Passenger service on the new Silver Line will begin July 26, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced Monday.
The much-anticipated announcement came after months of construction delays stalled the opening of the new rail line, which includes four stations in Tysons Corner and terminates at Wiehle Avenue in Reston.
After those new stops, Silver Line trains will follow the path of Metro’s current Orange and Blue lines, joining the Orange Line at East Falls Church and continuing through the District of Columbia, and then mirroring the Blue Line to its terminus at Largo Town Center in Maryland.
Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles said service will begin at noon July 26 with a train departing from the Wiehle-Reston East station.
The week prior to opening, Metro will conduct a week of simulated service for employee training. Passengers will not be able to travel to the Silver Line stations, but the trains will carry passengers between East Falls Church and Largo Town Center.
At the start of service, Silver Line trains will run every six minutes during peak hours and every 12 to 20 minutes during off-peak times.
Metro took control of the new rail line from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is overseeing construction of the Silver Line, in late May but, at that time, there was still a list of things MWAA and its contractor needed to achieve.
Sarles said that there are still outstanding items from that task list, including work required to obtain certificates of occupancy. However, he expects everything will be complete in time for the July 26 opening.
The airports authority is now focused on contstruction of the second phase of the Silver Line, which will extend rail service to Washington Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County. The second phase is expected to be complete in mid 2018.