Angels Flight: World's Shortest Railway (In Transition)
Los Angeles, California
California city, steep hills, mass transit on rails. San Francisco leaps to mind. But Los Angeles was the first Golden State metropolis to employ a hillside hauler.
The Angels Flight Railway was built in 1901 as a quick way to get people 300 feet up a hill in downtown LA. Progress made it obsolete in 1969, but usually careless Los Angeles cared too much for its "World's Shortest Railway" to let it die. It was dug up, put in storage for 27 years, then rebuilt and reopened a half-block south of its original site in 1996, with no pretense that it was anything other than a quirky tourist attraction. That lasted until 2001, when a fatal accident shut it down. Blame was eventually assigned, the guilty parts were reengineered, and Angels Flight Railway went back into service in March 2010. It still costs just a quarter to ride each way.