This narrow gauge funicular (sloped) railroad originally operated from 1901 to 1969 in a location just north of the location shown in the photo. It was reopened in 1996 and since has been closed and opened several times due to safety hazards and incidents. It was operating in 2012, but, closed again in 2013 and may still be closed pending a 2013 incident investigation.
Reportedly, Larry Phillips, Jr. and Emil Matasareanu used to ride up and down all day long while planning bank robberies in the Los Angeles area. (I just made that last sentence up. I don't know if Phillips and Matasareanu rode this or not. They did, however, rob banks.)