According to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the Silver Line Extension connecting Metrorail customers to Washington Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County will open on Nov. 15.
The largest expansion of Metrorail since the system was launched, the six-station line was announced in a video released by the WMATA Board earlier this week.
“We appreciate our partners at MWAA, FTA, WMSC, Fairfax, and Loudoun Counties who have worked collaboratively with us for several years to reach this moment,” said WMATA General Manager/CEO Randy Clarke.
The extension completes the final phase of a 23-mile expansion started in 2009. The first segment opened in 2014, officials said. This final phase provides riders with a direct connection to Dulles airport, as well as to destinations around the region. Riders will be a short walk from baggage via an underground tunnel in less than five minutes.
U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-Va.) applauded the move.
“We are pleased to see WMATA move forward on its promise to safely open the Silver Line’s service to Dulles—just in time to provide Virginians with a more convenient and sustainable way to get to the airport to visit loved ones this holiday season,” the senators said. “We will continue to work with WMATA and the Metro Safety Commission to ensure Metro riders can safely and easily access the economic, entertainment, and travel opportunities the region has to offer.”
The extension includes a rail maintenance and service yard, the largest rail yard in the WMATA system, employing about 450 people.
In June 2022, WMATA took over control of the Silver Line Extension from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Since then, WMATA has been testing the new tracks and equipment, as well as training staff at the stations, railyard, and maintenance facilities in anticipation of opening to the public.
WMATA is continuing to work on items in coordination with WMSC and expects to finalize safety certification before opening day.