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Angel's Flight.

Angels Flight: World's Shortest Railway

Field review by the editors.

Los Angeles, California

California city, steep hills, mass transit on rails. San Francisco leaps to mind. But Los Angeles was the first Golden State metropolis to employ a hillside hauler.

The Angels Flight Railway opened on May 31, 1901, as a quick (50 seconds) way to get people 300 feet up a hill in downtown L.A. Progress made it obsolete in 1969, but usually careless Los Angeles cared too much for its "World's Shortest Railway" to let it die. It was dug up, put in storage for 27 years, then rebuilt and reopened a half-block south of its original site in 1996, with no pretense that it was anything other than a quirky tourist attraction.

That lasted until 2001, when a fatal accident shut down Angels Flight. Blame was eventually assigned, the guilty parts were re-engineered, and Angels Flight Railway went back into service in March 2010 -- until it fell off the tracks in 2013 and was shut down again. It reopened and returned to regular service on August 31, 2017.

Angels Flight: World's Shortest Railway

351 S. Hill St., Los Angeles, CA
In downtown Los Angeles. I-110 exits 23B or 23C for Downtown/4th St. Once on 4th St., drive only a couple of blocks and then turn left onto either S. Olive or S. Hill Sts (Hill St. has a better view). The railway stretches between S. Hill and S. Olive Sts, midway along the block between W. 3rd and W. 4th Sts. Park in free lot across the street from the S. Hill Street station.
One-way trip: $1
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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In the region:
Dee Dee Ramone Grave, Hollywood, CA - 5 mi.

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