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The Silver Line saw its first full day of service Saturday. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The Silver Line saw its first full day of service Saturday. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer


After a five-year wait, the Silver Line made its first trips out of Virginia and into D.C. on Saturday.

The Metro’s first new line in more than two decades opened at noon, giving residents near the first five stops – McLean, Tysons Corner, Grensboro, Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East – easy access to the District.

The extended reach also helps GW shorten its shuttle service to the Virginia Science and Technology Campus by about 10 miles. The University is shifting its shuttle service from the Orange Line’s West Falls Church stop to Wiehle-Reston East.

Metro will now reach more towns in northern Virginia and will provide a straight shot to Tysons Galleria, one of the largest shopping malls in the country.

And this is just the first phase of Silver Line construction, which has already run up a $2.9 billion bill. Another $2.7 billion will make Metro services extend to Dulles International Airport by 2018.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has spent $750,000 advertising for the Silver Line, with ads suggesting it could swell the city’s dating pool or bring commuters to dance with joy.

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Metro

WMATA will open the first phase of the Silver Line on July 26 and plans to finish the second phase, which will connect to Dulles Airport, by 2018. Hatchet File Photo

Riders will take the first trip on the long-awaited first phase of the Silver Line on July 26, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced Monday.

The Foggy Bottom station, now on the Blue and Orange lines, will also be a stop on the Silver Line. The new service will allow trains to arrive more frequently at stations from East Falls Church to Court House, while riders will notice faster service from Rosslyn to Stadium-Armory, except during rush hours, WMATA’s chief executive officer Richard Sarles announced in a release.

The first train will leave the new Wiehle-Reston East station at noon and run toward Largo Town Center, according to the release. Trains will depart every six minutes during rush hours and every 12 to 20 minutes during off-peak times, similar to most lines.

The line adds five stations to the Metrorail system, including one at Tysons Corner, the area’s largest shopping mall. The other stops are McLean, Greensboro, Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East.

The opening date comes about one month earlier than WMATA anticipated. It expects to complete the second phase of the Silver Line in 2018, giving passengers access to Dulles International Airport.

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Metro

Metro will open the first phase of the Silver Line this summer and plans to finish the second phase, which will connect to Dulles Airport, by 2018. Hatchet File Photo

Updated: May 27, 2014 at 11:49 p.m.

Preparation for the first phase of Metro’s long-awaited Silver Line is now in its final days.

After multiple delays, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority took control of the line from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, WMATA announced Tuesday. The transfer means Metro has no more than 90 days to test the line and train workers before passengers can ride it.

Metro has yet to decide the opening date of the first section of the new line, which adds five new stations to the District’s 38-year old Metrorail system: McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East.

The Silver Line runs along most of the Orange Line, which includes the station in Foggy Bottom. Wiehle-Reston East will be Metro’s new western end point. The Tysons Corner station will give D.C. residents direct access to Tyson’s Corner Center, the area’s largest shopping mall.

The second phase of the Silver Line project, slated to wrap up in 2018, will take passengers from D.C. to Dulles International Airport.

The post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the Metrorail system was 23 years old. Metro began to operate the first phase of its rail system in 1976, according to the agency’s website. We regret this error.

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Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 12:58 p.m.

Silver Line construction faces more delays

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Rachael Gerendasy.

The opening of the Silver Line was pushed back again this week because of more snags with the ambitious project’s construction.

The project, which would extend the Metro rail system an additional 23 miles and eventually connect to Dulles Airport, has already faced substantial delays. The first phase of the project, which would extend the Orange Line to Reston, Va., was initially slated to open last year.

Metro

Construction on the Silver Line has been delayed again. Hatchet File Photo

Dulles Transit Partners, project’s contractor, has failed to meet seven of 12 criteria set by the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority, including safety features, according to a Washington Post report.

“Today it is our determination that [Dulles Transit Partners] failed to achieve substantial completion based on the documents we’ve reviewed,” Pat Nowakowski, executive director of the rail project, told the Post.

Trains will not start taking passengers on the line until the summer, though the added delays should not bump up the cost of the $5.6 billion project.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority will meet with Dulles Transit Partners Tuesday to discuss the remaining issues, which include automatic train control system, elevator and escalator problems, water leaks, and incomplete paperwork.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012 9:56 p.m.

Official: Silver Line to exceed its budget

Metro

A Metro train departs from the Foggy Bottom Metro station. Hatchet File Photo

Correction appended

The first phase of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project will likely come in overbudget, a rail administrator told the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority today.

Pat Nowakowski, executive director of the Dulles Metrorail Project, said phase one of the project will exceed its $2.8 billion budget, WTOP reported. The Fairfax County Office of Financial and Program Audit found in October that the rail project was already six months behind schedule.

Unforeseen safety changes are the reason behind the shortfall, but Nowakowski said it is unknown if the first phase will need the extra $150 million he requested. Any leftover funds, he said, will go toward and emergency fund for later phases.

The two-phase plan will construct the 23-mile Silver Line, an extension of the existing Metro system to Dulles International Airport and Tyson’s Corner in Virginia. The first phase includes building an off-shoot of the Orange Line at East Falls Church to the Wiehle Avenue Station in Reston, Va., while the second portion will add a line reaching Loudon County, Va. and Dulles International Airport.

Phase one is expected to be operational by the end of 2013.

This post was updated April 19, 2012 to reflect the following:
Due to an editing error, The Hatchet incorrectly identified Pat Nowakowski as “she.” Nowakowski is male.

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