A major milestone was announced today in the development of the Metro Silver Line and the arrival of train service to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County.
It’s a lot of officialese and acronyms so we’re going to break it down for readers.
- The Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (or the Metro to keep things simple) announced today that it is taking control of Phase 2 of the Silver Line.
- Phase 2 is the final stretch of the Silver Line that goes to IAD and into Loudoun County, ending in Ashburn.
- It includes six new Silver Line stations, 11.4 miles of new track, and a new rail yard.
- The control is being passed from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) that oversaw the construction of Phase 2 of the Silver Line.
- Basically in this scenario, the MWAA built it and then hands it over to the Metro to operate.
- This milestone is known as the Operational Readiness Date (ORD).
- Metro didn’t want to take over until they were 100 percent confident that construction was done because they didn’t want to be responsible for unexpected repairs or additional work.
- So the handing over is a big deal for this years long project. It means the bulk of the work is officially done.
- Now, the Metro taking over means they can begin staffing and training the employees who will work on the new Silver Line.
- They also have to run several months of tests and exercises before the public can begin riding.
- An actual opening date has not been announced yet. The Metro board still has to vote to formally accept the Phase 2 project.
- The remainder of the Silver Line is expected to open to the passengers 90 to 150 days after the Operational Readiness Date. So some time this fall.
Here’s a little video that shows you exactly how the new Metro stations fit into the overall Metro transportation system.
(Video and photo at top courtesy WMATA)