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Lack of Parking May Bar Burbank Amtrak Stop

April 30, 1987|GREG BRAXTON | Times Staff Writer

A proposed railroad passenger station in Burbank is all dressed up with no place to park.

In response to appeals by Burbank officials, the state Department of Transportation has given tentative approval for a stop near Burbank Airport on a planned Santa Barbara-to-San Diego Amtrak run--if parking can be found.

Although there is a platform for the station at Empire Avenue and Hollywood Way, Lockheed Aircraft Co. has refused to share its parking lot, effectively blocking use of the platform.

Built years ago when passenger trains stopped in Burbank, the platform is near the main entrance to the Lockheed plant. Lockheed leases from Southern Pacific Railroad Co. between 80 and 100 parking spaces near the platform and will not share them with Amtrak customers, a spokesman said.

Caltrans officials had initially refused to consider Burbank as a stop because there was not enough parking. They said Burbank travelers could use the Panorama City or Glendale stations.

But Steve Somers, the city's acting transportation-systems manager, appealed to the agency, saying that a stop would help Burbank businesses and commuters.

The Amtrak run, scheduled to begin in October, will consist of one round trip daily, and is designed primarily for travelers between cities, not as a commuter run.

"Caltrans wrote us back and told us that we could have a stop, provided that we have at least 75 parking spaces, insurance and put in a shuttle from the airport to the station," Somers said.

The city would also have to lease the platform from Southern Pacific, the agency stipulated. The city would be responsible for building a passenger shelter and ticket booth.

Lockheed officials suggested that the city secure parking about half a mile west of the platform.

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