Silver Line guide: What Metro riders need to know

A simulation of the Silver Line. (WJLA photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) -- The first phase of Metro's Silver Line opened on Saturday, July 26 shortly after noon.{ }{ }{ }

The Silver Line is a 23-mile extension of the existing Metrorail system with new tracks that extend from East Falls Church, through Tysons Corner and Reston, and eventually by 2018 to Washington Dulles International Airport west to Ashburn.

Phase 1 of the project adds four new stations in Tysons Corner, Virginia’s largest employment center, and one in Reston.

It will have the same hours as the rest of Metrorail. At rush hours, Silver Line trains will arrive every 6 minutes. At off-peak times and weekends, trains will arrive every 12-15 minutes – the same as other lines.

Here's an overview of what riders will need to know about service changes:

Overall Impact{ }{ }

Adding the Silver Line will lead to changes during rush hour that impact riders on the Blue and Orange lines due to technical limitations on the number of trains Metro can send through each stretch of track.

Blue Line Impact: Currently, during the morning and afternoon rush hours, there are 7 Blue Line trips per hour on an uneven headway. After the Silver Line begins service the Blue Line will be reduced to an even 12 minute headway (5 trains per hour) with more of the trains being 8-car trains. There is no change to Blue Line service during midday or weekend hours. Blue Line resources to download: Options for the fastest commute | Bus alternatives (PDF)

Orange Line impact: Due to the expected rider shift to the Silver Line, there will be fewer Orange Line rush hour trains between Vienna and West Falls Church. The Silver Line to Largo Town Center eliminates need for rush service between Vienna and Largo Town Center.


All Silver Line stations will have bus service as existing Metrobus and locally provided bus service will be restructured to facilitate access to the new Silver Line stations.

Dulles International Airport is currently served by Metrobus Route 5A, Fairfax Connector Route 981 and the Washington Flyer. These services will connect Dulles International Airport to Washington D.C. and the Metrorail system when Silver Line service begins.

As for regional partner bus services, when the Silver Line opens you can expect bus changes to begin - with a majority of service changed to run to and from Silver Line stations:

-- Fairfax Connector (Fairfax County) will provide the majority of the local bus service to the four stations in Tysons and one in Reston.

-- LC Transit (Loudoun County) will serve Wiehle-Reston East, Spring Hill, Tysons Corner and West Falls Church stations.

-- Washington Flyer will provide service between Dulles International Airport and Wiehle-Reston East, replacing existing service to West Falls Church.

New Stations

Metro expects the Silver Line to attract around 25,000 boardings per day (or 50,000 riders per day going to and from the new stations) in the first couple of years – around a third of which will actually be customers switching from the Orange Line to Silver Line because it’s more convenient for them.

Most of Tysons Corner will be within a half-mile of a Silver Line station, or about a 15-minute walk. That includes Tysons Galleria and Tysons Corner Center shopping malls, restaurants, and the nearly 100,000 jobs in the area.

Below are profiles of the five new Metro stations opening on July 26 for the Silver Line. Click on a station name below to get in-depth details about that particular location.

McLean | Tysons Corner | Greensboro | Spring Hill | Wiehle-Reston East.

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