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WMATA Silver Line

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WMATA 2000-series cars make up a test train on the westbound track along the Dulles Connector Road south of Old Chain Bridge Road. Photo by John Cambron, January 2014.

Overview

The Silver line is the second addition beyond the originally envisioned 97 mile Metro system planned in the late 1960s. Like the Blue line extension to Largo Town Center, it was shown as a future line to Dulles International Airport on the planning maps. The 23 mile line branches from the Orange line roughly 1/2 mile east of the West Falls Church station, and runs through Tysons Corner, Reston and Herndon in Fairfax County and Dulles International Airport and beyond to Ashburn in Loudoun County.

The stations are radically different compared to the older surface and elevated station. No wayfinding pylons are found on the mezzanine and platforms. Pedestrian bridges connecting the entrances to the mezzanines feature poured in place concrete floors trimmed with red granite. Mezzanines feature red square concrete pavers trimmed with gray square concrete pavers. Platforms feature red concrete pavers that mimic the hexagon tile in the older stations. All station entrances are ADA accessible. Access between levels at the entrance and between the platforms and mezzanine feature two elevators and at least one escalator.

Unlike previous segments of the system, the Silver line was not built under the supervision of WMATA. Construction of the line was supervised by the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority under the Virginia Public-Private Transportation Act.

$900 million of the $2.9 billion capital cost for the first phase was funded by the federal government. The remainder of the capital costs are being funded using revenue from the Dulles Toll Road and special taxing districts on commercial property. The second phase will be funded entirely with local funds from the Dulles Toll Road and special taxing districts.

Utility relocation and preparatory construction began in early 2008 with principle construction beginning in early 2009. The first phase of the Silver line opened from Largo Town Center to Wiehle - Reston East on July 26, 2014. The second phase of the project opened November 15, 2022.

For stations between East Fall Church and Court House, please see the WMATA Orange Line section. For stations between Rosslyn and Largo Town Center, please see the WMATA Blue Line section.

Station By Station

Ashburn. We start at the west terminal located in the median of the Dulles Greenway north of Metro Center Drive. The station features a steel and sheet metal arched roof with skylights over the mezzanine on the southeast end of the station, above an island platform with pedestrian bridges accessing entrances on both sides of the Dulles Greenway. The north entrance is on the south side of the Comstock Partners Loudoun Station development, and there is an eight bay bus terminal, a Kiss and Ride area, and a nine level parking garage with 1,400 spaces for commuters. The south entrance has an eight bay bus terminal, Kiss and Ride area, and a six level 1,500 space parking garage. West of the station the tail track extends 900' to a double crossover and another 750' for storing trains. East of the station is a double crossover for relaying trains.

Loudoun Gateway. This island platform station is located in the median of the Dulles Greenway north of Old Ox Road. It features a steel and sheet metal arched roof with skylights over the mezzanine on the west end of the station, above an island platform with a pedestrian bridge accessing the one entrance. The entrance is on the north side along Lockridge Road. The entrance has a seven bay bus terminal, Kiss and Ride, and a six level parking garage with 1,900 parking spaces. West of the station is a pair of crossovers.

South of the station south of Old Ox Road is the junction for the west leads that flyover the inbound mainline track and the eastbound lanes of the Dulles Greenway into Dulles Yard. South of the west lead flyover the line transitions to an elevated structure to pass over the eastbound lanes of the Dulles Greenway. A single crossover is south of the junction for the east Dulles Yard lead that connects to the inbound mainline track.

Washington Dulles International Airport. This island platform station is elevated between parking Garage 1 and the north side of Saarinen Circle. The station is architecturally different then the other stations on the branch. It features a white steel and sheet metal canopy over the middle half of the platform facing south that mimics Saarinen's design of the airport main terminal building. Glass screens protect the middle half of the platform on both sides of the station. The station is trimmed with gray sheet metal that is used on various other building on the airport property. The entrance is below ground and connects to the underground passageway between Garage 1 and the main terminal. The station has four elevators between mezzanine and platform instead of the typical two used in other Silver line stations. The station also has the longest escalators of any of the elevated station in the system at 115' 4 1/2".

West and north of the station the line is elevated to where it transitions to surface in the median of the Dulles Greenway. A double crossover is located along Autopilot Drive in front of the Avis Rental Car Return. East of the station the line transitions to surface in the median of the of the Dulles Access Road west of Rudder Road. West of Sully Road is a double crossover.

Innovation Center. This station is located in the median of the Dulles Access Road between Sully and Centerville Roads. It features a steel and sheet metal arched roof with skylights over the mezzanine on the west end of the station, above an island platform with pedestrian bridges accessing entrances on both sides of the Dulles Access / Toll Roads. The north entrance is on the south side of Innovation Avenue. This entrance has a four bay bus terminal, and a Kiss and Ride area. The south entrance is on the the south side of Sunset Valley Drive at Carta Way. This entrance has a four bay bus terminal, Kiss and Ride area, and an eight level 2,800 space parking garage. East of the station is a double crossover.

Herndon. This station is located in the median of the Dulles Access Road between Van Buren Street and Fairfax County Parkway. It features a steel and sheet metal arched roof with skylights over the mezzanine on the east end of the station, above an island platform with pedestrian bridges accessing entrances on both sides of the Dulles Access / Toll Roads. The north entrance is on the north side of the Dulles Toll Road accessible from Herndon Parkway using a 450' long walkway. The south entrance is integrated into the existing Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride on Sunrise Valley Drive. The entrance has a five bay bus terminal, Kiss and Ride area, and an existing parking garage with 1,445 parking spaces. The additional seven level garage has 2,250 parking spaces.

East of the station there is a pair of single crossovers and a 1,300' long maintenance of way siding on the outbound side of the mainline tracks. The maintenance of way siding is accessed between crossovers that are 620' apart. The west end of the siding ends at a paved area to allow highrail vehicles access to the mainline tracks from the left shoulder of the westbound Dulles Access Road.

Reston Town Center. This station is located in the median of the Dulles Access Road west of Reston Parkway. It features a steel and sheet metal arched roof with skylights over the mezzanine on the west end of the station, above an island platform with pedestrian bridges accessing entrances on both sides of the Dulles Access / Toll Roads. The north entrance is on south side of Sunset Hill Road, and has two on-street bus bays, a three bay bus terminal, and Kiss and Ride area. Provisions exist to build a pedestrian bridge for a future entrance on the north side of Sunset Hill Road. The south entrance is at the end of Edmond Halley Drive off of Sunrise Valley Drive. The entrance has a four bay bus terminal and Kiss and Ride area.

Wiehle - Reston East. This station is located in the median of the Dulles Access Road west of Wiehle Avenue. It features a steel and sheet metal arched roof with skylights over the mezzanine on the east end of the station, above an island platform. It has entrances on both sides of the Dulles Access / Toll Roads. The north entrance is on the south side of the plaza in the Reston Station development. Under the plaza is a nine-bay bus terminal, Kiss and Ride area, and a 2,300 space underground parking garage. The south entrance is on the south side of the exit ramp from the eastbound Dulles Toll road to Wiehle Avenue and has five bus bays. West of the station is a is a pocket track for short turning trains.

Spring Hill. This island platform station is elevated in the median of Leesburg Pike between Spring Hill Road and Tyco Road / Westwood Center Drive. It features a steel and sheet metal pitched peaked roof covering the center half of the platform. The mezzanine is below the platform on the east end with pedestrian bridges accessing entrances on both sides of Leesburg Pike. A small Kiss and Ride lot is adjacent to the north entrance. Both ends of the platforms have emergency exit stairs that descend to ground in the median of Leesburg Pike.

On the elevated structure, west of Tyco Road, is a double crossover. The elevated structure curves west from the median of Leesburg Pike and descends into the median of the Dulles Access Road. There are two additional sets of crossovers in the median of the Dulles Access Road between Leesburg Pike and the Wiehle - Reston East station because of the distance between the stations. The tracks are elevated between the Spring Hill and Greensboro stations.

Greensboro. The station is in the median of Leesburg Pike located between Pinnacle Drive and Westpark Drive / Gosnell Road. The east end of the station is in a retained cut, the west end is on a retained fill. It features an arched roof over the mezzanine on the east end of the station above an island platform. Pedestrian bridges access entrances on both sides of Leesburg Pike.

Tunnels under the highest point of Tysons Corner connect the Greensboro and Tysons Corner stations.

Tysons (formerly Tysons Corner). This island platform station is elevated on the north side of Chain Bridge Road at Tysons Boulevard. It features a steel and sheet metal arched roof with skylights over the mezzanine on the west end of the station above the platform. Under the west end of the station is an entrance that has two sets of escalators that ascend beyond the west end of platform to the mezzanine above the platform. The elevators and stairs ascend to the mezzanine to the right of escalators. A pedestrian bridge accesses an entrance on the south side of Chain Bridge Road west of Tysons Boulevard. An additional pedestrian bridge connects the entrance to the pedestrian plaza at Tysons Tower on the north side of Tysons Corner Center. The east end of the station has an emergency exit stairway that descends to the ground. West of the station in a retained cut is a double crossover. The name change took effect in September, 2022. (Photo captions have been updated to reflect the new name regardless of the date the photo was taken.)

McLean. This island platform station is elevated on the north side of Dolley Madison Boulevard between Scotts Crossing Road / Colshire Drive and Capital One Drive. It features a steel and sheet metal pitched peaked roof covering the center half of the platform. The mezzanine is below the center and east end of the platform. Under the east end of the station is an entrance that has two sets of escalators to the left and two elevators at right that ascend to the mezzanine. A pedestrian bridge accesses an entrance on the south side of Dolley Madison Boulevard west of Colshire Drive. A Kiss and Ride lot and taxi stand is adjacent to entrance. Both ends of the platforms have emergency exit stairs that descend to ground.

The tracks are elevated between the Tysons Corner and McLean stations. A double crossover is located east of the station at Anderson Road. East of Anderson Road the elevated curves south and descends into the median of the Dulles Connector Road south of Old Chain Bridge Road. An additional crossover is located in the median of the Dulles Connector north of Pitman Run.

A junction to a yard lead into West Falls Church Yard is between the mainline tracks at Plainfield Street. An elevated structure flies over the westbound lanes of I-66 with the inbound Silver line track flying over the mainline tracks of the Orange line east of the West Falls Church station. Provision for the columns that carry flyovers and the junction were built during the construction of the Orange line. The junction with the Orange line is in the median of VA I-66 under the Great Falls Street overpass. West of the junction is a new double crossover on the Orange line. The original junction was planed to be under the Haycock Road overpass east of the West Falls Church station.

Photo Gallery

Five Random Images

Image 144798

(105k, 1024x681)
Photo by: John Cambron
Location: Greensboro

Image 144809

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Photo by: John Cambron
Location: Wiehle-Reston East

Image 144817

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Photo by: John Cambron
Location: Spring Hill

Image 144820

(107k, 1024x681)
Photo by: John Cambron
Location: McLean

Image 144821

(105k, 1024x681)
Photo by: John Cambron
Location: McLean
     


More Images: 1-41

Photos By Location

Photo locations: Ashburn, Loudoun Gateway, Washington Dulles International Airport, Innovation Center, Herndon, Reston Town Center, Wiehle-Reston East, Spring Hill, Greensboro, Tysons, McLean, Dulles Connector Road, West Falls Church - Silver Line Connection

Page Credits

By John Cambron.









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