The Rail Bureau:

  • Manages NM Rail Runner Express passenger rail service in partnership with the Rio Metro Regional Transit District.
  • Provides support for commuter rail planning and operations for existing and proposed passenger rail service.
  • Responsible for preparing and updating the New Mexico State Rail Plan
  • Manages the inspection, maintenance and improvement of NMDOT-owned  railroad property
  • Applies for and administers Federal Railroad Administration grants
  • Manages the state-wide Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Improvement Program (Section 130 Program)
  • Manages permit process for new utility or roadway crossings within NMDOT-owned railroad property
  • Manages permit process for temporary occupancy of NMDOT-owned railroad property such as film production, construction access, or environmental monitoring/abatement

William Craven, Rail Bureau Chief

Robert Fine, Rail Facilities and Permitting Manager

State Rail Plan

The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) State Rail Plan describes the current status of the New Mexico rail system, demonstrates the demand for and the benefits of the rail system, and identifies capital infrastructure and operating needs. The Plan also provides a strategic vision and implementation steps to help guide decisions and investments affecting New Mexico’s rail system. The State Rail Plan complies with Federal requirements and will help position NMDOT to take advantage of Federal planning and funding programs that can facilitate implementation of statewide rail improvements.

States must update their state rail plans every four years to remain current.  A state seeking federal funds for an intercity passenger rail project is required to have that project listed in a current state rail plan accepted by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). However, it is recommended that any rail project that seeks Federal funds be identified in the Rail Plan.

State Rail Plan Update

NMDOT is updating the New Mexico State Rail Plan. NMDOT Staff made presentations (available here) to the State’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Regional Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPOs) to solicit input for the Rail Plan. A Draft State Rail Plan is being prepared for public review and comment.

Presentations to MPOs and RTPOs, as well as public meetings, will occur after publication of the Draft State Rail Plan to present the plan and receive public comments on the Draft State Rail Plan. The schedule for these meetings will appear on this webpage once dates have been set.