Control of Silver Line Extension turned over to WMATA

June 24, 2022
WMATA and MWAA will continue to work on final testing along the line with an opening date to be determined by the WMATA Board of Directors.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) took control of the 11.4-mile Silver Line Extension on June 23 from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), which oversaw the construction of the extension.

MWAA says it will continue to work closely with WMATA during the final testing period “to ensure the project meets all safety, security and dependability standards to deliver an efficient, reliable and attractive rail system that will serve the region for decades to come.” WMATA’s Board of Directors will determine an opening date for the extension based on final acceptance of the line.

“This milestone enables our team to test the tracks and systems, train and familiarize our workforce on yard operations, mainline and stations and ensure that we provide safe and reliable service for customers on the extension,” said WMATA Interim General Manager and CEO Andy Off. “We look forward to opening the new stations soon and delivering high quality rail connections to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County.”

Phase 2 of the Silver Line extends from the Phase 1 terminus at Wiehle-Reston East to Loudoun County, Va. The project fulfills a vision of bringing a rail connection to Washington Dulles International Airport that goes back to 1962. MWAA credits delivery of the project to decades long planning, design and construction work on the part of residents, the business community, landowners, advocacy groups and political leaders.

The six new rail stations that were built as part of the extension are at Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Washington Dulles International Airport, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn. The extension also included a new, 90-acre rail yard with storage capacity for 168 railcars and new maintenance facilities to service, inspect and clean the trains.

“We are one step closer to extending our service offerings to customers that have long awaited access to Metro,” said Board Chairman Paul C. Smedberg. “While there is still more work to do, achieving this milestone towards opening the Silver Line Extension will create jobs, improve economic vitality and increase ridership for the region. We appreciate the support and understanding of our jurisdictional partners and customers as we work towards project completion.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group 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.