Metro Silver Line extension to Loudoun on track for February

The new stops include Dulles International, Old Ox Road and Ashburn.

Keeping track of the ups and downs of the Metro Silver Line extension to Loudoun County and Ashburn has been a challenge. Delays, hiccups, different builders and stakeholders, new target dates — sometimes it seems like you need a spreadsheet to know where things stand. So when the Dulles Corridor Metro Project sent out its latest update this week, we thought we would break it down for readers. A Silver Line Extension 101, so to speak.

  • The Silver Line extension is being built by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. This is because the Silver Line will finally connect Dulles International Airport to the rest of the region’s Metro system.
  • But the Airports Authority will not operate the Silver Line extension. Instead, they will transfer the extension to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to operate. The WMATA is the regional operator of the whole Metro system.
  • The transfer from the Airports Authority to the WMATA is currently expected to take place in September.
  • The WMATA is insisting all outstanding issues be resolved before they take over. Imagine if you were building a new house. You want it to be perfect — to have the builder resolve all the “punch list” items — before you agree to take ownership.
  • Once the transfer is complete, the WMATA will undertake final testing and training. This could take up to 90 days and the organization will be determining a “revenue operation date” — which best as we can tell means a “official start date” for paying passengers.
  • As of right now, the current expected timeline for opening the Silver Line extension is February 2022.
  • The WMATA board recently approved funding to open the Silver Line extension and its six new Metro stations in its 2022 budget.

  • Those six stations are: Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Dulles Airport, Loudoun Gateway (at Old Ox Road), and Ashburn. (On the map above, the station marked Route 606 is Loudoun Gateway and the station marked Route 772 is Ashburn.)
  • Throughout the multi-year process of building and testing the Silver Line extension, there have been missed deadlines and occasional problems with construction that had to be resolved. These issues have slowed progress and contributed to delays in the opening of the Metro extension. And there are no promises that additional delays won’t push the February target date once again.
The Dulles Airport Metro station with the large glass panel windscreen.
A close up of the glass panel windscreen at the Dulles Airport Metro station.

Among recent milestones in the construction:

  • The completion of a 300+ glass panel windscreen that will shield passengers waiting on the outside platform at the Dulles Airport station.
  • The completion of a stormwater control system that captures and treats rainwater runoff before releasing it into surrounding creeks and streams. It was this complex stormwater system that originally delayed the start of the Silver Line extension project by a year.


  1. Sonny 3 years ago

    So what was the original date? 2010 or 2014?

  2. Yes will you open early so that we can get to work at 630 Am In Washington dc ?

  3. Romar 3 years ago

    Under Budget and ahead of schedule. NOT!!! What a joke. I understand there have been many issues and safety is the greatest concern, but this has cost the Metro Area Taxpayers so much already and will be a huge money drain in the future. These things NEVER are self sustaining. I think a lot of people will remain work from home and rarely, if ever use the silver line. Time will tell. Obviously no one predicted the last 12 months and the impact that has had on transportation patterns.

    • Chris Wadsworth 3 years ago

      Who said they were under budget and ahead of schedule?

  4. John 3 years ago

    Pretty sure a bunch of Chinese and Irish immigrants using hand tools were able to lay 2000 miles of rail across untamed prairie and mountains in less time than it’s taken to lay 5 miles of track from Reston to Dulles

    • Angry Bird 3 years ago

      Terrible indeed. Another example of how bad we have become at building infrastructure. After Feb (assuming they actually open), we will pay for glorified union jobs where regardless of whether the Metro makes money, the union will want raises.

      Biden’s Infra budget (even if approved) will probably end up fully used after 100 miles of road/rail is laid. Between the sheer incompetence to build anything, cushy corporate bonus/profits, and cushy union jobs the money will be gone.

    • DoubleD 3 years ago

      Love it

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