Second Street Cable Railway

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The Second Street Cable Railway was a cable car system which opened in Los Angeles in 1885. Running from Second and Spring Streets to First Street and Belmont Avenue, it was a single track system, with sidings where a down-hill car could coast past an up-hill car. The route included the steepest gradient on any street railway in North America, a 27.7 degree hill along Second Street between Bunker Hill Avenue and Hope Street on Bunker Hill.

The system was chronically plagued with damage to its cables and pulleys due to flooding. It had to be closed down for several days in the winter of 1888 because a replacement for a broken cable could not be delivered to the cable house through the muddy streets. The company was also chronically short of cash and, when a cable broke on October 13 of 1889, they could not afford to replace it and the line was shut down. On December 24 of that year another flood caused further damage to the line, and it was scrapped in 1890.[1]