Russell’s Travel Center In Glenrio

Russell’s Travel Center In GlenrioGreetings: Statues of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe greet visitors at the Auto Museum inside the Russell Travel Center at Exit 359 on Interstate 40 in Glenrio, New Mexico Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

Russell’s Travel Center In GlenrioDinner: A 1950s-era diner offers visitors at the Russell Travel Center the opportunity to enjoy a meal while taking a break from road travel. Dinner offers a variety of dishes as well as floats, malts, and other dinner specialties. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

Russell’s Travel Center In GlenrioFree Car Museum: The Russell Travel Center has a free car museum. The museum contains many vintage cars, most dating back to the late 1940s and 1960s, all restored to showroom condition. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

Written by Gary Warren
Previously at Los Alamos

When traveling on Interstate 40 in New Mexico, the last exit before the New Mexico/Texas state line is Exit 369. The nearest town is Glenrio, which straddles the state line and was an active stopover town on Route 66. Today Glenrio is a closed town, a ghost town with no population.

However, in an unexpected place in the middle of nowhere is the Russell Travel Centre. It is a travel center that serves truck drivers and travelers. All the parking and services one would expect at a truck stop are at Russell’s. Food, drinks and other facilities needed by traveling individuals and families can also be found at the travel centre.

This is just the beginning.

Russell’s Travel Center offers a 1950s-era restaurant, as well as the Subway for a quick meal. The convenience store carries the stock of a grocery store as well as a selection of travel essentials for travelers and truckers. The centerpiece of this travel center is the museum!

A museum featuring cars, trucks, and motorcycles from the 1950s and 1960s, travel memorabilia, pop culture memorabilia, collectibles, and more. The museum is full of items guaranteed to capture the attention of a visitor of any age. There are thousands of items that attract visitors of all ages but vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles are the star of the show.

So what does the museum at the travel center charge for admission? it’s free! There is an opportunity to leave a donation but this money does not help support the museum, as all donation funds are given to food banks. This museum is a labor of love.

The travel center was opened in 2010 by Emory and Barbara Russell. Russell and his sons are now retired and the family business was sold in October 2023 to TA Travel Centres. TA Travel Centers doesn’t change anything for a while. They will keep the diner and keep the current menu. The name Russell Travel Center will be kept for three years, and the museum will remain for five years. The Russell family leases the space that houses the museum. It’s good to know it’ll be around for a few more years.

This unusual truck stop near the New Mexico and Texas border is a hidden gem. When traveling on I-40 east, keep your eyes peeled for the last New Mexico exit, Exit 369. I can’t think of a better place to eat and recharge before moving on.

Editor’s Note: Longtime Los Alamos photographer Gary Warren and his wife, Marilyn, travel around the country and share their photos that appear in the “Posts from the Road” series published in the Sunday edition of the Los Alamos Daily Post.

Russell’s Travel Center In GlenrioCorvette: A 1955 Corvette as well as the pink 1957 Thunderbird on the left caught my eye while browsing the selection and variety of cars on display at the Auto Museum at the Russell Travel Center in Glenrio, New Mexico. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

Russell’s Travel Center In Glenrio1951 Custom: A beautiful red 1951 Ford Custom stood out among a collection of Ford cars at the Travel Center Museum in Glenrio, New Mexico. In the background are displays, posters and banners as well as many vintage displays along the wall at Russell’s Travel Centre. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

Russell’s Travel Center In GlenrioCoke Memorabilia: In addition to the cars and other transportation-related items in the museum, there is a large collection of memorabilia from the 1950s to 1960s. A collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia and Coca-Cola machines appear, but there is also a poster for a 1962 Patsy Cline concert and a photo of the Beatles. There are many collections like this throughout the museum in addition to the cars. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

Russell’s Travel Center In GlenrioAntique Pumps: A collection of antique gas pumps is on display at the Automotive Museum inside the Russell Travel Center. Other pumps and many other items related to ancient transportation are located throughout the museum. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

Russell’s Travel Center In GlenrioCLASSIC BIKES: Motorcycles dating from the early 1900s to the 1970s are on display alongside a Gulf Oil gas pump at the Russell Travel Center in Glenrio, New Mexico. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

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