Amtrak opens new locomotive shop in Seattle's Sodo district

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SEATTLE — Amtrak has begun maintaining and repairing locomotives at a recently opened, $32 million service station in Seattle, just south of King Street Station.

The 330-foot-long, 55-foot-high repair shop will work on locomotives used on Amtrak’s Cascades service, the Empire Builder, and Coast Starlight, as well as locomotives used on Sound Transit’s Sounder commuter service.

“In the past, trains would have to be sent to a facility in Oakland, Calif., for complex repairs,” Cody Glasgow, project manager for PCL Construction Services, said in a release. “This added efficiency of being able to work on the trains locally is a vast improvement and saves both time and money for Amtrak.” PCL was the general contractor for the project.

The 31,000-square-foot shop was built on the site of a warehouse that was demolished, in the King Street Coach Yard in Sodo (the name for an area of Seattle that has alternately meant south of downtown or south of the dome, a reference to the now-demolished Kingdome stadium).

With much of the land in the area consisting of filled-in tidal flats, the locomotive repair shop was built on top of 178 steel-pipe piles driven to a depth of 180 feet below-grade; reinforced structural concrete-grade beams were constructed to tie the pile foundations together, supporting a pre-engineered metal building. The project also involved removing 12,000 feet of yard track and installing an underground storm water detention system. Industrial wastewater is routed to Amtrak’s existing onsite treatment facility.

The interior of the shop includes a 55-ton overhead bridge crane and a 125-ton drop table, located in a concrete pit 25 feet deep. Maintenance crews are able to move locomotive traction motors and trucks with the crane or lower them into the pit with the drop table.

Amtrak currently has two shifts of 12 employees each working at the shop.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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