Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by WelshPete
Hi all

I'm planning ahead for a visit in March 2011 from the UK and will need to spend a night in the LA area, so I'm asking can anybody suggest somewhere I can stay near a Metrolink station, bearing in mind I'll be without a car and travelling with heavy baggage, ideally a cheapish but reasonable quility place within walking distance of a rail station. I'll need to be back in LA the next morning for the "Coast Starlight" but would like to go into the city even earlier than that so I can cover Amtraks train 799 as this often gets a P32 which I'd like to travel behind if one produces on the train.

Apologies if a similar thread has been made in the past but I couldn't see anything similar.

Pete Callaghan
Newport, Wales, UK.
  by ExCon90
I live on the East Coast but get to Los Angeles about once a year. I always stay at the Holiday Inn in Burbank, which is not exactly budget but not expensive for the area (near NBC, Disney, and Warner Bros.), and good value. It's about 1/4 mile or less from the Downtown Burbank Metrolink station and is all level going except for a gentle upgrade on the Olive Avenue bridge over the railroad, which has an elevator down to the platforms. If the luggage has wheels it shouldn't be a problem and can be done in 15 minutes. If the luggage is a problem, the hotel has a van which is always going back and forth to Burbank Airport and can certainly pick you up and drop you off (at track level, on Front Street) by arrangement. Downtown Burbank, with Glendale, has the most frequent service on the Metrolink network, and I'm pretty sure there are trains arriving in Los Angeles well before 7:30 am. You don't mention what day of the week this will be, but Saturday service is very thin on the ground, and on Sunday there is even less--nothing early enough on either day. You can find details at http://www.metrolinktrains.com; click on Schedules, then on Burbank Bob Hope Airport Monday-Friday. You can probably find a rate on the hotel on the Holiday Inn website; the specific hotel is called Holiday Inn Media Center, at 150 East Angeleno Ave., Burbank. One thing to watch for is the necessity of buying a ticket from the machine prior to boarding the train. The problem is that the one-way journey must be completed within three hours of purchase, making it impossible to buy a ticket in advance, so you have to allow time for someone in the queue ahead of you who finds the machine a complete mystery. As it is, I think there are about seven steps to go through; the machines do take credit cards, however.
  by jacorbett70
Burbank Airport Metrolink is also a possibility as the Amtrak train #799 stops there 7 days a week (but not at Burbank downtown, a busier Metrolink stop that does not serve Amtrak). This opens the possibility of saving the dogleg back to LA and taking #799 to a Coast Starlight stop, like Santa Barbara, and picking up the CS there. Or seeing it and then going in to LA (Amtrak 768 or a weekday Metrolink) as there would still be time. The only one within walking distance would be the Marriott at the airport (I stayed there about four times in the mid-00s when it was a Hilton), but there are others with shuttles.

I'm also from the east coast and am planning to visit the area again in January 2011.
  by WelshPete
Thanks to both who replied.
I will now be having an extra trip to the USA over the Christmas holidays and have managed to get a good rate for the Metro Plaza near LA Union station which is apparently about a 5 min walk.

Another option apart from the suggestions posted was Santa Clarita Motel which is adjacent to the railway line about 10 mins walk from Newhall station.

As I am doing the LA option earlier than expected I am now going to use the March visit to visit San Diego and then spend a night in Oceanside before going back to LA the following morning. It looks like there are plenty of places to stay near the Oceanside station, but any recommendations would be helpful.