Silver Line: Final Touches, No Glitches as Opening Approaches

All systems are go for Saturday’s opening of Phase 1 of the Silver Line, Metro officials said in Monday’s weekly press conference call.

There are still a few punch list items remaining — among them, application of heat tape on rails as a cold-weather precaution and Certificates of Occupancy for three stations.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said the heat tape, along with outstanding drainage issues, is the responsibility of contractors for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which constructed Phase 1. Those items can be done after service begins, he said. He also said he expects the Certificates of Occupancy for the McLean, Tysons Corner and Spring Hill stations to arrive this week.

“From a systems perspective, everything is running as designed and we see no issues,” Stessel said. “The last step is a couple of regulatory documents. I see no reason they will not be in hand in short order.”

Construction of the Silver Line suffered many delays as it neared the end of the five-year building period. As recently as June 9, Metro was expressing frustration at the slow pace of the work. Prior to that, MWAA and Metro reached an agreement in April that allowed MWAA to complete remaining items after the project was handed over to Metro — and avoid paying potential fines for every day the project was delayed.

Now it is just a matter of employees and trains getting used to adding thousands of riders to the rail system every day.

The Silver Line began simulated service on Sunday, with trains running every 12 minutes and without any issues, said Stessel. The trains are running on schedule but without passengers. Passenger service begins at noon on Saturday.

On Monday morning, trains ran every six minutes on a regular weekday rush hour schedule, also with no problems.

“This week is about familiarizing employyes with operation of trains on the new segment,” said Stessel. “Station managers were at their posts this morning. They opened the stations, even though they are not open for passengers. Crews will also be out prepping stations for opening day —  powerwashing, painting and putting finishing touches on facilities.”

Some Blue Line riders are affected by additional wait times due to the addition of Silver Line cars, but Stessel said increased wait times affect only 10 percent of Metro riders.

“Silver Line changes mean more service and a lesser wait for 37 percent of Metro riders,” he said. “Thirty-three percent (mostly riders on the Red Line and Green Line) will see no change.”

Plans for Saturday include a ribbon cutting and remarks from local dignitaries at 10 a.m. Passengers will be able to board the first trains at noon. Comstock will also have a public reception on the Reston Station plaza from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More Silver Line opening news:

Recent Stories

A&J Restaurant in Annandale (file photo) Seven restaurants in Fairfax County are part of this year’s Washingtonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurants list. The restaurants that earned a coveted spot include:…

Jos. A Bank has permanently closed in Reston Town Center (staff photo by Jay Westcott) Jos A. Bank has officially closed its doors in Reston Town Center. A primary care…

Wegmans is officially opening its doors to the public tomorrow (Wednesday) in Brookfield Properties’ new Halley Rise development. The 85,000-square-foot grocery store is located at 11950 Hopper Street and will…

Morning Notes

A cyclist on a trail in Reston (staff photo by Jay Westcott) See Vienna’s Ilia Malinin Win Ice Skating Title — Ilia Malinin, an 18-year-old Marshall High School student, became…

The Ravel Dance Studio will re-open for fall classes 2020. The school will offer in person and virtual online instruction. With over 5000 sq. ft. to social distance the school has added air ionization filtration systems, ballet barres, acrylic dividers, hands free bathrooms, strict monitoring and more.

The Ravel Dance Studio will produce a Nutcracker Ballet Hollywood style video through the Reston Community CenterStage. REGISTRATION online begins August 17.

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.

He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.


Subscribe to our mailing list