Angels Flight, California

Angels Flight ($1)

Tasting and deciding what to try next took a toll on us, so finally I convinced Long to go and check out the Angels Flight which was literally outside the market. He was very reluctant to go but when we crossed the street and asked the people how much the fare was, I confidently told him I’ll pay for it. The one-way ticket cost $1 but I remembered I don’t have any cash. I promised him I will pay him back. So as we wait in line here is the beginning of how this version of a tram going up the Bunker Hill started.


“Built-in 1901 with financing from Colonel J.W. Eddy, as the “Los Angeles Incline Railway”, Angels Flight began at the west corner of Hill Street at Third and ran for two blocks uphill (northwestward) to its Olive Street terminus. Angels Flight consisted of two vermillions “boarding stations” and two cars, named Sinai and Olivet, pulled up the steep incline by metal cables powered by engines at the upper Olive Street station.

1903 Angels Flight

As one car ascended, the other descended, carried down by gravity. An archway labeled “Angels Flight” greeted passengers on the Hill Street entrance, and this name became the official name of the railway in 1912 when the Funding Company of California purchased the railway from its founders.

The original Angels Flight was a conventional funicular, with both cars connected to the same haulage cable. Unlike more modern funiculars it did not have track brakes for use in the event of cable breakage, but it did have a separate safety cable which would come into play in case of breakage of the main cable. It operated for 68 years with a good safety record.

1920s Angels Flight

During operation in its original location, the railroad was owned and operated by six additional companies following Colonel Eddy. In 1912 Eddy sold the railroad to Funding Company of Los Angeles who in turn sold it to Continental Securities Company in 1914. Robert W. Moore, an engineer for Continental Securities, purchased Angels Flight in 1946. In 1952 Lester B. Moreland and Byron Linville, a prominent banker at Security First National Bank, purchased it from Moore and the following year Lester B. Moreland’s family purchased Byron Linville’s interest in the Railway, becoming sole stockholder.

In 1962 the city forced Moreland to sell through condemnation and the city’s redevelopment agency hired Oliver & Williams Elevator Company to run it until it was shut down on May 18, 1969. The following day the dismantling began and the cars were hauled away to be stored in a warehouse. The railroad’s arch, station house, drinking fountain, and other artifacts were taken to an outdoor storage yard in Gardena, California.

The only fatality that involved the original Angels Flight occurred in the autumn of 1943, when a sailor attempting to walk up the track itself was crushed beneath one of the cars.”

1960s Angels Flight


“The railway was closed on May 18, 1969 when the Bunker Hill area underwent a controversial total redevelopment which destroyed and displaced a community of almost 22,000 working-class families renting rooms in architecturally significant but run-down buildings, to a modern mixed-use district of high-rise commercial buildings and modern apartment and condominium complexes. Both of the Angels Flight cars, Sinai and Olivet, were then placed in storage at 1200 S. Olive Street, Los Angeles. This was the location of Sid and Linda Kastner’s United Business Interiors.

After that, we have finally reached the top and followed the people going out. On top, where the Ticketing booth was and Long paid for our trip while I continued videotaping and taking pictures. The architecture was so colorful and detailed, very creative. As we walked around the area finding our way down here was the rest of the history of Angels Flight.

History of Angels Flight

“After being stored for 27 years, the funicular was rebuilt and reopened by the newly formed Angels Flight Railway Foundation on February 24, 1996, half a block south of the original site. Although the original cars, Sinai and Olivet, were used, a new track and haulage system was designed and built, a redesign which had unfortunate consequences five years later. As rebuilt, the funicular was 91 meters (298.6 feet) long on an approximately 33-percent grade.

Car movement was controlled by an operator inside the upper station house, who was responsible for visually determining that the track and vehicles were clear for movement, closing the platform gates, starting the cars moving, monitoring the operation of the funicular cars, observing car stops at both stations, and collecting fares from passengers. The cars themselves did not carry any staff members. Angels Flight was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 13, 2000.”

Historical Marker

We walked along the walkway to the high rise building where there were a big fountain and garden. We followed the path to the stairs which runs parallel to the railway of Angels Flight. Comparing to going up, going down was painless and you can definitely see the stairs were steep. We jumped around until we reached the bottom.

We were back to where we started and Long was excited to go back to the Grand Central while I told him I will take a few more pictures and we were done.  He agreed, and once that was over we crossed back to the market to try out more food.

The park on top of the hill

Here are the links for more information:

Say Cheez!

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