WMATA to open Potomac Yard station on May 19

April 20, 2023
The infill station will provide Alexandria, Va., with walkable Metrorail access and is expected to generate millions in private sector investment and support 26,000 new jobs.

Sticking to a timeline announced in December 2022, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will open the Potomac Yard station on May 19, 2023.

The infill station, WMATA’s second ever, is in Alexandria, Va., between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Braddock Road stations and will be served by Metrorail’s Blue and Yellow lines.

"Our team is working hard to put the finishing touches on the station, and we look forward to welcoming customers on May 19th," said WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke. "This station opens a multitude of possibilities for those who live and work in Alexandria by providing a gateway to the region and all the city has to offer. We appreciate the hard work and vision of the city to turn an idea more than 40-years in the making into reality, and we look forward to welcoming customers to our newest station."

Alexandria initiated the project and funded it through tax revenues and developer contributions generated by planned new development in the Potomac Yard neighborhood, as well as state grants, loans and regional sources. The Potomac Yard Station sits in Alexandria’s fastest growing area and its opening will provide the city with enhanced transit connectivity.

"It's not cliché to say, in this instance, 'dreams really do come true,'" said Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson. "Bringing Metro to Potomac Yard has been Alexandria's most significant economic development, transportation and climate initiative. While not always easy, the opening of this station is a monumental achievement for the city, WMATA and its contractors but, more importantly, this station is the legacy of a legion of Alexandrians who never gave up the dream."

The project is opening following two high profile delays. The first occurred in the summer of 2021 when WMATA said the Automatic Train Control (ATC) systems required a redesign to ensure safe operations of trains. A second delay occurred during tie-in work in the fall of 2022 when soil issues were found to affect the structural stability of the ground beneath the tracks. The fix to reinforce the ground included excavating additional soil beneath 1,400 feet of track and installing new subgrade materials to provide the required stability.

Mayor Wilson navigated the city’s response to both delays and, during remarks made at Potomac Station alongside Clarke on April 19, recognized the complexity of the project and called the effort to build and open the station an “incredible partnership.”

Trains are currently operating through the station without stopping. WMATA continues working collaboratively with the city of Alexandria and the contractor to complete station construction. In addition, WMATA and its safety partners will complete critical safety reviews and provide staff training prior to opening for passenger service on May 19.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.