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Visit the VLA and its New Mexico environs with exclusive narrated and hosted video tours.
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Riding the Rails

Over forty miles of steel train rails lay on 60,000 wooden ties to trace out a giant Y across the Plains of San Agustin in central New Mexico. Two Antenna Transporters ride these rails to move the Very Large Array telescopes from pad to pad.

The tracks were purchased from disused rail lines all across the country, and many bear the marks of early 20th century manufacture. We maintain a small staff of railway men who tend the tracks and a full suite of railroad vehicles that drive spikes, move and tamper ballast, and replace the ties.