LOS ANGELES — Angels Flight®, the iconic Downtown Los Angeles incline railway, will reopen to the public by Labor Day, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on March 1, 2017.
The world-renowned, 116-year-old funicular takes passengers on a scenic ride between Hill and Olive Streets on Bunker Hill. It will reopen after a three-year closure for a full-scale modernization with state-of-the-art safety upgrades made possible through a unique public-private partnership. Mayor Garcetti unveiled the modernization plans alongside Councilmember Jose Huizar, the Angels Flight Railway Foundation, and a group of community leaders.
“Angels Flight® is a cultural gem that tells an unforgettable story about the history of Los Angeles,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Today, we celebrate the rebirth of this iconic attraction — and once the modernization is complete, we will welcome millions of visitors from around the world to experience it with us.”
Originally opened in 1901, Angels Flight® — the world’s shortest railway — has given more than 100 million rides along its hillside track. It closed temporarily in 2013, but earlier in 2017, the California Public Utilities Commission certified a plan to upgrade Angels Flight to meet the highest safety standards.
The Angels Flight® Railway Foundation and the Angels Flight® Development Company, LLC, a joint venture led by ACS Group, finalized an agreement in February to recondition, operate, and maintain the funicular for the next 30 years.
“It is truly a historic day for one of Los Angeles’ most recognized treasures,” said Councilmember Jose Huizar. “It is our hope that this public-private partnership ensures the new Angels Flight® will be safe, economically sustainable and — once again — a key City of Los Angeles cultural centerpiece for years to come.”
“We at Angels Flight® Railway Foundation want to thank all the people who brought us to this grand moment,” said Adele Yellin, Chairperson of the Angels Flight® Railway Foundation. “The first person I’d like to express our gratitude to is Mayor Eric Garcetti, for facilitating this deal among ACS, Sener, and the Angels Flight® Railway Foundation.”
The full press release from the Office of the Mayor on Angels Flight®.
A little history
This funicular dates back to 1901, when Bunker Hill was one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in Los Angeles and the cars, Olivet and Sinai, ferried prominent citizens up and down the steep slope between Hill and Olive streets. The beloved landmark was dismantled for “urban renewal” of the area in 1969. In the early 1990s, the Railway was refurbished and relocated a half-block south, reopening adjacent to California Plaza in 1996. As short as it is (298 feet), Angels Flight® is an essential Los Angeles experience.
Explorable 3-D scan of Angels Flight Railway by Craig Sauer.