Silver Line Testing to Be Done Overnight Saturday, Opening Date 'Any Month Now'

Testing to be along Silver Line tracks overnight Saturday, Jan. 25.

Testing on the Silver Line will begin overnight Saturday, Jan. 25.
Testing on the Silver Line will begin overnight Saturday, Jan. 25.
Scheduled testing along Phase One of the Silver Line will take place this weekend, the next step forward to eventually opening the 11.5-mile line within the next several months. 

Trains will be running along Silver Line tracks from East Falls Church to the Wiehle Avenue station overnight Saturday, Jan. 25 said Dulles Metro spokesperson Marcia McAllister. 

The tests, which will be conducted by the contractor building the rail, will likely involve up to 10 eight-car train sets. 

The construction of Phase One is at 99 percent, and as Dulles Corridor Rail Association President Patty Nicoson said, "we're expecting it to open any month now."

"With [Saturday's] test of the system, the Airports Authority will have 15 days to ask them to go back and tweak a few things, look at some other things, the idea being after that 15 day period they would be substantially complete and would turn it over to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority," Nicoson said. "They in turn have 90 days in which to review it."

She expressed hope that the full 90 days wouldn't be needed by WMATA. 

"They have been participating in the testing all along, so a lot of it they're going to accept as things they would have done themselves," she said. "But they do have to train their operators and emergency personnel and get used to the equipment."

Construction on Phase Two, which will run west from Wiehle Avenue to stops in Reston, Herndon, Sterling, Dulles Airport and Ashburn, is expected to begin soon. Nicoson said they're currently doing geotechnical work. 

"I've been told construction will start at the Airport and probably work out from both ends," she said.  

Phase Two is expected to reach substantial completion by mid-2018, with full operations starting by the end of 2018. 

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