Sound Transit designed, and now operates, the light rail commuter system in King County, Seattle, Washington. The first phase of the project was complete with service available to commuters in July 2009. When the entire line is complete, it will include 15 miles of line with 13 transfer stations. The 17 trains utilize the lines with connector services for buses within the downtown core. Ridership is expected to reach 21,000 riders
The Link Control Center (LCC) operators watch over movement of the cars on the line. The LCC is the nerve center for the system, ensuring timetables are kept and passengers are safe. A Christie display wall utilizes a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to ensure that the two operators have a complete view of the rail system.
One of the most challenging aspects for the designers was to create a comfortable and functional environment for the operators at the LCC. The center is located in a small 20’ x 25’ room that has a full bank of floor to ceiling windows along one wall. There is a great deal of ambient light in the room even with the shades drawn. With the room layout, there were few options for placing the display wall and two LCD panels that present content from closed circuit television cameras for monitoring security and two operator stations. There was no way around exterior light falling on the screens. The light could wash out the content on the screen and cause eye strain for the operator.