Modest Proposals

Friends of the Rail Runner

Proposing a service for New Mexico regional Rail that’s already part of transit systems just about everywhere else.

6 April 2021

FORR  Draft

FORR *   would be a standard “Friends Of” kind of group supporting the Rail Runner.  501-c-3 of course.  They would be on hand to greet and inform passengers as they wish. They would keep flyers handy with basic information and FAQ’s, for any who might want them, and be prepared to answer questions and challenges from the public.

*  Working title


Retirees of course, because 1)  some of them have both a little time and a little money, and 2)  they’re more likely to actually remember using trains in their everyday lives.  But a large cohort of the non-Old, the non-White, and the non-Male is essential to the long-term success of both the FORR and train travel itself. 


“Training films”  Zoom tutorial?  Focussing on the basic Good Transportation benefits of modern trains, like fuel economy, long system life, long vehicle life, all-weather safety, easier security,  

Practice sessions, somewhat in the manner of play rehearsals.

In-person (and online) briefings and updates.

The above-mentioned flyer, available in several languages.


Safety vest and hat band or bandana, in Rail Runner colors.

Free Rail and bus pass.

Reserved folding chairs as needed for those who have trouble standing for long periods.

Voucher for drinks or snacks.

Course credit for students (for completion of specified work requirements).

Yearly appreciation dinner, like the BioPark used to do.

Where to Stick The Folks:

The principal NMRX (Rail Runner) station stops, 

The Amtrak, Greyhound, and major Albuquerque bus stations,

The Sunport.

Aboard the trains themselves, as tour guides.  We recommend Native residents of the Pueblos along the route, and experts to explain the many benefits of the NMRX and provide information about features and areas along the route.  Maybe an off-duty engineer or conductor?

And later:

Schools and churches

Community centers    

Jails??   Don’t laugh.  People getting out, especially after a longer stretch, need to know the ways they can get around, especially if they don’t have a car, or a driver’s license.   The fewer frustrations with everyday life they have to endure, the better shot they have at staying out in the world.

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