WASHINGTON — Metro has taken a big step in advancing a project that will add six stations to the Silver Line, including a stop at Dulles Airport.
The Silver Line reached its latest milestone Thursday morning when Metro formally took over control of the extension from Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA). Metro will oversee the final development of the six new stations, 11.4 miles of new track, and a new rail yard for storage.
“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,” Interim General Manager and CEO Andy Off said. “We look forward to opening the new stations soon and delivering high quality rail connections to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County.”
Silver Line service currently operates from Largo Town Center Station, through Washington, DC, and ends at Wiehle-Reston East Station in Virginia. The six new Silver Line stops include Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Washington Dulles International Airport, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn.
This next phase in the project comes after years of delays for the Silver Line to expand further into Virginia. In July 2014, the first phase of the Silver Line opened by adding five new Metrorail stations and introducing the Silver Line service to the Metrorail system.
“We are one step closer to extending our service offerings to customers that have long awaited access to Metro,” Board Chairman Paul C. Smedberg said. “While there is still more work to do, achieving this milestone towards opening the Silver Line Extension will create jobs, improve economic vitality and increase ridership for the region. We appreciate the support and understanding of our jurisdictional partners and customers as we work towards project completion.”
The new 90-acre rail yard will be able to store up to 168 railcars and new maintenance facilities to service, inspect and clean the trains will be included in the expansion, Metro said.