The upgraded and new facilities are said to 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 facility capable of handling the current work levels, as well as projected future service expansions.
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.
Phase 2, completed in December 2011, is a new three-story maintenance warehouse and administrative office that replaced functions formerly performed in trailers. The $37-million project was funded by Amtrak's annual capital program and provided for approximately 200 construction jobs.
Amtrak has approved $1.4 million for the complete design of Phases 3 and 4. Phase 3 will include a construction of a service and inspection building for Amtrak long-distance and Sound Transit trains. Phase 4 involves construction of a new locomotive servicing and repair building. It is estimated 150 construction jobs will be generated annually during the life of the project.