A spokesman for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) says that the Silver Line bobbing track issue officials had expressed concern with earlier this week has been determined to be a component issue rather than a systemic one.
That means the faulty component will be replaced, and Metro will likely announce the rail extension’s operational readiness date on Monday, said Metro’s Dan Stessel.
“That news alleviates the concern we had with MWAA’s progress towards an operational readiness date,” he said.
Operational readiness means the outstanding issues have been addressed and Phase 1 of the $5.6 billion project is ready to be turned over to Metro. Metro will then have up to 90 days to conduct its own testing and training.
The opening of the Silver Line, which will run from East Falls Church to Tysons Corner to Reston’s Wiehle Avenue, is more than six months behind schedule.
In a call with reporters on Monday, Rob Troup, Metro’s Deputy GM of Operations, said there was an issue with the bobbing track circuit, which connects the Silver and Orange lines east of the East Falls Church Station. When there is an issue, a circuit will read a false sense of occupancy and the approaching train will go into a braking mode, said Troup.
The April 23 agreement between Metro and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is building the Silver Line, called for adding four blocking capacitors to address the issue. The fixes fared well in testing, but over the weekend one failed, said Troup.
Even with the outstanding issues — Metro had a list of 33 items in 13 categories that MWAA needed to fix — Troup said this week he was “encouraged by the progress and projected ridership “sometime this summer.”
Graphic: Metro file