George RR Martin is part of a trio involved in purchasing a historic American railroad in Santa Fe, which they plan to turn into a visitor attraction featuring live music, murder mysteries and escape rooms by 2022. The novelist and screenwriter is best known for his epic fantasy novel series, A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted into the HBO series, Game of Thrones.

The exterior of the historic Santa Fe Railway depot in New Mexico
The historic Santa Fe Railway depot in New Mexico was built in 1909 © Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Writing on his blog, he explained that he purchased the old, defunct Santa Fe Southern Railroad, along with his friends and partners, Bill Banowsky and Catherine Oppenheimer. They are all involved in Santa Fe’s resurgent Railyard neighborhood. The 18-mile spur between Santa Fe and Lamy dates to the late 19th century, and George describes it as a "great fun ride once upon a time." It even featured in the 1969 movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

The exterior of Beastly Books in Santa Fe
Beastly Books is owned by George RR Martin © Beastly Books

George already owns a cinema in Santa Fe and a bookshop next door called Beastly Books. Now he and his partners have acquired two locomotives, ten train cars and a historic station house, and their potential plans include building a Wild West sound stage and backlot, using the railroad for film shoots and reviving a brew pub that was previously located there. They have also mulled Halloween and Christmas excursion events, and stargazing expeditions featuring astronomers and astrologers.

George Martin with a glass of bubbly in his hand
George R R Martin at the launch of his book store © Beastly Books

"It is going to take a lot of work, more than a few bucks and a fair amount of time to get the railroad running again," says George. "There are tracks and trestles to inspect and repair, old historic coaches to restore to their former splendor, and a dead locomotive to bring back to life. And the coronavirus has slowed the process way down. But sooner or later, we do hope to have the old Lamy Line chuffing and puffing once again, and we have all sorts of fun ideas for the future - live music and murder mysteries and train robberies and escape rooms and, well, we shall see."

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