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Angels Fright: Regulators Voice Safety Concerns After Two Rail Shutdowns In One Year

(Photo by KennyJewel via LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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California Public Utilities Commission officials are "very concerned" about safety at the Angels Flight rail line following Thursday's shut down -- the second closure in the span of a year, according to L.A. Now.

"Twice within one year we find major problems with it that caused us to take the extraordinary step of closing it down, so, yes, we're very concerned," said Richard Clark, director of the agency's consumer protection and safety division.

During routine inspection on Thursday the PUC found the wheels' flanges to be worn down to less than a quarter of an inch (one-third is deemed safe). Last year, Angels Flight was shut down because of a faulty door. The president of the Angels Flight Railway Foundation said the organization was already looking into new wheels.

"We have been watching them and decided to move forward to get new wheels through our own inspection," Welborne said. Instead of shutting down the railway, however, the organization had planned to switch in the new wheels during the railway's off hours. The cars run 16 hours a day, seven days a week; maintenance is usually done late at night or early in the morning.
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