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Many L.A. transit systems never got a move on

May 23, 2010 | 10:10 am
A lofty plan

When the black-and-orange funicular cars of Angels Flight resumed rattling up and down Bunker Hill two months ago, they were justly hailed as a link to the city's past.

After all, the 298-foot-long ride — dubbed "the smallest railway in the world" — dates to 1901.

Don't expect comebacks, however, from some other past transit systems, such as the San Pedro-L.A. camel train, the Aerial Swallow monorail, the Pasadena Cycleway and L.A. River Cruises. Each flamed out.

L.A.'s brief camel era began in 1863 after the city was given 28 of the creatures from the 1st U.S. Army Camel Corps. The experimental unit had been downsized because of the Civil War.

L.A. Then and Now columnist Steve Harvey looks at some of the more bizarre -- and creative -- transportation ideas floating in Los Angeles over the years.

Photo: An artist's conception of elevated "people-movers" envisioned for the Los Angeles Civic Center in the 1970s. But the concept was opposed by San Fernando Valley legislators who thought their region was being left out.