Angels Flight: The World’s Shortest Railway Revisited

California, Los Angeles, USA
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I am back in Los Angeles for a few days and during the weekend I had to revisit the world’s shortest railway. I have been here before, about 4 years ago. Back then the railway was not operational and the railcars, as well as the buildings, were in bad shape and decayed from sitting in the California Sun.

After another renovation phase and improvement of passenger safety, the railway reopened on Labor Day 2017. Now passengers can ride the two funicular cars, named Sinai and Olivet, once again.

Angels Flight Railway is an iconic landmark located in the Bunker Hill district of Downtown Los Angeles. From the upper station, it’s a short walk to many of LA’s museums like the Broad and The Museum of Contemporary Art. Don’t miss the famous Walt Disney Concert Hall while visiting Angels Flight Railway. Make sure you check out the Blue Ribbon Garden on the backside of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Riding Angels Flight Railway

The ride in the funicular comes with a one-way fee of $1 per person. Metro TAP card holders get charged half of the price. Make sure you have enough money on your TAP card before you try to ride it, otherwise you have to pay the full price. Paying is handled at the upper station, here you have to pay before leaving the station if you took the ride up, or you pay before you go on your ride down.

If you plan to use public transportation a lot, while visiting Los Angeles, buying a TAP card is worth it and makes the travel experience more convenient. With the tap card, it’s quick and easy to get in and out from the buses and subways.

Keep seated while riding the car on the 1.5-minute long journey from station to station. If you want to get a good video or pics of your ride, sit all the way up front. Wait for the next car if no seats are available there.

Angels Flight is more of a tourist attraction and an iconic landmark than a mode of transportation. If you really have to get up or down the hill, you are faster if you take the steps running along the side of the tracks. It might be more exhausting taking them up, but if you have to wait for the rail car to depart, you already made it to the top. It’s still worth a visit, especially if you are looking for unique attractions in Los Angeles, I would definitely put this one on the list.

I visited on a Sunday afternoon, but there was never a real line to get into the cars. Every now and then a group of people/tourists were waiting to get in, but they all fitted in one car. It is so good to see this historic landmark in operation again. You might have seen Angels Flight before in movies or TV shows. The most famous movie was probably La La Land when they re-opened the railway just for one day to shoot the scenes for the movie. Other motion pictures include the movie “The Saint (2017)” and Amazon Studios series “Bosch”. The official website has a full list about appearances of the railroad in motion pictures.

 

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