All Aboard Angels Flight Railway!
Opened in 1901, Angels Flight Railway is a funicular railway in Los Angeles, California. The railway runs 298 feet up a steep hill between Bunker Hill and Olive Street in Downtown Los Angeles. For just a $1 fare, residents and visitors can ride the historic railway which has become an iconic symbol of Los Angeles.
Angels Flight Railway was closed in 2013 for maintenance but reopened to the public in 2018. The railway has two cars, named Sinai and Olivet, which travel in opposite directions on parallel tracks. Each car can carry up to 24 passengers at a time.
A Funicular Railway
A funicular railway is a type of cable railway where the cars are attached to cables and pulled up inclines using pulleys. Funicular railways are used in hilly or mountainous areas when it would be too difficult or expensive to build a conventional railway.
The History of Angels Flight Railway
Angels Flight Railway was built in 1901 by Colonel Edward Warren Hooper as a way to connect Bunker Hill with the base of Olive Street Hill. The original Angels Flight cars were open-air and made out of wood. The cars were operated manually by pulling on ropes to control the speed and braking. In 1909, the wooden cars were replaced with metal cars which were powered by electric motors.
In 1969, Angels Flight was closed for nearly 10 years for renovations. The track length was shortened from its original 673 feet to its current 298 feet, and new cars were built to replace the originals. The renovated Angels Flight Railway re-opened to the public on February 24, 1996. Just over one year later, on February 1st, 2001, the funicular derailed while going up the hill, injuring seven people. After an investigation determined that the derailment was caused by faulty brakes, Angels Flight resumed operation on March 15th, 2001.
On March 5th, 2013, Angel’s Fight was again closed for repairs due to corrosion found on the rails. After 5 years and $5 million spent on repairs and renovations, Angel’s Fight reopened to much fanfare on September 21st, 2018. Since then, it has been carrying locals and tourists alike up Bunker Hill!
If you find yourself in Downtown Los Angeles, make sure to take a ride on Angels Flight Railway! This unique funicular is an affordable ($1 per ride!) way to experience a piece of LA history dating back over 100 years. Although it has been closed for maintenance several times over the years, Angel’s Flight is currently up and running so don’t miss your chance to ride this one-of-a-kind train!