Three Forgotten Incline Railways from Southern California History

Three Forgotten Incline Railways from Southern California History

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In Southern California, nostalgia abounds for two funicular railways that, in decades past, transported tourists and locals alike up some of the region's steep escarpments.

From 1893 to 1938, the Great Incline portion of the Mount Lowe Scenic Railway ascended the mountains north of Pasadena, reaching grades as steep as 62 degrees on its way to the summit of Echo Mountain. Hikers today climb Echo Mountain to explore the ruins of the abandoned funicular.

In downtown Los Angeles, Angels Flight began climbing the eastern flank of Bunker Hill in 1901. The hill's controversial redevelopment closed the railway in 1969, but 27 years later the funicular--its original equipment carefully preserved in storage--reopened 300 feet south of its original location.

Keep reading L.A. as Subject's latest contribution to KCET's SoCal Focus blog at KCET.org.