FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank and the Railroad


We have talked about the horrible instance where the train hit a turkey wagon on the way to the Los Angeles market, that forever left the name “Turkey Crossing” etched into the minds of early Burbankers.

We have mentioned the different remodels of the train station but we have not talked about or shown some of the dangerous rail road crossings of the early 20th century.

Today we have an under-crossing at Alameda and on Hollywood Way. We also have the bridges at Olive Ave, Magnolia, Burbank Blvd and the overpass that takes the train high over Buena Vista.

BURBANK BLVD, the tower on the right was there until the early 1970’s

In the teens and early 1920’s crossing the tracks was taking your life in your own hands type of affair! No crossing guard rails, maybe a bell sounding if you were lucky, but most of the time you were only going to get a glimpse of an “X” sign indicating RR Crossing right at the tracks.

While you as a driver had a longer visual down the tracks, I am not sure many took advantage of looking before crossing. Even today on Buena Vista at Vanowen I still see people race guard rails as they come down and people try to drive around them once in place.

But take a look at the pictures below to see the intersections as they were originally and think how today we are much safer than our counterparts last century were.

Verdugo Ave
another View of Verdugo Ave

Also I throw in a couple of pictures of the early Burbank depot being used in a Silent Western as a back drop. We did not have these shots when we talked last about the depot.

1920’s western being filmed at the Burbank Station
Early Burbanker’s look on as the movie is filmed


Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

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