What is the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project?
It is a 23-mile extension of the existing Metrorail system, which was built by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA). It is now operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The line runs from East Falls Church through Washington Dulles International Airport west to Ashburn, Virginia. The new line breaks off from WMATA’s Orange Line where the Dulles Connector Road (DCR) separates from I-66 and follows the DCR west to the Dulles Toll Road, using the median of the connector road and the Dulles Airport Access Highway and the Dulles Toll Road/Dulles Airport Access Highway. Silver Line trains follow the Orange Line, through Washington DC, to Largo in Maryland. The project was built in two phases, the first of which extended the line to Reston, Virginia, and opened in July 2014. Phase 2 opened in November 2022.
Is this the same thing as the Silver Line?
Yes. However, while under construction the project was referred to as the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. WMATA named the segment the Silver Line.
What is the current status?
The Silver Line extension, with 11 stations, opened for revenue service on November 15, 2022. (NOTE: There are other stations along the Silver Line into Maryland.)
Where can I find information about riding the Silver Line?
How many stations are there and where are they located?
The Silver Line extension, built by the Airports Authority, consists of 11 new stations, five stations in Phase 1 and six stations in Phase 2.
Phase 1 station locations
Do the stations have public/ commuter parking?
There is commuter parking at the Wiehle-Reston East stations and a temporary privately owned lot at the McLean Station. There is commuter parking at the Herndon, Innovation Center, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn stations. Dulles Airport will continue to operate existing parking garages. There is no commuter parking at the Reston Town Center Station.
How do you get from the Reston Town Center Station to the Reston Town Center?
It is pedestrian accessible. Reston Town Center has created a shuttle service from the Metrorail station to the town center.
Who built the Silver Line?
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) managed the construction of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project under an agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Who was the Phase 1 contractor?
The Phase 1 contractor was Dulles Transit Partners, a consortium led by Bechtel Infrastructure.
Who was the Phase 2 contractor?
Capital Rail Constructors, a joint venture of Clark Construction Group LLC and Kiewit Infrastructure South Co., led the design-build effort for Phase 2.
Package B, also known as the Rail Yard contract, was awarded to Hensel Phelps. This is a 90-acre rail car storage and maintenance facility, built on Dulles Airport property, that is part of the Silver Line Extension project.
Who is the operator?
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), also known as Metro, operates the Silver Line.
How is the project funded?
Here is a breakdown of the funding.
|Sources of Capital Funds
||Phase 1||Phase 2||Rail Project Budget prior to NVTA and CMAQ||Rail Project Budget after NVTA and CMAQ|
|Total||% of Total||Change||Total|
|Commonwealth of Virginia - Federal Funds||75||-||75||1.2%||11.0||75|
|Commonwealth of Virginia - State Funds||177||323||500||8.3%||500|
|Northern Virginia Transportation Authority||-||-||-||0.0%||60.0||60|
|Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Grant||-||-||-||0.0%||11||11|
|MWAA (Aviation Funds)||-||246||246||4.1%||(3)||243|
|MWAA (Dulles Toll Road)||$1,430||$1,604||$3,034||50.5%||(54)||2,980|
|Total Sources of Funds||$2,982||$3,028||$6,010||100.0%||-||$6,010|
|Fixed percentage of total cost|
(1) Includes $75 million in Section 5307 Surface Transportation Program grant.
(2) Does not include $150 million from the Commonwealth that is being used to pay interest on Dulles Toll Road revenue bonds.
(3) Grant from Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) can only be used to pay or reimburse capital costs for Innovation Center Metrorail Station.
(4) Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Grant (CMAQ) can only be used to pay or reimburse capital costs for Innovation Center Metrorail Station.
With the Silver Line open, why do I continue to see construction activity in some areas?
Punch list items continue to be completed on the project. These are items that don’t hinder the operation of the Silver Line, including paving and landscaping.
How were the station locations selected?
The station locations were determined during development of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which was completed in 2004.
What is a traction power substation? How many were built?
A Traction Power Substation is a facility that converts electric power from the form provided by the electric utility to the voltage, current type and frequency, required for operating the Silver Line. Nine of the substations were built, approximately one mile apart from each other along the Phase 2 alignment.
In addition, six smaller Tie-Breaker Stations were constructed. Tie-Breaker Stations allow Metro to break the rail line into sections that can be powered down for maintenance without affecting the power supply to the rest of the system.
Who built the parking garages?
Fairfax and Loudoun counties financed and constructed the new public parking facilities. Fairfax County is responsible for the garages at Herndon and Innovation Center Station, while Loudoun County is responsible for the garages at the Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn Stations.
Where is the station located?
The station is located on Saarinen Circle directly in front of Daily Garage 1 facing the Main Terminal.
How do passengers get from the station to the main terminal?
Escalators from the Dulles Airport Station tie an underground tunnel that is equipped with moving walkways for easy access to the airport terminal and gates.
Is there commuter parking at the Dulles Airport station?
There is no designated commuter parking at this station; however, existing parking garages for airport travelers adjoin the station.
Was a new Rail Yard built to accommodate the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project?
Yes, a new Rail Yard was built on Dulles Airport property and will contain five major buildings (Service and Inspection, Maintenance-Of-Way, Train Wash, Transportation/Police, and Warehouse). The Rail Yard can store and maintain 168 cars, making it the largest in the WMATA system. In addition, significant expansions and noise protections took place at the existing West Falls Church Yard, as a part of the Phase 1 construction.
How many businesses were forced to relocate?
A total of three businesses in Phase 1. All three were relocated at project expense.
How many homes taken?
There were changes in Chesapeake Bay protection regulations between construction of Phase 1 and Phase 2. What impact did that have?
The Airports Authority chose to abide by the new regulations. The caused a year’s delay and redesign of the storm water system for Phase 2. The Airports Authority believes the decision was in the best interest of the region and the environment.
Did residential property owners see tax increases to build the project?
No. Only commercial property owners along the alignment voluntarily participated in special tax districts to help fund the project.