Sound Transit recently reached another milestone with the grand opening of the 14.2-mile Central Link light rail line that runs from downtown Seattle to the 154th Street station in Tukwila near the Sea-Tac airport. The new line will allow riders to travel between Tukwila and downtown Seattle in 30 minutes, with trains running up to 20 hours per day, every 7.5 to 15 minutes. When the Link light rail line is extended to the University of Washington (University Link) it will serve an estimated 100,000 riders a day.
“We are extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to assist the Central Puget Sound transportation authority, Sound Transit, to equip the new light rail line,” said Pierre Comte, president of GE Transportation’s Intelligent Control Systems division. “This project is strategic for us because it reflects our desire to deliver solutions that involve moving goods and people safely and efficiently in all parts of the world, and in particular, helping metropolitan areas more efficiently manage the flow of people and traffic through the use of intelligent transportation systems. In fact, we serve global metropolitan customers around the world, including metros in Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Rio, Brazil; and Hangzhou, China.”
GE Transportation was selected to provide and install an integrated and cost-effective communications and train control solution across the 14.2-mile route, consisting of a SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system that supervises critical fire detection, security, and ventilation systems. GE’s solution also includes an operations control center system, station messaging signs, public address system, fiber optic network, radio network, train movement detection, train traffic safety interlocking systems, power switch machines, train signals, grade crossing control equipment, train-to-trackside communications, and track-to-vehicle speed limit communications. GE’s integrated solution spans five street-level, two elevated and five underground stations. In the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, the GE system will manage both train and bus traffic, which share lanes in the dual-use tunnel.
GE is also contracted to extend communications and train control signaling for the airport extension of the Central Link, which will connect the Tukwila Station to Sea-Tac airport and is expected to open in December 2009.