Monday, April 28, 2014

Trinidad: The Final Segment....for now

Today, my Railroad West segment on the town of Trinidad hit the airwaves. My trip to Trinidad was quite a while ago, and due to some technical difficulties the production took longer than usual. With some time between finishing the piece and it's airing, I've put the Railroad West series on the back burner of my mind. Hearing the piece go live this morning made me sad and nostalgic- It was my last piece on the radio until further notice.

Rest assured though, I don't plan on it being my last piece ever. When I first embarked on this train project with Martha in January, I had only been working at KRCC for four months. While I loved what I was doing, I really hadn't thought about what would come next, let alone a future in radio. Working on this project and getting to live the experiences I was later writing about solidified my passion for this kind of news, and I look forward to someday making a career in the world of radio journalism.

But for now, please take a listen to the Trinidad segment of Railroad West. I was so lucky, during my trip south on I-25, to hear from a number of people who have invested their time and interest in the future success of the old railroad town. Trinidad has suffered a number of economic blows over the past few decades, with the loss of coal mining (too expensive), the subsequent loss of freight train traffic (no longer needed), and then the relocation of the oil and gas industry to Texas. The Southwest Chief running through town is vital for transportation, but also for the growing industry of tourism, something locals are banking on to keep the city alive.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have worked with Andrea and Martha on these stories, to have met countless interesting, helpful and passionate people on our journeys on the Southwest Chief, in Denver, Raton, La Junta and Trinidad, and to learn the importance of small-town America and the connections we need to maintain there.

Please check back on KRCC for more local stories, or my page on the site to hear more of my work.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Mexico on The Southwest Chief

With the possibility for rerouting still under consideration, the state of New Mexico does not face as great a loss as Colorado; however, northern New Mexico towns like Raton and Lamy stand to lose a large economic driver in the Southwest Chief.

Raton stays connected to the rest
of New Mexico with the Southwest Chief.
Photo by Maggie Spencer.
KRCC News Director, our very own Andrea Chalfin, conducted an interview with Patrick Malone, an investigative and legislative reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican, who has been focusing closely on the issue of the Southwest Chief in his state.

Listen here!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Stay Tuned!

As we finish producing the last few minutes of our series, we want to remind our listeners to stay tuned into KRCC to hear the rest of our pieces about the Southwest Chief. The past month has been an incredible journey for Maggie and I. Devoting ourselves fully to this project allowed us to get out into the field on many occasions and become more confident in our interviewing, writing, and producing skills. My favorite part of this project was physically riding on the train and having the chance to experience the incredible views and the generous hospitality of the men and women working on board. Through my research and interviews I developed a new appreciation for small towns in rural America, and was able to gain an intimate understanding of how the Southwest Chief positively affects these towns. The extensive and exciting history of the Chief is a truly unique story, and I hope that it will continue to be told, regardless of the future of the route. 

This series was a joy to create, and we hope you have enjoyed following us along the way! Please continue to check back here on the blog and the KRCC website for more information about the future of the Southwest Chief and to hear the rest of our series.

- Martha

Maggie and I in the Observation Car of the Southwest Chief.