Tag Archives: Metrolink

Car Collides With Metrolink Train at Vanowen and Buena Vista

Burbank police are investigating the scene of an accident that occurred Tuesday, August 22 at 6:14 pm when a vehicle traveling southbound on Buena Vista struck a Metrolink train traveling westbound.

When Burbank Fire Department’s Engine 14 arrived on the scene, they found the driver was already out of the vehicle. Paramedics treated the man and transported him to the hospital.

BFD Train vs Car Vanowen & Buena Vista (© Ross A Benson)

According to Burbank Police Sergeant Derek Green, the man, who was in his 20’s, had non life threatening injuries.

Police will request a test to see if the driver was impaired.

Witnesses report that the vehicle went around the railroad crossing gate before being struck by the train and being knocked about 200 yards down the track, coming to rest on the north side of the tracks. It also struck a pallet of railroad ties that were on the side of the tracks.

Police went car to car to get names and addresses of all the passengers (over 300) that were on the train. No passenger reported any injuries.

Police will now investigate using cameras at the scene along with a camera mounted on the Metrolink train as they recreate the accident that totaled the red Lexus.

Police closed the intersection of Buena Vista and Vanowen for over two hours as they investigated the scene.

Police gave the Metrolink team, headed to Ventura, permission to leave the scene at 8:30 pm.

BFD Train vs Car Vanowen & Buena Vista (© Ross A Benson)

 

Actor Killed by Metrolink Train

The Burbank Police Department can confirm the identity of the man who was killed in the train versus pedestrian collision on Saturday afternoon as George Gregory Plitt Jr.

(Photo Courtesy of Chester Brown)

(Photo Courtesy of Chester Brown)

Police report that on Saturday at about 4:05 pm, a male in his mid-30’s was struck by a southbound Metrolink Train, north of the Magnolia Boulevard Overpass in Burbank. Plitt was pronounced dead at the scene, by Burbank Fire Department Paramedics.

Burbank Police Department Detectives responded and are investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident.  Sgt. Scott Meadows of the Burbank Police Department told KTLA that they believed is was “likely not a suicide”.  The Los Angeles Times reported that Plitt had been filming in the area at the time.

The bio from the Bravo website, where Plitt was on one of their shows, had the following:

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Greg Plitt, went on to become a Captain and Ranger in the US Army. He is now self-employed in the entertainment and fitness fields, constantly busy as a motivational speaker, entrepreneur and model.

(Photo Courtesy of Chester Brown)

(Photo Courtesy of Chester Brown)

More on Plitt can be seen on his website http://gregplitt.com/

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has related information is asked to contact Burbank Police Detective Michael Edwards at (818) 238-3264.

Burbank Man Killed By Train in Metrolink Accident Identified

Updated at 1:02 pm Wednesday 9/3

Burbank Police came upon an accident 3:17 pm when they saw a vehicle that had been struck by a Metrolink train at San Fernando and Buena Vista Tuesday.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The train, traveling southbound, struck the vehicle. The driver has been identified as 79 year-old Burbank resident Fawaz Khalil by Officer Joshua Kendrick of the Burbank Police Department. Khalil was driving a Toyota Camry southbound on Buena Vista when police reported that he attempted to circumvent the activated railroad crossing arms when the vehicle was struck by the train.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Khalil, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, was transported to St Joseph Medical Center in serious condition. He was pronounced deceased at the hospital. Emergency Room personnel provided notification to the family, and the Coroner was contacted.

According to a Metrolink spokesman, there were about 135 passengers on the train. There is a report that one passenger was being treated for a diabetic problem and another was transported to the hospital with chest pains.  No passengers were injured as part of the accident itself.

Streets in the area were shutdown to traffic for the investigation that will last for several hours.  CHP has blocked the off-ramps on both sides of the I-5 so traffic would be diverted from the area.

The train was sent to the Burbank Station so that passengers could exit and police can do additional interviews as needed.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

This is the same area as a major Metrolink accident several years ago. Caltrans new project, called the Empire Project, has slated as one of the improvements to raise the existing railroad tracks above the intersection, even with the freeway, creating an under-crossing for vehicles.

 

Police Educate Drivers and Pedestrians About Railroad Crossings

On Thursday, August 8, 2013, Burbank Police Department Traffic Bureau personnel along with officers from the Union Pacific Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies conducted a joint education and enforcement operation within the City of Burbank.

The enforcement was carried out by eight Burbank motors along with one Sergeant, two Union Pacific Officers and 1 LASD deputy.

Police issued 52 hazardous citations issued in and around the RR crossings while there were 12 advisals given.  There were also three who were given misdemeanor citations.

Of the incidents, seven were railroad related (such as 22526(d)22451(a)) while others were (throwing a lit object-cigarrette) from a vehicle, seatbelt, and cell phone usage.

The rail lines within the city are active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The heavy daily load of vehicular traffic traversing these grade crossings is potentially hazardous and a cause of concern for safe railroad operations. With literally thousands of passenger cars and commercial trucks crossing these rail lines each day, grade crossing violations are commonplace and collisions have occurred.

Motorists who stop on the tracks or evade gate-crossing warnings may be the cause of a train-vehicle collision that will almost always result in serious injury or death and delay train and vehicle traffic.

The enforcement operation concentrated their efforts at the rail crossings and right-of-ways in the city, due to prior incidents at these crossings. The locations of primary focus were the vehicle crossings at Buena Vista and Vanowen, Buena Vista and San Fernando, and the pedestrian crossing at the downtown transit depot.

New Metrolink Station to Serve Bob Hope Airport

Ground is officially broken on a new Metrolink Station that will serve the Antelope Valley line at Bob Hope Airport  (Photo By Craig Sherwood)

Ground is officially broken on a new Metrolink Station that will serve the Antelope Valley line at Bob Hope Airport (Photo By Craig Sherwood)

According to Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Los Angeles is the only major area in the country to not have connections from their rail system to their airports.

Bob Hope Airport Metrolink Station

Guests were serenaded to classic songs at the groundbreaking (Photo By Craig Sherwood)

Bob Hope Airport is now one step closer to help filling that void as they announced, along with the Metrolink Board, that a station will be built on San Fernando, west of Hollywood Way to serve the airport and fill one more void in the link.

Antelope Valley residents will now be able to take the Metrolink in 2014 to the Bob Hope Airport, where they will be shuttled to the terminal.  This will be in addition to the Ventura County line that runs on the south side of the airport.

“We are getting closer to having one pass that will let riders take all forms of transportation in Los Angeles County”, according to Antonovich.

Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy talks with Supervisor Michael Antonovich during groundbreaking ceremonies (Photo By Craig Sherwood)

Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy talks with Supervisor Michael Antonovich during groundbreaking ceremonies (Photo By Craig Sherwood)

“Connecting our airports to our rail system is a top priority for the region and will increase mobility and provide faster, more seamless transit options for residents throughout Southern California,” said Antonovich who secured the funding necessary to contract the station.

“With this Bob Hope Airport Metrolink station, residents of the Santa Clarita, Antelope and North San Fernando Valleys will have convenient and economical Metrolink rail service to the national air travel and local employment opportunities available at, and around this regional airport.”

Assemblyman Mike Gatto

Assemblyman Mike Gatto

Burbank’s Assemblyman, Mike Gatto, also commented on the connectivity, making numerious triops between the capital and his district via Bob Hope, “This makes life a little more convenient and takes cars off the street.  It helps make the traffic and hassle a little bit easier”.

This is just another part of the airports plan for the future.  Construction is already underway for the Regional Intermodal Transportation Center.  While a final plan has yet to be adopted, airport officials are also trying to get California’s High Speed Rail to stop at the airport, truly making it assessable to all forms of transportation.

Burbank Airport Commissioner Sue Georgino

Burbank Airport Commissioner Sue Georgino

County Supervisor Michael Antonovich and Assemblyman Mike Gatto discuss some of the local issues  (Photo By Craig Sherwood)

County Supervisor Michael Antonovich and Assemblyman Mike Gatto discuss some of the local issues (Photo By Craig Sherwood)

Model showing the new station in relationship to the airport

Model showing the new station in relationship to the airport

 

As Burbank Airport Commissioner Sue Georgino put it, “Transportation is a key element in the success of the airport”.

Man’s Bomb Comments Halt Train At Burbank Station

With tensions running high after Monday’s terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon, local law enforcement responded in full force Tuesday when a passenger on a Metrolink train made a possible bomb threat.

 Sheriff's K-9 Units checked cars in the parking lot of the Burbank Train Station. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sheriff’s K-9 Units checked cars in the parking lot of the Burbank Train Station. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

According to police, a female witness noticed a man walking around the Burbank Train Station speaking in a rambling manner.  When the man boarded the train he made a comment about the bombing in Boston, and that he had a bomb.  She then notified the train conductor, and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department was notified.  The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for security on Metrolink trains.

The train was halted at the Burbank Station at 12:28 p.m.   Officers from the Burbank Police Department were first on the scene, and evacuated the passengers from the train.  They were escorted to a safer area away from  the train. The suspect initially refused to leave the train.  He finally got off the at about 1 p.m., and was detained by officers.

Twelve Burbank officers responded to the incident, along with the patrol captain, watch commander, two sergeants, and detectives.   A command post was set up uner the Olive Ave. overpass, on the west side of the train tracks, near Flower St.  The Burbank Fire Department also responded to the train station.

Parking Control Officers and a supervisor were also utilized to block access to the area.  Front St. was closed from Burbank Blvd. to Verdugo Ave.  Olive Ave. was closed from First St. to Lake St., and the overpass was closed to pedestrians.  Flower St. was closed to northbound traffic at Verdugo Ave.  The California Highway Patrol closed the Verdugo offramp from the southbound Golden State Freeway.  All streets in the area were opened to traffic shortly before 2 p.m.

The Sheriff’s Bomb Squad, along with bomb-sniffing dogs rushed to the station from Sylmar.  The three double-deck passenger cars were searched and no bomb or other suspicious packages were found.  Because the suspect was seen in the parking lot of the Burbank Train Station, the parking lot and train platform were also searched.

Unidentified man who is suspected of  making threats on a MetroLink is taken into custody. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Unidentified man who is suspected of making threats on a MetroLink train is taken into custody. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

 

The unidentified suspect was taken into custody the Sheriff’s Deputies on an unrelated warrant.  It has yet to be determined if he will be charged with a crime regarding his comments on the train.

According to Metrolink Public Information Officer Scott Johnson, 45 passengers were on the train when it stopped at the Burbank Station.  When the incident finally came to an end, 20 passengers got back on the train to continue their trip to Glendale and Los Angeles Union Station.

 

Schiff Urges Funding to Upgrade Locomotive Fleet

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) wrote to the Chairman of the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) board and the Chairman of the AQMD Technology Committee requesting the strongest funding possible to acquire Tier 4 locomotives.  With the Southern California Regional Railroad Authority (Metrolink) serving over 40,000 commuters each day, over 24,000 cars are removed from Southern California’s roads and highways relieving traffic congestion.

However, Metrolink’s aging locomotive fleet hinders its efficiency and creates an environmental concern. With thirty Tier 0 locomotives (which have been in service since 1992), Metrolink’s fleet is plagued with engine and technical difficulties that often slow and interrupt service. These Tier 0 locomotives also emit higher levels of pollution than the industry standard Tier 4.

After sending the letter, Schiff stated, “Having an efficient, environmentally sound locomotive fleet is an issue that touches not just Metrolink commuters, but everyone in our communities. By the Air Quality Management District allocating Carl Moyer funds to Metrolink, the long term investments to improve air quality and meet the demands of commuters across the region can finally be made. I urge the support from the board and the Technology Committee.”

In the letter, Schiff detailed the current efforts by Metrolink and urged the AQMD’s Chairman to contribute towards the upgrades saying, “Metrolink is working to upgrade its locomotive fleet by acquiring Tier 4 locomotives that are cleaner and are more reliable. The new locomotives use diesel engines that emit 80 percent fewer harmful emissions and can increase Metrolink’s capacity through the higher horsepower necessary to add more train cars to a set. AQMD’s contribution to this effort would help meet the region’s shared goal of improved air quality and would be a significant down payment on the more than $100 million needed to upgrade Metrolink’s fleet as the agency works to secure other funding sources to undertake a full upgrade of its fleet.”

The full letter to Chairman William Burke is below:

 

Dear Chairman Burke,

As you may know, the Southern California Regional Railroad Authority (Metrolink) is applying for Carl Moyer funds for upgrades to its locomotive fleet. I support this request and strongly urge the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Board to award the strongest funding possible for Metrolink.

Metrolink provides commuter service to over 40,000 people each day throughout Southern California, helping to remove over 24,000 cars daily from the road. Metrolink plays a critical role in helping reduce the region’s traffic congestion and helps alleviate the need to construct more freeways. 

Despite the important contributions Metrolink makes to moving commuters, it is hindered in its impact by its antiquated and aging locomotive fleet. Metrolink currently has 30 Tier 0 locomotives, which have been in service since 1992. The fleet consistently experiences engine and other technical failures that slow and interrupt commuter service. These trains also emit higher levels of pollution than the current industry standard, Tier 4 locomotives.

Metrolink is working to upgrade its locomotive fleet by acquiring Tier 4 locomotives that are cleaner and are more reliable. The new locomotives use diesel engines that emit 80 percent fewer harmful emissions and can increase Metrolink’s capacity through the higher horsepower necessary to add more train cars to a set. AQMD’s contribution to this effort would help meet the region’s shared goal of improved air quality and would be a significant down payment on the more than $100 million needed to upgrade Metrolink’s fleet as the agency works to secure other funding sources to undertake a full upgrade of its fleet. 

I urge your support for Metrolink’s application for Carl Moyer funds for locomotive upgrades. This long term investment is critical for improving air quality and meeting the demands of commuters across the region.

Metrolink Eliminates 10-trip Tickets, Propose System-Wide Fare Increases

Effective Tuesday, May 15, 2012 Metrolink will no longer sell 10-trip tickets. Existing 10-trip Metrolink tickets will be honored until June 28, 2012 at which point they will expire. Additionally, the City of Burbank is working on an agreement with Amtrak for Amtrak’s 10-trip tickets that currently valid on Metrolink trains and will provide additional information on that once that agreement is final.

Metrolink has been alerting passengers for several weeks via conductor announcements, notices on trains and at stations, and through social media so that passengers can make a smooth transition to other ticket options. Alternate ticket options include Monthly Passes, 7-Day Passes and One-Way and Round-Trip tickets. For more information on Metrolink ticket types and fares, please visit www.metrolinktrains.com.

On April 27, the Metrolink Board of Directors directed staff to initiate a public outreach process for a potential system-wide fare increase to help close an existing $13 million funding gap for Fiscal Year 12-13 budget and Metrolink’s proposed Title VI Service Delivery Policy. The public will be asked to give feedback regarding an average system-wide fare increase between 5 and 9 percent to go into effect on or after July 1, 2012.

For more information or to comment on these proposed changes, please visit www.metrolinktrains.com.

Press Release

Public Workshops

Send Public Hearing E-Comments to Metrolink (these will not go to City of Burbank).

Burbank Metrolink Station Automobile Break In Advisory

Burbank Police have notified the community at least 8 forced entries into automobiles parked at the Burbank Metro Station occurred during the period 3~6 February.

Thieves smashed windows while looking for valuables within the vehicles, however no major thefts were reported.

According to Sgt Darin Ryburn, Media Relations Officer at the Burbank Police Department, all break-ins were committed during late evening, early morning hours.

Sgt Ryburn advises those who park at Metrolink should place anything of value inside their trunk prior to leaving their vehicle, as well as keep aware of their surroundings.  In addition, Burbank Police are working with the LA Sheriff’s Department in coordinated patrol efforts.

If anybody observes suspicious persons or activity in the area immediately call the police at 911.