The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) took control of the Silver Line Extension. The milestone, known as the "Operational Readiness Date" (ORD), marks the point where provisional care and control of the extension — including six new Silver Line stations, 11.4 miles of new track, and a new rail yard — is formally transferred from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) to WMATA.
The opening date for passenger service will follow an action by the board on the final acceptance of the line from MWAA.
“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,” said Interim GM/CEO Andy Off. “We look forward to opening the new stations soon and delivering high quality rail connections to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County.”
The Silver Line Extension will connect the Metrorail system with Herndon, Washington Dulles International Airport and points in Loudoun County, Va. The six new rail stations are: Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Washington Dulles International Airport, Loudoun Gateway, and Ashburn. The Extension also includes a new, 90-acre rail yard with storage capacity for 168 railcars and new maintenance facilities to service, inspect and clean the trains.
The first phase of the Silver Line opened in July 2014, adding five new Metrorail stations, and introducing Silver Line service to the Metrorail system. Silver Line service currently operates from Largo Town Center Station, through Washington, DC, and terminates at Wiehle-Reston East Station. The second phase, referred to as the Silver Line Extension, will add six stations beyond Wiehle-Reston East, as well as a new, modern rail yard. Both phases of the project were constructed by MWAA and turned over to Metro for operation.