August 21, 2020
CONTACT: Marcia McAllister
UPDATED: Silver Line Phase 2 Tie-In to Metrorail at Wiehle Avenue Complete
Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project teams have completed the train control system connections of Phase 2 of the Silver Line to the rest of the region’s transit system. Project officials say this is major step toward completion of the rail line extension from the Wiehle-Reston East Station through Dulles Airport to Ashburn in eastern Loudoun County.
“This is great,” according to Charles Stark, Airports Authority senior vice president and head of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. “It’s a major milestone.”
Working closely with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), rail project crews were able to complete the tie-in work at the Wiehe-Reston East metrorail during weeks when WMATA had closed some Orange and Silver Line stations for platform repairs and other maintenance work. This enabled crews to complete the work faster.
"Finishing the critical tie-in this summer means 13 previously planned WMATA shutdowns that had been planned over the coming months will not be needed," Stark said. Crews were also able to do more work than they had anticipated.
Ernest Lee, MWAA’s commissioning and testing rail systems project manager, said the tie was successful. “It proved that the software is working.” There will be three additional one-day shutdowns that will be scheduled in November and December for systems testing as well as dynamic testing.
Lee and Stark said the tie-in called for a team approach, requiring intense daily cooperation between Airports Authority teams, WMATA and Capital Rail Constructors, the Phase 2 construction contractor.
The project has been working toward turning over Phase 2 of the Silver Line to WMATA around the first of the year.
Meanwhile, there is still additional work to be done, project officials said. Once construction and testing are complete, the Airports Authority will turn ownership over to WMATA. That agency will conduct additional testing before setting the date to begin passenger service.
The first phase of the Silver Line project from East Falls Church to Wiehle-Reston East with four stations In Tysons, opened in 2014. Completion of Phase 2 along the 11.5-mile alignment from the Wiehle Avenue to Ashburn, will include stops at the Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Dulles Airport and Loudoun Gateway stations.