Basic Train-ing

Last Saturday, I was to meet my wife in Burbank in the afternoon, so we could go out in L.A. The problem was she already had a car, so if I drove, we’d have to take 2 cars home. I could have driven her up there at 7am, but who wants to do that? Luckily, Metrolink had a few trains running, several of which would get me up to L.A. right at about 4 o’ clock, which is when she would be done! I saw this as a nice opportunity to document what worked and what didn’t for those of you who may be a little weary of the trains. I made a video for your viewing pleasure. Here are a few things to note about the trains and the video before you watch:
-I’m sorry the walking bits are so shaky. It’s not easy to hold the camera steady when you’re rushing to catch the trains.
-Once you figure out how to read the train schedule, it’s fairly simple to figure out connections and the like, but there is definitely a bigger learning curve to Metrolink than say, New York MTA.
-The trains are NOT marked! The first time I attempted Metrolink travel I ended up on my way to the I.E. instead of Los Angeles! If there are trains departing just minutes from each other, ask the other riders around you to make sure the one at the station is the right one.
-Union Station need to label the trains better. According to the schedule online, my train to Burbank ended in Burbank, yet it was labeled the Lancaster train! I just made my train by literally less than a minute. I’m sure trains have been missed because of the same problem.
-Remember, if you plan to leave for home after around 7pm, don’t plan on the train. They don’t run at night.

And now, the video:

7 Comments so far

  1. Jill Share (unregistered) on September 9th, 2009 @ 9:43 am

    That was very cool Dave – I especially like the tunes
    I’m still not taking the train…I’d still be at Union Station crying…

  2. Dandy (unregistered) on September 9th, 2009 @ 10:25 am

    This is such good information! I’ve been nervous about taking the train. I can’t wait to watch your video when I get home.

    I totally would’ve ended up in the IE.

  3. pittrollie on September 9th, 2009 @ 10:41 am

    Dave, that was fun. I was hoping for the romantic reunion at Burbank station. I like the train, although we don’t take it enough. Must. Have. Car.

  4. dawn on September 9th, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

    You mean the video doesn’t end with you running into each others arms?!

  5. Jon (oc_jon) on September 10th, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

    Oh Dave… there’s a gay joke in here somewhere…

  6. Justin N (unregistered) on September 11th, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

    As a frequent Metrolink rider, I would like to dispel at least one myth here. The trains ARE marked. They are not marked in as big a logo as an NYC MTA subway train, but every car has a destination side on each side, near the door. You have to look for them, but they are there. Also, each train announces it’s destination upon arrival at the station, if you listen for it.

    New York’s MTA had a much bigger learning curve for me. Metrolink doesn’t have any long underground passageways or express platforms. And no turnstiles to smack into with substantial force.

  7. Dave Share (daveshare) on September 11th, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

    As far as the station announcements, as with NY, you can rarely understand the person. The volume is usually too low and they talk too fast.

    I have never seen the signs on the train! Then again I didn’t know they existed. I’m sure now that I’m looking for them it’ll be a “Duh” moment for me. Thanks for the info, that should make my next ride much easier.

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