The greening of Metro: Red Line rail yard earns certification for environmental standards

The Metro Red Line facility in downtown Los Angeles amped up its environmental practices to pass a rigorous audit with flying colors, earning international certification as the first major rail maintenance facility in the nation to wear the ISO 14001 badge, which signifies conformance to a set of world-class environmental management standards. Highlighted inset from aerial view, 2009. Photo by Gary Leonard

The Metro Red Line facility in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Gary Leonard.

The rail yard for the Metro Red/Purple Line subway has become the first major rail maintenance facility in the nation to earn an international recognition for its environmental management system (EMS).

EMS means that Metro runs the rail yard in a way that conforms to a set of world class environmental management standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In official language, Metro has now earned an ISO 14001 certificate for the facility.

Located alongside the Los Angeles River east of Little Tokyo, the rail yard is the maintenance and storage yard for the heavy rail cars used for the subway. The yard also houses support services personnel for Metro’s different rail lines.

Four miles of track are used to store and park rail cars in the 40-acre facility. The collection of two-story buildings contains a train wash, repair shop, yard control tower, emergency dispatch center, support shops and training facilities. The 24/7 operation is home to 558 employees.

The institution of an EMS has been advocated by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as the clearest commitment of an agency to demonstrate environmental stewardship and sustainability. Metro was a beneficiary of FTA assistance in the development of the Red Line yard EMS. An agency-wide roll-out of EMS is now underway, beginning at a downtown bus yard.

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