Have you ever wanted to ride the world’s shortest commercial railway? Or perhaps the remarkable towers caught your eye in their many vintage movie and TV appearances? The historic Angels Flight railway in downtown Los Angeles is a fun way to take a short trip within Downtown and experience the peak of 1901’s public transportation. Oh, and it’s affordable!
Angels Flight opened at the turn of the century and was operational for over 50 years, until it was dismantled and moved one block away. A two-year scheduled reopening turned into over 20 years, until the railway became operational in the 90s. A series of accidents resulted in many openings and closings during the past two decades. It finally reopened, fully restored, with enhanced safety measures, in late 2017. I was following this event on social media and was excited to ride the quirky antique funicular when I visited L.A. earlier this month.
A dollar per ride
I was shocked to find out that a ride is only $1 in each direction. A dollar is a small price to pay for a few minutes of historic fun, and to avoid climbing a lot of stairs. The 298-foot ride is a little rickety, befitting something over 100 years old, but we felt safe. Everyone riding with us had so much fun—the car brimmed with excitement over the shared experience. We all took each others’ photos afterward.
You know what’s not a dollar per ride? Disneyland. But if you’ve visiting L.A., maybe you’re visiting the house of mouse too. Check out my series of Disney posts.
Angels Flight shortcuts a hilly climb
I didn’t realize that this was such a useful link between two parts of downtown Los Angeles. Angels Flight is located two blocks northeast from Pershing square; right across the street from the Grand Central Market, a great place to grab breakfast or dinner. I rode the railway purely for the nostalgia, but at the top I discovered it was a very short walk to the MOCA, the Broad contemporary art museum, and Walt Disney Concert Hall!
Angels Flight Railway
351 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Are you heading to L.A. soon? Would you have a dollar to spare for this experience? Tell me about the most unusual form of transportation you’ve ever taken in the comments.
Photos by Staci Jackson and Angela Cerda for The Voyageer.