DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — A derailment at Angels Flight this morning caused the immediate shutdown of the funicular. Initial reports say there were no injuries. The incident happened before noon on the short railway that connects the California Plaza complex on Bunker Hill with a plaza across from Grand Central Market. Six passengers were evacuated by firefighters.
Images from the scene show Sinai, one of the two orange and black cars leaning to the side about 100 feet from the base of the railway, while the second car, Olivet is higher up the incline. Yellow police tape blocks off the Hill Street side of the railway.
Jeffry Winston, who works at the Angelus Plaza senior housing complex adjacent to the railway, heard the sirens and came out to see what had occurred. “It was déjà vu” said Winston, referring to a 2001 accident. “We didn’t have the same tragic ending as the first instance, but you couldn’t help but reflect on it.” The 2001 accident killed 83-year-old Leon Praport and injured seven others. The railway returned to service in March 2010.
By just after noon an official with the California Public Utilities Commission was on site getting information on the incident from the Angels Flight attendant who sells tickets for the railway in the Bunker Hill station.
The Angels Flight was nicely cast in the movie LA LA Land where Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone ride the funicular; if it can be used for a movie why not for real? It's about time that we reopen one of LA's historic spots and tourist attraction especially now we're gentrifying the downtown area.
A couple days ago I noticed that Angels Flight is running now! It looks like they're still in the testing phase, since the gates are barricaded. Does anybody know when they're scheduled to start carrying passengers again?