A little known tourist attraction in the Bunker Hill District of Los Angeles has existed since 1901. In fact it has the honour of being the shortest railway in the world. This funicular narrow gauge railway runs by cable for only 298ft. Two bright orange cars operate between 06.45 and 22.00 daily. The fare is only $1.00 and if you have a TAG card there is a 50% discount.
The two cars are called Olivet and Sinai and were built to climb the hill between Hill Street and Grand Avenue in the Bunker Hill District of Downtown Los Angeles. Each journey up or down lasts about two minutes. At either end of the track is a Boarding Station House.
I wondered why I had never heard about this attraction and discovered that it wasn’t operating for a chunk of time due the demolition of it’s original location which was Hill Street or Olive Street and ran for two blocks between the two termini. So between 1969 and 1996 the two cars were being displayed in a private museum called ‘The Bandstand’.
In 1996 Angels Flight reopened only half a block and mid block between 3rd and 4th street. Today it joins Grand Central Market and California Plaza. Operated from the Upper Station House, an operator had to physically look to see that the tracks are free of movement, close the doors and collect the fares.
In 2013 there was a fatal accident and Angels Flight remained closed until 2017 when improvements to the doors of the cars and a passenger evacuation walkway adjacent to the track.
Angels Flight was added to the National Register of Historic Places in October 2000. There is parking available at the Grand Central Market end of the hill.
For more about attractions nearby see Angels Flight Railway
Grand Central Market is itself an attraction and world famous for it’s varied cuisine. For more information about Grand Central Market and at the other end is modern living at California Plaza. For more information click here
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