Silver Line could open by the end of 2013

Hank Silverberg,

WASHINGTON – The stations are going up, the tracks are in and Metro’s new Silver Line might be completed before the end of this year.

But there is one roadblock on the way to starting service.

A rail yard in West Falls Church – where the new silver line train cars would be stored and maintained – has run into construction delays, raising concerns that opening of the extension may have to be pushed back until 2014.

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles, who has signed a two contract extension through 2016, says the transit agency is looking at some temporary solutions if the rail yard is not done.

“When we actually open, the yard should be available,” he says. “The maintenance shop itself may not be available. We probably can work around that for a short time.”

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is building the Silver Line, says WMATA hopes to turn the first 11 miles of the line and five new stations over to Metro for testing in early September.

Metro will need several months of testing before allowing passengers.

Work has begun on phase two of the Silver Line, 12 miles that will eventually take Metro out to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County.

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