Los Angeles’ beloved downtown icon Angel’s Flight has reopened for the first time in four years after undergoing extensive renovations to improve the safety and longevity of the attraction. Sometimes referred to as the “world’s shortest railroad,” the hillside structure is actually a funicular system – both cars share a single cable and are propelled forward in part with the potential energy afforded from the counterweight of the opposing car.
Opened in 1901 adjacent to the Third Street tunnel, the 282-foot-long inclined railway was dismantled in 1969 before being located to its current Bunker Hill site in 1996. Over the following 15 years, however, the attraction was plagued with safety issues, including a derailment in 2001 that caused one death and seven injuries. The railway was subsequently closed until 2010, but another derailment in 2013 (this one injury-free) led to its shuttering for significant improvements.
To quell any worries this time around, the recent reopening comes with a $5 million of new safety features including repairs to the tracks, cars and motors and the installation of an emergency stairway.
“Angels Flight is a treasure that captivates us universally as Angelenos,” commented Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar at the reopening ceremony. “It speaks to our past and a restored and safer Angels Flight points to our future as a modern, multi-modal Downtown Los Angeles.”
News via Curbed.