WMATA opens Silver Line Extension

Nov. 16, 2022
The second and final phase of the Silver Line project adds 11.4 miles and six stations to the Metrorail system.

The wait is over for transit users in the Washington, D.C., region: The 11.4-mile Silver Line Extension officially began service on Nov. 15. The line includes six new stations and a new rail maintenance facility.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) representatives were joined by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other federal, state and local officials for an opening ceremony at Washington Dulles International Airport Station.

“Our customers have been waiting for this day to come. We’ve heard the excitement from people who took the first train in 1976, and people who became transit enthusiasts from their first ride as a child. For them, and for the region, the completion of the Silver Line means a better, greener more affordable way to get to work, school, shopping, entertainment and events, as well as easy access to Washington Dulles International Airport, a gateway to the world,” said WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke.

The Silver Line is one of the largest capital construction projects in the United States and will provide high-quality, high-capacity transit service between the Dulles corridor and downtown D.C.; expand the reach of the existing regional rail system; offer a viable alternative to automobile travel and support future development.

"The Silver Line extension is going to make life more affordable, give people better access to jobs throughout the region, reduce the time that drivers sit in traffic on our roads and provide a level of convenience getting to Dulles Airport that has been a long time coming. One year after President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are improving transportation systems across the country to save time and money for commuters,” said Secretary Buttigieg.

WMATA reports the approximately 500 people in attendance at the grand opening event were greeted at the six new rail stations and commemorative pennants were distributed on opening day. The first Silver Line passenger train left Ashburn Station at approximately 2 p.m., headed eastbound to Downtown Largo Station in Prince George’s County, Md. The first stops served the Extension’s six new stations:

  1. Ashburn
  2. Loudoun Gateway
  3. Washington Dulles International Airport
  4. Innovation Center
  5. Herndon
  6. Reston Town Center.

With the Silver Line Extension opening, Metrorail now serves 97 stations on a 128-mile system in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

“Today represents the best of what transit can do. The completion of the Silver Line fulfills the promise of connecting communities, connecting trains and planes, and creating better places to live, work and play,” said WMATA Board Chair Paul C. Smedberg. “Metro’s Board of Directors past and present have seen this project through from the beginning, and it is gratifying to join the region in celebrating this tremendous accomplishment.”

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