Trains Roll as Silver Line
Phase 2 Testing Ramps Up
As a positive sign of the times, the number of test trains running along the Phase 2 Silver Line tracks from Reston through Dulles to Ashburn will increase as testing and final work continues in preparation for turnover to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
The activity is part of what's called Level F or final testing.
Officials at Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the builders of the Silver Line, say the increased number of trains will be obvious starting in August.
Meanwhile, the Airports Authority continues to work with WMATA to set a date for another service outage at the Wiehle-Reston East Station where the Automatic Train Control System for Phase 2 is being connected to the Phase 1 system. This tie-in will be a major step in the path to long-awaited revenue service.
During that weekend outage, WMATA will provide shuttle buses between the Wiehle-Reston East and Spring Hill Station in Tysons just as it did during previous outages.
Rail officials had previously announced plans to complete construction and have the project ready for transfer to WMATA on Labor Day; that has been delayed.
Transferring Phase 2 to WMATA will trigger the beginning of WMATA's final testing to ensure that the project systems and facilities meet all design criteria and WMATA requirements.
WMATA plans to open all six stations at the same time in early 2022. The stations are Reston, Herndon, Innovation Center, Dulles Airport, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn.
Capital Rail Constructors (CRC) is building the rail system with a host of subcontractors.
Silver Line Phase 2 also includes a vast rail yard and maintenance facility being built on more than 90 acres of Airports Authority property along the western edge of the airport. Hensel Phelps is building the rail yard.
Construction crews continue with a variety of testing, walk-throughs, punch list items, finishing touches and documentation.