A planned $40-billion, intrastate high-speed rail system may bring a surge of jobs and new development along the Burbank-Glendale part of the route, but city officials say they are leery of the potential impacts.
Existing rail corridors would have to be expanded, cutting into surrounding properties and infrastructure; raised tracks would have to be built to avoid clashing with road crossings; Glendale’s historic train station would have to be moved to accommodate a closer railroad right-of-way; Bob Hope Airport could be isolated from the line; and Burbank’s Metrolink station could be relocated, altering city plans crafted around the current site.
At the same time, the benefits of the plan could be extensive for the region, including tens of thousands of new jobs associated with the system’s construction. The proposed 800-mile project would be capable of whisking passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 2 hours and 38 minutes, according to the California High Speed Rail Authority. A station planned for Burbank could also attract new businesses and commuter residents, officials and economists say.