The Return of “The World’s Shortest Railway”

As of August 31, Angels Flight in Downtown Los Angeles is back on top (and bottom).

In the movie musical La La Land, Mia (Emma Stone) and Ryan Gosling (Sebastian) enjoy a jazzy rendezvous that includes a kiss and a climb on the iconic Angels Flight, a funicular that opened just after the turn of the 20th century to connect Hill Street to Olive Street and Bunker Hill above. After their ascent, the comely couple also does a little soft shoe in the landing terminal … just because.

Setting this scene on Angles Flight couldn’t have been more apropos, as the short cable railway has appeared on the silver screen more than 100 times according to a brief history lesson posted by Discover Los Angeles.

So how, does the service look after more than a century? “Pretty much the same as it did in the early 1900s, i.e. kind of like Halloween,” says Discover Los Angeles. “Steve DeWitt, who oversaw the restoration for ACS Infrastructure, says the company took pains to restore the trams and the two stations to their original Beaux Arts splendor—including the orange and black paint on the cars. ‘It has never been our intent to make it look like a 21st century facility,’ he says. ‘There are scratches and things that have been there for many years. We wanted to ensure it looked how it was supposed to look when it was well loved and used for many years. When the public steps on one of these cars, they’re stepping back 100 years literally.’”

After a four-year absence, you can now ascend with other enthusiasts on this piece of Los Angeles history. Operating hours are 6:45 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays. A one-way ride will cost you $1. Flash your Metro TAP card and you’ll only pay 50 cents. Five-ride and 40-ride discount commuter books, good for one person only and valid for 30 days, will also be available. No reservations needed. Simply show up and hop aboard.

Angels Flight – Top Station
California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles 90071

Angels Flight – Lower Station
351 S. Hill St., Los Angeles 90013 (across from Grand Central Market)
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