The Silver Line may have won the epically slow race against the streetcar in getting its first phase operational, but don’t take that to mean it’s punctual. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is building the Metro line into Loudoun County, just announced “design modifications made to enhance the safety and reliability” of the Silver Line. Translated from euphemism, that means approximately: “Familiarize yourself with the Washington Flyer, ’cause you’ll be riding it for at least another four years.”
According to MWAA, more than 150 modifications have been made to the design of the Silver Line’s second phase, which will extend the current line, ending in Reston, to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County. Combined with weather and construction delays, these modifications will extend the construction of phase two by about 13 months.
The line was previously scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2018. Now, with the delays, the Silver Line won’t be able to run until summer 2019, or later.
Does that create an opening for the streetcar to get its second phase up and running first, with service from H Street NE to Georgetown? Don’t count on it. More likely, we’ve got another delay-filled tortoise-and-hare race to look forward to.
Photo by Aaron Wiener