Behold the reopening of Angels Flight! It’s been in the works for quite some time, and this Thursday, August 31, after four years, the railcars will resume their 298-foot route up and down Bunker Hill under a new operational deal that will keep the train running for at least 30 years! You might have seen the place in the movie 500 Days of Summer or La La Land, and those who haven’t had the chance to visit the location – you finally will! The self-proclaimed “shortest railway in the world,” has the city abuzz this summer.
WHAT IS IT?
Downtown L.A.’s Angels Flight was a technological novelty when it was built in 1901. This tiny train was meant to be a convenient alternative to the steep flight of stairs. The science behind the funicular is the same as it was 116 years ago: Two cars use a single inclined track—save a doubled midsection so they can pass each other—via a shared cable that pulls one car up as gravity guides the other down. When it was first constructed, Angels Flight provided a link between the Victorian mansions atop Bunker Hill and the flats of Downtown.
In 2013, railway started having an array of issues connected with safety systems of the trains: operators at the station were using a tree branch to permanently hold down a run button that overrode the two trains’ safety systems. Olivet and Sinai – such cute names for the two trains – were when closed until now.