The world’s shortest railway closed in 2001 due to a “serious accident.” But, this wasn’t its first closure. This funicular, once located beside the 3rd Street tunnel, transported residents of the thriving Bunker Hill neighborhood. According to the Los Angeles WPA guide, it transported up to 12,000 passengers a day at its heyday in the 1920’s. But, by 1969, it became a literal train to nowhere. So, it closed and its parts were sent to storage.
If you’ve been downtown in the 21st-century, you absolutely did not find a residential neighborhood at its heart. So where did it go? Los Angeles created the Community Redevelopment Agency, and in 1959, adopted the Bunker Hill Urban Renewal Project. This project shaved that little hill like it was going to boot camp. And it’s been in training ever since, as the project is predicted to end on January 1st, 2012.
Angel’s Flight reopened between Grand and Hill in 1996, and then reopened, again, in 2010. These days, it transports hungry workers from California Plaza to Grand Central Market for a mere quarter.
Check here for some excellent historic photographs provided by the LA Times.
Posted on December 7, 2011, in Downtown and tagged "The World's Shortest Railway", Angel's Flight, Bunker Hills, Community Redevelopment Agency, Downtown, Downtown Los Angeles, funiculars. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.