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Bad Dürkheim, Germany

Bad Dürkheim Aerial Tramway

Ruins of an aerial tramway that ran for only eight years. 

In South Germany, the Bad Dürkheim Aerial Tramway was a gondola lift that was built between 1969 and 1973. The tram, though, only ran until 1981 and, during its eight years in operation, was the target of a vocal group of critics that lived under its wires. Several people living in the shadow of the tramway complained that they didn’t want their estates being crosses by the cabins and, eventually, the ride was shuttered.

While in operation, the Bad Dürkheim Aerial Tramway carried passengers 1,270 meters to the summit of Teufelsstein in the Haardt Mountains of Bad Dürkheim (in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate) from the city center in Wurstmarkt. After it was closed, the tramway sat empty, but was never dismantled, for years.

New easements in 1999 which would allow the tramway to go back into operation made the decision nearly two decades earlier to keep the structure intact look absolutely genius. But then a fire the follow year, in 2000, destroyed the mountain-based station and a large number of the cabins. In 2004, the ropes and all but one of the support towers were removed from the site.

Two years later, in 2006, a decision was made to put the aerial tramway back into operation. The owner and operator decided to halt construction on the new tramway until he could get a guarantee that the area under its path of travel would never be declared a natural protection zone. That guarantee was never granted, but the burned out ruins and still-standing support tower are frequently visited by urban explorers and others interested in ruins.