Metro launches Silver Line Extension with opening ceremony; welcomes customers to #RideSilver to six new stations
New rail connections to Washington Dulles International Airport, Reston, Herndon, and Eastern Loudoun County
Today Metro celebrated the opening of the Silver Line Extension, connecting customers to six new stations, adding 11.4 miles of track to the Metrorail system, and beginning operations at a modern rail maintenance facility. The Silver Line Extension gives customers a new connection to Washington Dulles International Airport and new service between Reston, Va., and eastern Loudoun County. Today’s grand opening also marks the completion of the Silver Line project, a generational infrastructure investment in Northern Virginia.
Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke was joined by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other federal, state, and local officials for the grand opening ceremony at Washington Dulles International Airport Station. The event was followed by an inaugural train ride with nearly 100 customers who shared their happiest Metro memories to receive a “Silver Ticket” for the special preview train ride.
Customers were greeted at the six new rail stations and commemorative pennants were distributed on opening day. The first Silver Line passenger train left Ashburn Station at approximately 2 p.m., headed eastbound to Downtown Largo Station in Prince George’s County, MD. The first stops served the Extension’s six new stations – Ashburn, Loudoun Gateway, Washington Dulles International Airport, Innovation Center, Herndon, and Reston Town Center. With the Silver Line Extension opening, Metrorail now serves 97 stations on a 128-mile system in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
As one of the largest capital construction projects in the United States, the Silver Line provides high-quality, high-capacity transit service between the Dulles corridor and Downtown D.C.; expands the reach of the existing regional rail system; offers a viable alternative to automobile travel; and supports future development.
Approximately 500 people attended Grand Opening event, with remarks from U. S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Chief Executive Officer Jack Potter; U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine; U.S. Representatives Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer and Jennifer Wexton; Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation Director Jennifer DeBruhl; Fairfax County Chairman Jeff McKay; Loudoun County Chair Phyllis Randall; and, Loudoun County Board Member Matt Letourneau, who also serves on the Metro Board of Directors.
For additional information about riding the Silver Line go to wmata.com/silverline.
More from federal, state and local leaders on today’s grand opening of the Silver Line Extension:
"The Silver Line extension is going to make life more affordable, give people better access to jobs throughout the region, reduce the time that drivers sit in traffic on our roads, and provide a level of convenience getting to Dulles Airport that has been a long time coming. One year after President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are improving transportation systems across the country to save time and money for commuters." - U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
“The Silver Line extension is going to open up more economic opportunities for Virginia. The construction of the Silver Line to Reston made the Dulles Corridor one of the fastest-growing business areas in the country, attracting millions of square feet of office space, retail, and residential properties. The expansion to Dulles and Loudoun County will build on that success and make Virginia even more competitive for business.” - Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin.
“I am thrilled that the long-awaited Silver Line expansion to Dulles Airport is finally open. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, direct service to one of our region’s major airports will play a key role in ensuring Virginians have access to safe, affordable, and convenient travel. I am glad that Sen. Kaine and I were able to facilitate this deal between WMATA, the Metro Safety Commission, and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.” - U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner
“I’ve worked toward this day for the last 20 years because America’s capital—the capital of the free world—should have public rail service directly to its gateway,” said U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, who helped broker the deal between Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), WMATA, the Commonwealth, and local governments to construct the Silver Line while he was governor. “I’m thrilled that the new tracks unveiled today will give Virginians a convenient and sustainable way to both travel to and from the airport and help unleash the full economic potential of this corridor. It took a lot of hard work to get here, and I’m thankful for everyone who rolled up their sleeves to help us reach this incredible infrastructure milestone.”
“As one of the earliest and strongest proponents of the Silver Line, I am thrilled that we are officially, and finally, fully operational to Dulles. The Silver Line is already giving rise to a corridor that will be the economic engine of Virginia for generations to come, and this extension will only accelerate that process. I am excited for this new chapter in Metro’s history, and I can’t wait for Northern Virginians and all who visit our communities to enjoy the benefits of the newly completed Silver Line.” - U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly.
“The completion of the Silver Line Extension will be extremely welcome news to Northern Virginians. This is a substantial benefit to the National Capital Region that will enhance transportation options for local, domestic, and international travelers, and lead to increased job creation and business growth, and make a positive difference to so many. It took a long time to get here, but I’m very happy this day has come, and I look forward to continued transportation improvements that will make our region an even better place to live and work.” - U.S. Representative Don Beyer.
"The day Northern Virginians have been waiting for is finally here!" said U.S. Representative Jennifer Wexton. "The Silver Line extension will have a transformative impact on Loudoun County and the entire region—making commutes faster and easier, improving access to our premier international airport at Dulles, and introducing visitors to the vibrant small businesses and booming agritourism attractions Loudoun County has to offer. Improving transportation infrastructure across our region has been a top priority of mine during my many years in both state and federal government, which is why I'm so proud of my work to deliver the support and oversight needed to make this Silver Line extension safe, reliable, and built to last for all Virginians."
“As we continue to bring visitors back to Washington, DC, this extension of the Silver Line is a game changer for our city and region — one that opens up new possibilities for travel and business,” said DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Dulles was already known for the many direct flights it offers to and from destinations across the country and around the world, and now we finally have a direct and convenient connection from Dulles to downtown DC.”
“This is a remarkable moment for Fairfax County,” said County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “Metro is a foundational part of our area’s economic and environmental sustainability, and by every measure the Silver Line is a substantial win for all our residents. The opening of Phase 2 sets up our County and the region for tremendous success for generations to come.”
“The long-awaited arrival of Metro is important to Loudoun in so many ways,” said Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis J. Randall. “The Silver Line provides new access to jobs for people inside and outside of Loudoun, will help reduce traffic congestion in the region, move the federal government's workforce, and spark positive economic growth in the county; it is truly a win-win for Loudoun and the region!”
“Our customers have been waiting for this day to come. We’ve heard the excitement from people who took the first train in 1976, and people who became transit enthusiasts from their first ride as a child. For them, and for the region, the completion of the Silver Line means a better, greener more affordable way to get to work, school, shopping, entertainment and events, as well as easy access to Washington Dulles International Airport, a gateway to the world,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke. “As one of the largest construction projects in the United States, the Silver Line provides high-quality, high-capacity transit service between the Dulles corridor, Downtown DC and Prince George’s County, Maryland.
“Today represents the best of what transit can do. The completion of the Silver Line fulfills the promise of connecting communities, connecting trains and planes, and creating better places to live, work and play,” said Metro Board Chair Paul C. Smedberg. “Metro’s Board of Directors past and present have seen this project through from the beginning and it is gratifying to join the region in celebrating this tremendous accomplishment.”
"I voted to bring Metro to Loudoun County in 2012 to create new opportunities for our residents, businesses and future growth," said Loudoun County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Matt Letourneau. "In the decade since, Loudoun has undertaken significant land use planning and infrastructure investments to support the Silver Line that are already paying off. The start of service today is important not only for Loudoun, but for the future of Metro as we begin to serve one of the fastest growing and most dynamic parts of the region."
“Today’s opening of the Silver Line is the culmination of one of the largest and most complex transportation infrastructure projects in the nation,” said Jack Potter, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority President and Chief Executive Officer. “Building rail to Dulles was part of the original vision for the airport more than 60 years ago. Bringing that vision to reality required talented teams of people working tirelessly toward a common goal. We are thankful for the strong partnerships with WMATA, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, the federal government and everyone who contributed through the years to the success of this project. Together, we have much to celebrate with trains in service to Dulles International Airport and beyond.”“Our members couldn't be happier about the new Silver Line stations. We know just how important public transit is to the entire region's success. We're proud to welcome Loudoun County into our system." - Raymond Jackson, President and Business Agent for ATU Local 689.