Silver Line To Start Service In April, Says Warner – WAMU
The first phase of Metro’s new Silver Line will delayed until April 2014 according to Virginia Senator Mark Warner. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is building the Silver Line and will then turn it over to the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Warner says Metro will fail to collect $2 to $3 million in fares each month the Silver Line is delayed. The project was delayed a second time earlier this week so testing on safety software could be completed. Warner says Silver Line won’t open now until April.
A letter Warner sent to MWAA outlines his concerns and is included in the link above.
Of course, Sen. Warner isn’t the one who makes the decisions:
And just for the record, there is no official estimate of when the Silver Line will open. #WMATA#MWAA
Dealing with the changes and with faulty testing of the safety systems could delay the December opening of the $5.6 billion rail extension, officials said.
Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff, in a letter to local officials, said he was troubled by a contractor’s failure to obtain approval for the changes to what is known as the automatic train control system.
The controls serve the same function as those that failed in the fatal 2009 Red Line crash, and the contractor is the same company that manufactured the Red Line controls.
In his letter, obtained by The Washington Post, Rogoff said the contractor, Alstom Signaling, “unilaterally made various design changes to the [automatic train control system] without prior approval” from Metro or the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
Ugh. What were they thinking?
The Silver Line’s first phase will run from Whiele Ave. in Reston to the Orange Line between West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations via Tysons. It seems a 2014 opening is a lock now, but when in 2014?
Once the Bechtel Corporation completes the work and the airport authority certifies it, Metro will take at least 90 days to independently test the trains and tracks and hire and schedule staff to operate the Silver Line.
When pressed, Carnaggio admitted Oct. 1 would be a likely date for the handover to Metro, making Jan. 1 the earliest launch date.
“Weather has played a role in the reason the date is where it is now and we are confident the contractor will meet it,” he says.
In theory, the delay will be as little as three weeks. Having a 2014 opening instead of a 2013 is disappointing, particularly given the awful traffic around Tysons prior to Christmas.
The second phase, completing the Silver Line to and beyond Dulles Airport is expected in January 2019.
On a happier note, WMATA is expected showcase the 7000 series Metro rail cars tomorrow:
Big changes are coming when the Silver Line opens, some of them outlined in this Dr. Gridlock update from earlier in the week. The Metropolitan Washington Area Transit Authority (WMATA) discloses that Blue Line riders will experience a decrease level of service as a result of the Silver Line, but argues that five riders will see benefits for every one rider who sees repercussions.
Last month, I went to an open house about the Silver Line in Crystal City hosted by WMATA. I jotted down some notes and took some photographs. A few notes:
Increased shuttle bus service in Tysons will be concurrent with the Silver Line with current West Falls Church buses being reassigned to serve Tysons stations.
Car parking and secure bike parking will be available at the Wiehle-Reston East station, but not any of the Tysons stations. Bike-sharing is a possible solution in Tysons.
Of great interest in the long-term is that Metro is evaluating adding a second Rosslyn station that would restore blue line trips to Rosslyn with a Silver line “interface” as well. Another option is a wye from Orange to Blue.
A new downtown line (M Street corridor) isn’t in long-term plans, but height-limit revisions could accelerate need. WMATA believes that additional rail cars could delay the need for expansion for another 15 years or so.
64 new 7000-series rail cars entering service to replace 1000 series cars which date to the systems launch. Another 64 are being allotted to the Silver Line.
The Silver Line will extend to Largo, paired with the Blue Line.
If it wasn’t clear before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors was presented this week with a marketing plan for the new Tysons, it certainly was after. The logo of choice is just Tysons, and when the man presenting it misspoke, accidentally adding “corner” out of habit, he was quickly corrected.
“I thought we were dropping the ‘corner,’ ” one supervisor interrupted.
The decision has never been formalized by anyone, but those in charge seem to agree it’s for the best.
“It indicates more than what Tysons Corner has meant historically,” Caplin said. “We want people to recognize that something exciting is happening here.”
Having grown up in Vienna, dropping the “Corner” was the typical reference. Just for fun, I polled a dozen co-workers on how they refer to the area we work in. The results
Tysons – 8
McLean – 2
Tysons Corner -2
That’s not scientific, nor is this poll below:
I’ve been inconsistent though, using the Tysons Corner category instead of just Tysons. Perhaps I’ll change the tag to “Tysons” and let the “Tysons Corner” category stay. I don’t even want to talk about the apostrophe…
Rush+ will improve service for nearly 110,000 customers on the Green, Yellow, Blue and Orange lines. Seventeen stations will get more frequent service with six additional trains every hour of rush hour.
During peak periods, more than 46,000 Orange Line customers will benefit from six additional trains per hour – three in each direction – between Vienna and Largo Town Center. This will result in 18 percent more capacity on the line, or approximately 2,600 seats per hour.
For 33,500 Blue and Yellow Line customers in Virginia, Rush+ will increase the share of Yellow Line trains, meaning more direct and faster access to downtown via the Yellow Line bridge. A smaller number (about 16,000) weekday peak-period customers who travel on Blue Line trains via Arlington Cemetery will experience a maximum of six-minutes additional waiting time for a train.
Stations north of downtown on the Green and Yellow lines will benefit from 18 additional trains during rush hour periods. Stations from Shaw-Howard to Greenbelt will benefit from six additional Yellow Line trains each peak hour – three in each direction – between Greenbelt and Franconia-Springfield. And for the first time, you will be able to travel from Greenbelt to Franconia-Springfield without transferring. More than 28,000 customers will benefit from the change.
Whether this works out like they predict remains to be seen.
On the map, the rush hour only service will be marked by dashed lines. Also, the lines now have circles with 2-letter codes for each line (BL, GR, OR, RD, SV, YL). The Silver Line is on there, but shown as under construction with a solid line (they should have done it like the old map with alternating white lines) and un-bordered station circles without names. New station names (like Navy Yard-Ballpark) are also shown. The little car icons for parking lots are replaced with the typical “boxed P” which is helpful.