Visiting the beautiful Angel’s Flight really was the perfect ending for our downtown LA sojourn.
There’s a genuine feeling of history seeing the steep tracks and two railcars that for so many decades in the early part of the 20th century served the needs of residential Los Angeles. Neek did a great job recapping the pertinent points of that history. Then we embarked on the long walk to the top. Were there really 150 steps? I was determined to find out.
While I did take the lead for most of the walk tenaciously clinging to the count of each step, I did occasionally take time to stop and notice our surroundings. It was really special to see the two railcars, Olivet and Sinai, preserved in such wonderful condition. The view of downtown LA just grew prettier the higher we climbed.
As we approached the last flight of stairs, Neek informed me we should climb it together. So how did it end? Be sure to watch the video to find out!
Lex and I knew that we couldn’t leave downtown Los Angeles without a visit to Angel’s Flight. Even though it is still closed due to safety concerns, we heard that you could climb the stairway alongside the tracks. There are supposed to be 150 steps to the top.
Angel’s Flight and its railcars were built by Colonel Eddy in 1901. Its original location was several hundred feet north of where it is now. The two railcars are named Olivet and Sinai. The railway is the shortest (315 feet or 96.01 meters) but the most traveled funicular per mile than any other in the world. Angel’s Flight continued to run till 1969 when the surrounding area changed from residential to commercial.
The tracks were dismantled and Olivet and Sinai were kept in storage for 27 years until the railway was relocated and restored in 1996 thanks to the efforts of the Los Angeles Conservancy and the Angel’s Flight Coordinating Committee.
The railway seemed to be continuing on well until February 1, 2001 when a defect in the gear train connected to the service brake caused it to fail. A passenger was killed and seven others were injured.
It closed for 9 years but with another non-fatal mishap occurring in 2013, the railway has not operated since.
The original cost of the 30 second ride was 5 cents. By the time of its closure, it was 50 cents.
As you can see in the vlog, it took more than 150 steps to climb to the top but it was well worth it. The view of downtown LA was wonderful. Hopefully, in time, the historic Angel’s Flight will reopen and be safe.