News

History Repeats Itself In An Electrifying Way

November 21, 2018

El Paso, Texas – El Paso Electric (EPE) eagerly awaits the 82nd Annual First Light Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Thanksgiving Parade to showcase an El Paso treasure, Mandy The Mule, that celebrates El Paso’s history and symbolizes how far the utility has come in energy production.

The stories that El Paso grandparents share with their families of taking day trips to Downtown to ride the streetcar around the Sun City urban core come back to life as El Paso recently welcomed back the retro-modern Streetcar. For this year’s Thanksgiving parade float, EPE captures this fusion of history and innovation by showcasing the beginnings of both the utility and the streetcar.

“Even after 117 years, many El Pasoans will be surprised to find that we got our start as the El Paso Electric Railway Company,” shares EPE Vice President and Spokesperson Eddie Gutierrez. “Transportation was provided with mule-drawn streetcars in 1901, which were quickly replaced by electric streetcars the year after.”

EPE’s Thanksgiving float is an exact replica of Mandy the Mule, El Paso’s very first mule-drawn streetcar. From the color, to the approximate dimensions and the text that described its general route – from El Paso to Ciudad Juarez – El Pasoans who attend this year’s Thanksgiving Parade will have an opportunity to share a piece of El Paso’s rich history.

The literal showcase of the original streetcar will help many understand how far transportation has come, as well as symbolize the innovations and advances EPE has made to provide safe, clean and reliable sources of energy to its more than 424,000 customers.

“Even at our company’s inception we recognized the opportunity for advancement and transformation to better serve our community,” states Spokesperson Gutierrez.

A red 1996 Chevrolet Blazer was transformed to make the original 1901 El Paso mule-drawn streetcar.

About El Paso Electric

El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to approximately 424,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico.

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