Failing tram puts Hagerman tours in jeopardy - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Failing tram puts Hagerman tours in jeopardy

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The tram tour service at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge needs a new vehicle. (KTEN) The tram tour service at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge needs a new vehicle. (KTEN)
Hagerman's electric tram has leaky batteries. (KTEN) Hagerman's electric tram has leaky batteries. (KTEN)
The Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge offers guided tours via electric tram. (KTEN) The Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge offers guided tours via electric tram. (KTEN)

GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas -- The Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge offers guided tram tours on Saturdays and Sundays every week.

"It's a very good way to learn the refuge: The history, the topography, the habitats... everything about Hagerman," said Bert Garcia, who helps operate the program.

Recently, however, they've had some issues with their shiny red electric vehicle, which is similar to a "stretch" golf cart.

"It was used when we bought it, and it's showing its age," Garcia said. "Probably the biggest problem is the batteries have leaked, and the entire undercarriage of the tram appears to be rotting out."

They've been using this tram for seven years. Now they're hoping they can get a new one before the issues become worse.

"The more immediate problem is the battery life, and sometimes we're really stretching to keep that tram going for an hour, hour fifteen minutes," Garcia said. 

The government isn't helping out with the $25,000 price tag for a new tram at the federal facility.

"We have looked at the possibility of grants, but finding grants for this purpose has proven to be very difficult," Garcia said. "We have tried, we have asked, we have made contacts, but basically we're told 'that isn't what we give to.'"

So the Friends of Hagerman are asking Texomans to donate to help them buy a replacement tram. And they're sure everyone will help them continue providing tours.

"The tram tours are one of our most popular attractions," Garcia said. "I've been told that by a number of riders that this is their favorite thing to do right now."

So far, the Friends of Hagerman have raised about $8,500. Donations to the campaign are being accepted at the group's GoFundMe page.

Tram tours are offered every Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. The rides are free, but donations are welcome.

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