Silver Line to Dulles Opens Nov. 15

98

But what does this do to DC travel jokes?

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, the Silver Line Extension connecting Metrorail customers to Washington Dulles International Airport is expected open to the public for the first time. It is the largest expansion of Metrorail since the system’s inception.

Metro Board Members and employees made the announcment in a video called “We’re Ready.”

The trip is expected to take about 50 minutes from downtown DC. WMATA says the Dulles Metro sStation is a short walk from the baggage claim via an underground tunnel in less than five minutes.

“We appreciate our partners at MWAA [Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority], FTA [Federal Transit Administration], WMSC, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties who have worked collaboratively with us for several years to reach this moment,” said Metro General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke.

There is still a short list of items to be addressed that Metro said are being coordinated daily with the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC). “We appreciate their collaboration and expect to finalize safety certification before we open for passenger service,” the trasnport authority said in a press release.

Tradition

The first full-length train departs Downtown Largo at 12:51 p.m. arriving at Wiehle-Reston East at 2:02 p.m. to start service on the extension.

Metro’s trip planner has been updated with the schedules for the new stations. Use the advanced function to put in the date (Nov. 15) to find the first train from your station to Dulles.

On opening day, customers who visit the six new Silver Line stations will be greeted by Metro teams handing out commemorative pennants, a Metro tradition that started when the first station opened in 1976. Those stations include: Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Washington Dulles International Airport, Loudoun Gateway, and Ashburn

Construction on the 23-mile expansion began in 2009. The first segment opened in 2014. Now that the line goes all the way to Dulles, the project is finally complete. The project, which eventually totalled $3 billion, was millions over budget and four years past the original completion date, with construction concerns and issues with financing.

The Silver Line Extension includes a brand-new rail maintenance and service yard on 90 acres of the Washington Dulles International Airport property. It is the largest rail yard in the Metro system and employs approximately 450 people.

Testing

Metro took control of the Silver Line Extension from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) after the project achieved its Operational Readiness Date (ORD) on June 23. There followed 18 weeks of testing, training and safety certification efforts by Metro.

Visit wmata.com/silverline for more information, including virtual station tours, maps, and connecting bus routes.