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Silver Line Delays Source of Concern for Sen. Warner

by Karen Goff December 5, 2013 at 10:07 am 3 Comments

Map of Silver Line/Credit: Metro


U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) has joined the chorus of dissatisfaction over additional delays for Metro’s Silver Line opening.

Earlier this week, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is building Phase I the rail extension that will run from Tysons Corner to Reston’s Wiehle Avenue, said this week it needs additional time to test and modify the software for the Automatic Train Control System.

That is a the second delay announced in several months, pushing the rail opening perhaps several months into 2014.

“MWAA’s announcement earlier this week of a three-month delay due to testing of the automatic control system follows an unsettling pattern of delays,” Warner wrote in a letter Wednesday to MWAA CEO Jack Potter. “This recent announcement follows the delay announced in June that pushed project completion from 2013 into 2014. I agree with your assessment that safety should be the utmost priority in guiding your efforts, but I believe that can responsibly be achieved while also adhering to an agreed-upon project schedule.”

Warner says the delays are not only an inconvenience for eager commuters, it is costing the commonwealth money.

“With every additional month of delay, the traveling public suffers and millions of dollars in fare-box revenue are lost. I urge you to do everything in your power to complete the work as quickly and responsibly as possible and avoid further delays,” he wrote.

See full Warner letter.

Throughout the process, thee Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project has not set a firm date. Officials have said all along that testing — and glitches found during testing — could make the opening date a moving target,

“This is why we test,” Pat Nowakowski, project executive director for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project in press release. “Our guiding principle throughout this process has been ‘safety first’ and we remain committed to that principal. We will not do anything that might compromise safety or create unsafe conditions for the traveling public.”

Officials have said the Silver Line would likely open three months after being turned over to Metro. The original turnover date was slated for August. Then after the June delay it was expected to be November. That date has now come and gone, with more delays now expected.



  • Niels Pemberton

    I am Niels W. Pemberton and I have HAD ENOUGH of MWAA’s preverications. It is time for action. It is time for the politicians to say MWAA enough is enough what the h—l is going on ? We demand an explaination. We want to see all contracts and records of the work performed. You’d better tell the contractor to forget about Christmas and New Years. We must have the Silver Line open at the end of March. No ands if’s or buts. !”

  • kcowing

    I have lived in Reston since 1990 and the Metro was always “5 Years Away”. So I have gotten used to waiting that long.

  • Mtro Wtchr

    Call me skeptical but many of the stations both in Tyson’s and Reston were not even close to complete in August when the transfer was originally supposed to happen. Work is still being done 4 months later both to the stations and the approaches. Not to mention that several times since May I have personally witnessed testing occurring all along the new route. So the trains seem to be working fine but the stations aren’t done…makes you go hummmm. It seems to me that the ATCS software is just an excuse to delay the transfer since who would complain about additional safety checks?


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