July 28, 2014

Washington inaugurates metro Silver Line

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Washington inaugurates metro Silver Line WMAA

WASHINGTON DC celebrated the largest-ever expansion of its metro network on July 26 with the inauguration of the initial 18.7km five-station section of the Silver Line from East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue in Reston.

Around 500 people attended the opening event, including United States federal transportation secretary Mr Anthony Foxx, Virginia state governor Mr Terry McAuliffe, and the mayor of the District of Columbia Mr Vincent Gray.

The primary objective of the Silver Line, which is also known as the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project, is to bring Dulles International Airport and western districts including Reston, Tysons Corner, and Ashburn onto the city's Metrorail network. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is implementing the project and is providing 52% of the $US 5.5bn budget for the first and second phases, although services on the line are operated by Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA).

Silver Line trains serve a total of 28 stations, running onto the existing network to serve central and eastern districts of the city and terminating at Largo Town Center on the Blue Line.

WMATA has allocated 64 new 7000 series cars to the Silver Line, although trains from the existing fleet will be used on the route until July 2015 when the final Kawasaki trains are due to enter service.

The Silver Line is expected to become one of the city's busiest metro lines, with around 25,000 passengers per day projected to use the five new stations by the end of next year.

In July 2013 MWAA awarded Capital Rail Constructors, a joint venture of Clark Construction Group and Kiewit Infrastructure South, the design-build contract for the 18.5km seven station second phase and will extend the line from Wiehle Avenue to Reston town centre, Herndon, Washington Dulles International Airport and Ashburn.

WMAA has a lunched an express bus service which will link the airport terminals with the Silver Line station at Wiehle-Reston East until the second phase of the line is completed in 2018.

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