Metro’s purchase of modern “Series 7000” rail cars is critical both for safety, and capacity requirements of the Silver Line expansion. WMATA’s crack management team has hit a federal roadblock, however, increasing the likelihood that very old cars will be left in service.
Add another sad irony to the legacy of that mythical public works project known as “Dulles Metrorail.”
History buffs may recall how, instead of opening as planned in the summer of 2013, that was when would-be commuters learned the Silver Line would be delayed until “late winter” which, technically, came and went yesterday.
And so it was yesterday that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) announced that multiple problems had arisen which now make it impossible even to estimate a completion date for the project.
Or: If a rail line no one will ride doesn’t run, is it news?
One minor news item the past week was this notice from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) that their review of the Silver Line Phase 1 Substantial Completion Submission from the Bechtel-led Dulles Transit Partners (DTP) had “determined the contractor has not yet met the contract requirements for substantial completion.” As a result, the Silver Line will not be running anytime soon.
This garnered a few mentions in the news, minor discussion, no brouhaha. Because, honestly, who cares? (Er, apart from Toll Road drivers who won’t ride the Silver Line but will foot much of the bill.)
A more instructive story was this bit of deceptively understated analysis by the Post’s Dr. Gridlock which laid out how the Silver Line will be hampered, to put it mildly, by systemic limitations. At peak performance, the Silver Line will deliver a decidedly suboptimal experience: