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El Paso’s Wyler Aerial Tramway Closed Indefinitely to the Public

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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced on Tuesday, September 18 that the Wyler Aerial Tramway is closed indefinitely to the public. Having carried passengers up to the Franklin Mountains outside of El Paso for the last 60 years, the tramway has been recognized for decades as a must-see and do when visiting southwest Texas.

The press release came as a bit of a surprise and shock to many area residents, whose reactions of sadness at the news were to be expected. When asked whether it was possible for El Pasoans to fundraise in order to keep the tramway open, TPWD stated that the tramway would be required to be updated to today’s standards, regardless of its history of successful yearly inspections and a clean record. This is estimated to cost millions.

El Paso's Wyler Aerial Tramway Closed Indefinitely to the Public

Photo: Facebook/Tim Croucher

Following a study that stated that the Wyler Aerial Tramway had exceeded its safe life expectancy, the decision was made by TPWD to close the service in the public’s best interests. The single-span, 2.4K foot-long tram had no added support towers. It was originally constructed in 1959 to transport maintenance staff and engineers to the T.V. transmitters on top of Ranger Peak. Since then, it’s reported to have carried close to 45K visitors per year to the 360-degree viewpoint atop the Franklin Mountains, overlooking the city of El Paso as well as parts of southern New Mexico and Ciudad Juarez.