Metro Blue Orange Silver Capacity & Reliability Study

Preliminary Concepts

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Concept #1 - Optional train "turnbacks"

Concept 1

Concept: Install the appropriate infrastructure so that trains could “turn back” at different areas along the Orange, Blue or Silver Lines. “Turnbacks” could be located at West Falls Church (Option A), East Falls Church (Option B), Ballston-MU (Option C), Rosslyn (Option D), or outside Stadium-Armory (Option E).

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Concept #2 - NoVa Circulator

Concept 2 NoVa Circulator

Concept: Build a new “Rosslyn II” station and realign rail service around Rosslyn to better support travel demand within Northern Virginia. A new “Rosslyn II” station with direct pedestrian links to the adjoining station would allow for different service patterns:

  • Option A: Run the Blue Line between Franconia-Springfield to the new “Rosslyn II” station only.
  • Option B: Build a new track connection between Arlington Cemetery, “Rosslyn II,” and Court House Station. This would permit some trains to offer one-seat rides between Tysons, Rosslyn-Ballston, Pentagon, Crystal City/ National Airport, and Franconia-Springfield.

Concept 3 - New Blue Line
Concept 3 New Blue Line
Concept: Build a new “Rosslyn II” station with a direct pedestrian link to the existing Rosslyn station. Extend the Blue Line service through a new tunnel under the Potomac River into DC and Maryland.

A new, adjoining station with a new tunnel under the Potomac River would separate the three lines at Rosslyn, provide new capacity across the Potomac, and allow for different service patterns:

  • Option A: Blue Line service would run from “Rosslyn II” to Georgetown, Mid-City DC, and Union Station, then continue through Northeast DC into Prince George’s County.
  • Option B: Blue Line service would run from the “Rosslyn II” station through Georgetown and along or near Wisconsin Avenue to connect with the Red Line at Friendship Heights or Bethesda.

Concept 4 - New Core Loop

Concept 4 New Core Loop
Concept: Build a new “Rosslyn II station and a new tunnel under the Potomac River in order to create a new Metrorail Loop connecting Pentagon, Rosslyn, Georgetown, the Dupont and Shaw neighborhoods, and the Navy Yard/Waterfront area.

Concept 5 - New Silver Line connections north of I-66

Concept 5 New Silver Line Connections North

Concept: Provide new Silver Line service through a new tunnel under the Potomac River into DC and Maryland, north of I-66.

A new tunnel under the Potomac River would provide a new Silver Line “corridor” north of I-66 that could operate as local service, express service or a mix, with different service options:

  • Option A: Operate new Silver Line service between West Falls Church, Mid-City DC, Union Station, Northeast DC and Prince George’s County.
  • Option B: Similar to Option A, but Silver Line service would operate from McLean instead of West Falls Church.
  • Option C: Operate new Silver Line service between Tysons, Bethesda or Friendship Heights, northern DC and Prince George’s County.

Concept #6 - New Silver Line connections south of I-66

Concept 6 New Silver Line Connections South

Concept: Provide new Silver Line service through a new tunnel under the Potomac River into DC and Maryland, south of I-66.

A new tunnel under the Potomac River would provide a new Silver Line “corridor” south of I-66 that could operate as local service, express service or a mix, with different service options:

  • Option A: Operate new Silver Line service from West Falls Church along Route 7 and Columbia Pike, then across the Yellow Line Bridge to Southeast DC and Prince George’s County.
  • Option B: Similar to Option A, but the Silver Line would turn southward to Crystal City and National Airport rather than heading to DC.

Additional operational and/or systemwide improvements

The study team also identified operational strategies and general, systemwide improvements that may increase capacity, reliability, flexibility, and sustainability on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines. Some are comparatively small and inexpensive changes that can help achieve one goal in the near future, while others would be large projects that meet multiple goals but require a lot of time and investment.

 Additional Information


See About this Study for more information on the study goals, process, and timeline.

See Get Involved to engage and share your input on the study.

See Documents and FAQs for project documents, news highlights, and further reading.

Contact us!

For more information about the Blue/Orange/Silver Capacity & Reliability Study, please send an email to: BOSstudy@wmata.com

Or you may contact Metro's Office of Customer Information at 202-637-7000 (TTY 202-638-3780). Press 88 and then press 5.