(Updated at 9:25 a.m. on 6/28/2022) Metro has reached a major milestone with its Silver Line Phase 2 project.
The 11.4-mile rail extension from Reston into Loudoun County has achieved its “operational readiness date” and was formally handed over to Metro at 6 a.m. today (Thursday), interim Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority General Manager and CEO Andy Off announced during a board of directors meeting.
Off noted that Metro hasn’t technically accepted the project, as a number of steps remain to get it ready for passenger service. However, WMATA is now responsible for the rail line’s infrastructure and will start testing and training employees to familiarize them with the new facilities.
“This milestone enables our team to test the tracks and systems, train and familiarize our workforce on yard operations, mainline and stations and ensure that we provide safe and reliable service for customers on the extension,” Off said in a news release. “We look forward to opening the new stations soon and delivering high quality rail connections to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County.”
We’re excited about this step, because we can begin testing and training at the six new stations, 11.4 miles of new tracks, and brand-new rail yard. This is exciting news, but there’s a lot of work ahead.
— Metro (@wmata) June 23, 2022
The second phase of the Silver Line has been in the works under the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority for almost a decade now, encountering numerous delays that have frustrated local residents, business owners, and elected officials.
Metro and Fairfax County transportation officials had suggested earlier this month that MWAA was finally almost ready to hand over the project, which will add six stations to the Silver Line from Reston Town Center to Ashburn.
Metro doesn’t expect passenger service to begin until “later this fall,” Off said. (Correction: This story previously said the time frame for the Silver Line extension’s opening was unclear.)
According to Off, it will take “a considerable amount of time” to train the 350 employees working at the new, 90-acre Dulles Airport rail yard facility, but the board of directors will be updated next month, and a launch date will be announced as the schedule gets refined.
“It is a major milestone, and we’re excited to get to this point finally,” said Matt Letourneau, a Virginia representative on the WMATA board.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, who chairs the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ transportation committee, expressed relief at the “long-awaited” news.
“Years of investment in infrastructure, development and economic opportunities will soon pay off for residents and businesses in Fairfax County and our neighboring jurisdictions,” Alcorn said in a statement. “We’re all looking forwarding to WMATA’s announcement of when we can open the gates to riders and get these trains rolling!”
Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine also released a joint statement on the announcement with their counterparts from Maryland, Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen:
Today’s news takes us one big step closer to our shared goal of ensuring that our transportation infrastructure is reliable, convenient, and capable of keeping up with the National Capital Region’s growth. We welcome this development and encourage WMATA to safely and expeditiously put the finishing touches on this project so the Silver Line can fully open for customer service.
The first phase of the Silver Line, which runs through Tysons to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, opened in 2014.
Good Friday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
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Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.
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Peace in Gaza: Prayer Liturgy and Community Discussion for Peace in Arlington VA, Sunday, Feb. 11, 10:15 AM
Prayer, liturgy, and community discussion for peace in Gaza, an immediate cease fire and resumption of humanitarian aid will be hosted by Nova Catholic Community. The focus will be Pope Francis’ call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, resumption of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, and peace talks for a lasting and just peace for all people in the region.
Discussion will follow at Noon on US military role in the conflict and appropriate steps the US should take to foster peace and rebuilding. Light lunch served.
The Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Active Bystander Certification course, also known as Active Bystander, is the premier training program to prepare civilians for how to respond during an intentional violent event and to address life-threatening emergencies.
Similar to FEMA’s