After nine years of having to huff and puff up the steep steps of Bunker Hill, Los Angeles pedestrians can relax now that the historic funicular railway, Angels Flight, has reopened its landmark rail line to the public.
Established in 1901, the Angels Flight railway has carried millions of Angelenos up and down the steep incline of Bunker Hill. Though the 315-foot trip only lasts thirty seconds, it is believed that Angels Flight has carried more passengers per mile than any other railway in the world, making it not only the shortest in length, but also the most traveled.
Despite its popularity, the Angels Flight line has faced its fair share of setbacks. The original railway was forced to close in 1969 as the surrounding area faced heavy commercialization. The famous orange trolley carts were kept in storage for twenty-seven years until the line reopened in 1996 - this time, just half a block south from the original site.
For the most part, the railway suffered few technical malfunctions until 2001, when a serious accident killed one passenger and seriously injured a few others. The National Transportation Safety Board deemed a "design failure" as the cause, and the historic line remained closed for the following nine years.
Today, the counterbalanced cars have been repaired and restored to their original state. Visitors can experience the famous funicular again, and still for the modest fee of 25 cents per ride.