OAKLAND – The completion of Phase I and Phase II of a major upgrade of the Seattle Maintenance Facility is being celebrated today by Amtrak and its partners.
The facilities support Amtrak operations and maintenance agreements in the Pacific Northwest for the Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, Amtrak Cascades, and Sounder commuter trains.
The upgraded and new facilities will dramatically improve the capacity, efficiency and working conditions of the shops that perform inspections, testing and maintenance of locomotives and passenger rail equipment. It is a modern and efficient facility capable of handling the current work levels as well as projected future service expansions.
“Improved service along the Cascade Corridor is an integral component of our overall strategy for improving transportation options for commuters and enhancing economic growth throughout the Pacific Northwest,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This new facility is a great investment in moving our rapidly growing region forward and providing economic opportunity for our families and businesses.”
“Amtrak Cascades carried 850,000 passengers in 2011, operating seven days a week and putting thousands of miles on the equipment,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “This new facility will improve our ability to offer customers a dependable and enjoyable travel experience that will make taking the train an attractive travel choice.”
The upgraded maintenance facility (first phase of the four-phase project) is an enclosed structure over two tracks. It will be primarily used by Talgo to maintain Amtrak Cascades trains however, the Amtrak long-distance and Sounder commuter trains will benefit from this investment. Amtrak Cascades is operated by Amtrak in partnership with the Washington and Oregon Departments of Transportation.