Sustainability: Core Feature of Sound Transit’s Eastside Light Rail Base

Written by Katie Metzger, Corporate Communications, Sound Transit
The Operations and Maintenance Facility (East) is a LEED Gold certified facility. (Caption and Photograph Courtesy of Sound Transit)

The Operations and Maintenance Facility (East) is a LEED Gold certified facility. (Caption and Photograph Courtesy of Sound Transit)

With all the environmentally friendly features of the 2 Line at Sound Transit, it seems only fitting that the new light rail service will open during Earth Month.

Mark your calendar and get ready to ride on April 27!

One of the key components of the upcoming Link extensions—not just to Bellevue, but also to Lynnwood and downtown Redmond—is a new light rail base. The Operations and Maintenance Facility: East will accommodate the service, maintenance, storage and deployment of 96 light rail vehicles.

This new eastside facility supplements Sound Transit’s existing Link OMF Central in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood.

It may not seem glamorous, but facilities like this are absolutely critical in supporting regional transit expansion and keeping the system safe and clean. Plus, the building is super cool (and LEED Gold certified!). 

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the world’s most widely used green building rating system.

To achieve LEED certification, a project earns points by adhering to prerequisites and credits that address carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health, and indoor environmental quality. 

Some of the features at OMF East include water-efficient fixtures, energy-efficient mechanical systems and solar panels, healthy indoor materials, bike facilities, and high levels of construction waste diversion.

Operational water use can add up pretty quickly, especially washing the light rail vehicles frequently. At OMF East, there’s a water capture system in place to filter and reuse the water over and over!

The wash bay at OMF East. Trains are cleaned and maintained every night. (Caption and Photograph Courtesy of Sound Transit)

Other key features of the OMF East include:

  • 14 service bays.
  • A freestanding sculpture by Christian Moeller called “Nails” stretching for nearly 500 feet along the paved public bike path bordering the site, featuring 45 nails that are up to 30 feet tall.
(Sound Transit Photograph)
  • A 100-kilowatt solar array on the rooftop to offset energy use.
(Sound Transit Photograph)

In addition to creating mobility throughout the region, the transit-oriented development around this site will make it possible for more people to live and work near light rail.

The OMF East features almost 145,000 square feet of shops and office areas.

Hensel Phelps Construction Company designed and built the light rail operations and maintenance facility, using almost 600,000 hours of union labor.

The facility officially opened in May 2021. Check out a video we released at the time:

(Sound Transit Video)

More stories on the 2 Line:

Hope to see you on board this Earth Month (and all year round!). 

This article first appeared on the Sound Transit blog, The Platform.

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