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Metro board takes key step to setting opening date of Silver Line Phase II

A date for service to begin on the Silver Line’s second phase is likely planned for the fall (Staff photo by Jay Westcott).

After years of delays, Metro has officially passed the baton over to its general manager to set an opening date for phase two of the Silver Line.

At a board meeting today (Thursday), Metro’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a motion to have General Manager Randy Clarke set the opening date of the project.

“This is obviously a very important step and a lot is on the line,” said board chairman Paul Smedberg.

The move would set into motion the 11.4-mile project, which adds six new stations from Reston to Ashburn to the overall Silver Line.

While no actual date was announced, Clarke expects to receive safety certifications by next month. Test runs simulating service on the new line are scheduled to start in early October.

However, safety concerns that have sidelined dozens of trains since October could pose a challenge.

If efforts to restore the trains are further delayed, Clarke says it could force Metro to either reduce service when shuttered Blue Line stations reopen next month or push back the Silver Line opening, per WAMU/DCist transportation reporter Jordan Pascale.

Handed to Metro in late June, 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.

The new stations are located at Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Dulles International Airport, Loudoun Gateway and the terminus at Ashburn. The project also includes a new Dulles Rail Yard designed for 168 Metrorail cars.

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