The El Paso and Southwestern Railroad

Rodeo New Mexico was served by the railroad at one time.  Founded in 1901, the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad ran from Tucson to El Paso servicing the mines in Bisbee and the smelter in Douglas.  A number of small towns and sidings sprang up including Rodeo which was initially founded by the railroad in 1902.  But the railroad eventually passed like many things.  Its demise in the early 1960's saw the removal of the tracks leaving only the rail bed and bridges along the former route.  The stations remained in several small towns but many of these slowly disappeared, giving way to neglect and decay.

Below is an image of one bridge north of Rodeo NM along the abandoned El Paso and Southwestern Railroad line.  Spanning a drainage from the western slopes of the Peloncillo mountains, this desaturated image reflects the stark reality of a decaying concrete bridge sitting alone in the high New Mexican desert.  More on the history of the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad may be found here.

old bridge
A railroad bridge north of Rodeo


  1. Junior Gomez, whose dad worked for that railroad, is the historian for Rodeo. He's written a couple books but I have not read them. I need to. We moved here when just the dirt that supported part of the road for the bridge was still there.

  2. I have read Junior's book ( and enjoyed it. This particular railroad bridge is 3.3 miles north of Rodeo (

  3. What great history Rodeo, N.M. has and thank you for sharing this picture. I also read Junior's book.

  4. I find the history of the dual stories about the Rodeo's name interesting. I guess it is all a matter of your viewpoint and perspective. Until I read Junior's book I had never heard the other story concerning the origin of Rodeo's name, but it is included in Rodeo's Wikipedia article,_New_Mexico