Angels Flight today
The dormant, issue-ridden Angels Flight that Angelenos know today runs between Hill Street and California Plaza, connecting L.A.'s Bunker Hill neighborhood and Downtown's Historic Core, half a block from its original location.
The historic cars were built in a Beaux-Arts architectural style. You can take a virtual tour of the Olivet car here, shot with a Matterport 3-D camera.
How does it work?
Two cars, Sinai and Olivet, are connected by a shared cable and run in opposite directions on an inclined railway.
Angels Flight is equipped with two brake systems — service brakes housed in the ticketing building and emergency brakes in each car. The 1991 specifications called for both cars to be fitted with redundant emergency brake measures that were not included in the final design and construction. The National Transportation Safety Board would later blame insufficient braking systems for a fatal accident in 2001.
100 years and counting
Angels Flight has closed and reopened several times since it was first opened more than a century ago. Its longest run was nearly 70 years before Downtown development forced it’s initial closure. After reopening in 1996, it has had a troubled history.
Angels Flight, then and now
(Left) The original Angels Flight photographed on Aug. 3, 1942. The block-long railway carried about 4,000 passengers daily. (Center) Host Jim Hawthorne and stewardess Kay Cantonville aboard the "champagne flight" on May 11, 1959, as a campaign opened to preserve the historic railway. (Right) The then-shuttered Angels Flight cars rest in a warehouse in 1983.
(Left) Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti poses for pictures after joining city officials, contractors and dignataries for a news conference Mar. 1 announcing the refurbishment and reopening of Angels Flight. (Center) Pedestrians walk the stairway past the idle and graffiti-tagged Angels Flight on Sept. 9, 2016. (Right) Actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a “La La Land” scene shot inside one of the Angels Flight cable cars.
Aug. 31, 8:30 a.m.: Updated language to state it's now open.
March 1, 6:34 p.m.: Clarified that the single-cable system was part of the original design.
Sources: OpenStreetMap, Pictometry, Times photography.