Los Angeles' Iconic Angels Flight Railway To Utilize P3 Model

After appearing in the film La La Land, the world-renowned, iconic, 116-year-old Angels Flight will reopen to the public after a three-year modernization process.

2 minute read

March 10, 2017, 10:00 AM PST

By rzelen @rzelen


Bunker Hill

Hayk_Shalunts / Shutterstock

Soon Angelenos will be able to join Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as Los Angeles reopens the Angels Flight Railway in September of 2017. Utilizing a unique public-private partnership between the Angels Flight Railroad Foundation and the ACS Group—with Dragados USA and project partner Sener Engineering—Angels Flight is scheduled to be in safe operation for the next 30 years. 

Angels Flight is known as being the shortest railway in the world, measuring just over a mile long. It famously transported original Angelenos up the steep Bunker Hill that connected parts of the Downtown region. As part of the renovation, the famous wood panels are scheduled to be restored and the funicular will remain a civic treasure.

At a press conference last week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the California Public Utilities Commission has certified a plan that will operate Angels Flight by the highest standards of safety through rebuilding a reliable, sustainable structure. The famed attraction in Downtown Los Angeles has sat still after a 2013 derailment that caused no injuries, but exposed the aging infrastructure. 

The Angles Flight Railway Foundation Board, featuring civic leaders such as Adele Yellin, Dennis Luna, Brenda Levin, John Welborne, and Geoffrey Yarema from the law firm Nossaman LLP, managed to keep the important civic monument going during the recession and closure. The reopening this fall will contribute to the unprecedented renaissance of Downtown Los Angeles. 

Looking to capitalize on the city’s investment in public transportation, Mayor Garcetti announced that riders that use their LA Metro TAP cards would receive a 50% discount on all Angels Flight rides. 

Notably, the Angels Flight Railway Foundation is utilizing a public-private partnership (P3) to fund and operate the funicular. This is one of the first uses of a P3 model in the City of Los Angeles, and will surely lead to more conversations about how to leverage private sector capital for public infrastructure.

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