a little piece of history in a surprising spot.”

Keep Santa Fe Beautiful has a 25-year agreement with the city to keep the red caboose at its current location. The caboose is accessible on foot during daylight hours via the Acequia Trail along the Santa Fe Railyard Park.

Click to read more about the Caboose:

Red caboose staying put in Santa Fe

Keep Santa Fe Beautiful now owns caboose