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Angels Flight slated to reopen


The historic Angels Flight railway in downtown Los Angeles, billed as the shortest railway in the world, will reopen soon.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced in March that the iconic railway would undergo a renovation and reopen by Labor Day, after it was closed in 2013 when one of the two rail cars came off the tracks.

The re-opening is tentative pending the approval of the California Public Utilities Commission, according to the Downtown News.

The $5 million in renovations have been made through a partnership between the nonprofit Angels Flight Railway Foundation, ACS Infrastructure and the engineering firm Sener, which formed the Angeles Flight Development Company.

“People have worked very hard together to make sure it comes together and that safety is guaranteed,” said Steven DeWitt of ACS to the Downtown News.

The Metro Board of Directors approved a motion by Garcetti in 2015 to study ways to reopen Angels Flight, which travels a short distance up and down the steep Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles.

The price of a one-way trip is set to double from the 2013 rate to $1, according to the Downtown News, although Metro Tap cardholders will only have to pay 50 cents.

The railway, which reopened in 1996 after being closed for three decades, has had a troubled history.

No one was injured in the 2013 accident, but it did cause its closure.

One person was killed in a 2001 accident that caused the rail line to be closed for nine years. It reopened in 2010, but the CPUC shut it down for a month in 2012 over safety concerns, and it operated until it was closed again in 2013 following the minor accident.

Col. J.W. Eddy first opened a funicular rail up Bunker Hill on Dec. 31, 1901, when rides cost a penny. It was dismantled and put into storage in 1969 because of the Bunker Hill urban renewal project, then rebuilt and reopened in 1996, a half-block south of the original site.