Take A Tour Of The Abandoned Subway Tunnels Beneath Los Angeles

underground los angeles abandoned subway

Photo: Alissa Walker / Creative Commons

The Los Angeles subway does not get much respect, especially when compared to more popular systems around the world.But while the current setup isn’t too impressive, it does have some noble ancestry: the Pacific Electric Red Car and Los Angeles Railway Yellow Car lines, which ran from the end of the 19th century until the 1960s.

Those systems aren’t running anymore, but much of the underground infrastructure hasn’t been touched. Last year, Alissa Walker, who writes the blog Gelatobaby, took a tour of LA’s original subway, and shared some of her photos with us.

The platforms and tunnels may be damp, dark, and very dirty, but they offer a remarkable glimpse at the past of the City of Angels.

The tour started at the Los Angeles Subway Terminal Building, now a luxury apartment building.

The tour was led by Forest City Development, John Lesak of Page & Turnbull, and Evan Janney of Metro 417.

Everything is falling apart, but the signs of past elegance are clear.

There seems to be some level of construction going on — but not much.

The guide told Walker and other tour members that this space could be taken over and used as a grocery store.

Down we go.

Even without trains or tracks, it still looks like a subway station.

A painted sign still points to Hill Street, a major Los Angeles thoroughfare.

In 1944, ridership on this system peaked.

Since then, things have gone downhill.

It's unclear why all of these toilets are here.

These pointing hand signs are unlike most public signs.

We think they're creepy.

This cavernous space can be accessed through a little hole in the wall, Walker says.

This tunnel has been blocked off at the end.

Here's what's on the other side.

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