Metro's Silver Line opening indefinitely delayed

RESTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- The opening of the new Silver Line has been indefinitely delayed because of serious problems with the train communication system and other issues.

"This has turned into a soap opera," said Former Congressman Tom Davis who chairs MWAA's Dulles Corridor Committee. He says the fault belongs with the contractor, Dulles Transit Partners.

Pat Nowakawski, the Silver Line Project Director is dealing with a major set back on the phase one of the rail line. The communications system that allows trains on the new line to communicate with the Metro Control Center does not work correctly and will have to be replaced.

"We're replacing a communications system that's attached to a train control system. It enables communication between new line trains and WMATA control center. That communication system is unreliable. It shuts down when it should not," said Nawakowski.

He says the system is a newer version of the same system running in Metro, but for some reason, it is not performing. The fix will take time.

On a lesser scale of concern, is an antennae cable that runs through the Silver Line tunnel through Tysons does not meet code and neither do the speakers already installed in the stations. Both are the same kinds installed through Metro, but these new ones must meet new codes.

"Time is our biggest enemy....nobody wants this to open more than we do," said Nowakowski. He could offer no time frame for finishing the fixes, but did say he did not think it will stretch into 2015.

If the Silver Line isn't open by the due date of April 9th, Tom Davis said the contractor, Dulles Transit Partners and Bechtel, could be sued for damages.

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