Eyes on the Street: Angels Flight Running Again

The nearly 300-foot Angels Flight railway resumed operations today in downtown Los Angeles. All photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
The nearly 300-foot Angels Flight railway resumed operations today in downtown Los Angeles. All photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

This morning, downtown Los Angeles’ historic narrow-gauge funicular Angels Flight railway resumed operations. The 33 percent grade 298-foot railway had been closed since a derailment incident in 2013.

Angels Flight originally opened in 1901 in a nearby Bunker Hill location. In its heyday it carried more passengers per mile than any other railway in the world, over 100 million in its first 50 years. The funicular was shut down in 1969, a victim of Bunker Hill redevelopment. In 1996, L.A.’s Community Redevelopment Agency re-opened the line, moving it to its current location between 3rd and 4th Streets. The railway was shut down in 2001 after a brake failure crash killed one passenger. It reopened in March 2010, operating through 2013.

Trips cost $1, or 50 cents for Metro pass holders.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilmember José Huizar about to celebrate today's first ride up Angels Flight
Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilmember José Huizar about to celebrate today’s first ride up Angels Flight.
Angels Flight resumed operations today
Angels Flight resumed operations today.
Angels Flight extends from Hill Street to California Plaza
Angels Flight extends from Hill Street to California Plaza.
  • AB3

    #iwillride

  • ExpoRider

    Please note: “50 cents for Metro pass holders” doesn’t mean you can just use your Tap card to ride for 50 cents! I rode yesterday, and tried to Tap when I got to the top*, but was informed that I had to pay full fare because I didn’t have an active day pass or monthly pass on my Tap card. I also wasn’t able to use my Tap card to pay, so I had to pay cash.
    Other than that, it was a fun adventure, and the trains were full to capacity. Now they just need to install air conditioning!
    * There’s only one ticket booth, and it’s at the top of the incline. This resulted in a long wait between trips (more than five minutes), since first the “upbound” passengers had to alight and pay (and argue about the Tap card policy), before the “downbound” passengers could pay and board.

  • Alex Brideau III

    Yikes! Is there at least a TAP card TVM at the upper station?

  • ExpoRider

    There’s a disc that looks like a TVM, but it wasn’t activated. The toll booth attendant offered to check my Tap card to see if I had an active pass, but I didn’t ask how she was going to check. Maybe she had one of those cell phone apps that the police/sheriff use for checking Tap cards?

  • Alex Brideau III

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