The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) celebrated the opening of the Silver Line Extension, connecting customers to six new stations, adding 11.4 miles of track to the Metrorail system, and beginning operations at a modern rail maintenance facility. The Silver Line Extension gives customers a new connection to Washington Dulles International Airport and new service between Reston, Va., and eastern Loudoun County. The grand opening also marks the completion of the Silver Line project, a generational infrastructure investment in Northern Virginia.
WMATA GM/CEO Randy Clarke was joined by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other federal, state, and local officials for the grand opening ceremony at Washington Dulles International Airport Station. The event was followed by an inaugural train ride with nearly 100 customers who shared their happiest Metro memories to receive a “Silver Ticket” for the special preview train ride.
Customers were greeted at the six new rail stations and commemorative pennants were distributed on opening day. The first Silver Line passenger train left Ashburn Station at approximately, headed eastbound to Downtown Largo Station in Prince George’s County, Md. The first stops served the Extension’s six new stations — Ashburn, Loudoun Gateway, Washington Dulles International Airport, Innovation Center, Herndon, and Reston Town Center. With the Silver Line Extension opening, Metrorail now serves 97 stations on a 128-mile system in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
As one of the largest capital construction projects in the U.S., the Silver Line provides high-quality, high-capacity transit service between the Dulles corridor and Downtown D.C.; expands the reach of the existing regional rail system; offers a viable alternative to automobile travel; and supports future development.
Approximately 500 people attended Grand Opening event, with remarks from U. S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) CEO Jack Potter; U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine; U.S. Reps. Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer, and Jennifer Wexton; Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation Director Jennifer DeBruhl; Fairfax County Chairman Jeff McKay; Loudoun County Chair Phyllis Randall; and, Loudoun County Board Member Matt Letourneau, who also serves on the WMATA board.
"The Silver Line extension is going to make life more affordable, give people better access to jobs throughout the region, reduce the time that drivers sit in traffic on our roads, and provide a level of convenience getting to Dulles Airport that has been a long time coming,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “One year after President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are improving transportation systems across the country to save time and money for commuters."