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Amtrak station to Universal City hotel: which?

Fortaleza, CE
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Amtrak station to Universal City hotel: which?

Wife considering attending a conference at the Universal City Hilton in the Fall (after daylight savings time ends). If we take Amtrak from Seattle, we could disembark at Van Nuys, Burbank Airport or Union Station. Burbank would be the closest, but my recollection is that it's rather dark and quiet at night, with shelter from rain (hey, it could happen, even in L.A.) only at the middle of the platform, and one needs to walk to Empire and then call the airport shuttle bus to come. Certainly no wait for taxis once we get to the terminal. Van Nuys station may or may not have taxis waiting, and would be a slightly more expensive taxi ride to the hotel, but wouldn't it be a safer, more comfortable location to wait? Union Station would definitely have taxis, but I don't see the sense of staying on the train all the extra time to come back to the Valley.

If I were traveling alone, I'd probably get off at Burbank, but with my wife, less sure.

Any experiences at the Van Nuys or Burbank Airport stations in the evening (after 8 p.m.)? I realize the train could be late, so it could conceivably be a late night arrival.

Los Angeles
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1. Re: Amtrak station to Universal City hotel: which?

Not sure what your luggage situation is but I believe that they do not offload baggage at the Burbank airport station so if you would have any checked luggage, you could not use that station.

Thousand Oaks...
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2. Re: Amtrak station to Universal City hotel: which?

Another option is to take the train all the way to Union Station then take the efficient Red Line Metro line to Universal City.

West Hollywood...
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3. Re: Amtrak station to Universal City hotel: which?

I'd go with Burbank. It's not the best list area in L.A. but it's certainly not DARK. The station is ON Empire and it's a 3 or 4 minute walk until you reach the south entrance road to the airport and another 3 or 4 minutes to the terminal. I, personally, wouldn't wait for the shuttle (I like to keep moving).

I suppose if you were worried about the walk, you could arrange for a taxi to meet you at the station.

Fortaleza, CE
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4. Re: Amtrak station to Universal City hotel: which?

I'd been to both stations. BUR terminal may be 3-4 mins. walking if one is walking quite briskly, but we'd likely have at least a couple of bags each. I think we'd arrive after the last Metrolink train so it could be deserted. I'll see if we can arrange a taxi in advance, otherwise may just get off at Van Nuys and call a taxi from there. Union Station would have the advantage that if the train runs really late, we know we'd not have to wait anyplace deserted and could get a taxi quickly.

Edited: 06 May 2014, 22:20
Corona del Mar, CA
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5. Re: Amtrak station to Universal City hotel: which?

BUR is fine at night. it is a good area and well lighted.

Anaheim, California
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6. Re: Amtrak station to Universal City hotel: which?

One benefit of Union Station is the LA Metro Red Line Subway system, and the fact it has checked baggage. So you could claim your luggage and get a taxi at Union Station (The Burbank station will more than likely not have taxi's waiting), or use the subway to Universal City, and then get a taxi ti the Hotel (just a mile or so, but with luggage, I would prefer it to walking up the hill).

Los Angeles
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7. Re: Amtrak station to Universal City hotel: which?

That hotel most likely has a free shuttle from the subway station if you want to go that way.

Corona del Mar, CA
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8. Re: Amtrak station to Universal City hotel: which?

Since the BUR train station is right at the airport you can just walk up the sidewalk to the right of the train platform to get a taxi or have a taxi company number programmed into your phone and call when you arrive.

West Hollywood...
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9. Re: Amtrak station to Universal City hotel: which?

If you're really worried about standing at BUR, waiting for a taxi, hire a 'car service' like Zippyshuttle.net although you can certainly keep in touch with the taxi company by cell phone and tell them how early or late your train will be in order to minimize any waiting on your part.

Union Station is really out of the way; plus, you'll have to descend from the platform into the tunnel under the tracks, make your way into the station and then walk through the entire station to the front doors, next to which is the taxi stand.

Lastly, Amtrak will take 35 hours and cost $115 each way (using Oct 20 as an arbitrary date). If you flew from SEATAC to BUR, it would cost about the same and you'd be there in 4 or 5 hours. When you landed at BUR, there would be taxis waiting outside of the terminal.

Or. you could combine the transfer methods, e.g.

a. Amtrak from Seattle to San Jose (24 hours, $105)

b. Transferring to southwest from SJC to BUR (1 hour, $69)

This would give you better 'taxi access' plus some time on the train.

Fortaleza, CE
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10. Re: Amtrak station to Universal City hotel: which?

Has Burbank Airport's "intermodal transportation center" made enough progress that it makes any difference on how safe and easy it would be to use that station, and get to the terminal (for taxis) late at night, should the train arrive much later than scheduled? I'm sure Van Nuys station would be safe to wait at for a taxi, but if the train arrives very late, it may not stay open late.