(WJLA) - Metro officially took control of the first phase of the Silver Line early Tuesday morning.
The milestone, known as the "Operational Readiness Date," or ORD, marked the point where care and control of the line was formally transferred from the Airports Authority to Metro.
From Tuesday's date, May 27, Metro now has up to 90 days for testing and training prior to opening the line for passenger service this summer.
The opening date will be set by the Metro Board of Directors - but, to the delight of anticipatory riders, all of this means that date could be just 90 days away.
During a conference call Tuesday morning, officials said they're confident they can get the necessary testing and training work done, but admitted there are still some issues that need to be resolved. Those issues include checking the drainage inside the stations, putting up fencing, and getting contracts signed.
Officials said the issues with the track circuits and station speakers have been resolved, and that all of the train operators, station managers and technical staff have been hired and will soon be able to get into the stations.
Test trains will reportedly soon start running at night.
When it opens, Silver Line service will run from the Wiehle-Reston East station to Largo Town Center, with trains every six minutes during rush hour and every 12 to 20 minutes at other times, officials reiterated Tuesday.
Five new stations will be added to the Metrorail system: McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East.
Work has also begun on Phase 2 of the project, which will connect the Metrorail system with Herndon, Washington Dulles International Airport and points in Loudoun County, Va.