First Silver Line Test Train Only Made It 1,000 Feet Out of Station

The Silver Line extension will open to passengers in 2020, at the earliest

The first test train on Metro's Silver Line extension to Dulles Airport made it only 1,000 feet out of the Wiehle-Reston East station before running into trouble, sources told News4.

The test cars were supposed to roll out overnight Tuesday on the second phase of Metro's Silver Line extension to Dulles starting at 1 a.m. as part of a monthslong testing process, and to conduct cleaning maintenance on the track's third rail.

But the two-car train, pushed by an older locomotive, made it about 1,000 feet along an 11-mile journey before it ran into issues with the new tracks, sources said.

This is the first time Capital Rail Constructors, the company behind the Silver Line extension, tested a set of railcars, and Metro personnel were on site. The next test run was set to occur Wednesday night.

The second phase of the Silver Line will run from Reston to Dulles and continue with two stops in Loudoun County. The first phase of the project opened in 2014, with five stops, from Falls Church through Tysons Corner, and ending in Reston.

The rails won't open to customers until at least 2020 — but some recent problems could result in the opening date being pushed back.

After major problems with concrete were found in the walls of new Metro stations and in rail ties for the Silver Line extension, News4 learned nearly 300 cracks have formed in buildings at the new Metro facility that will house and maintain railcars for an extension.

Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project head Charles Stark told News4 last month that the problems would delay the opening of the railyard. That delay could cause a number of problems for scheduling trains and workers.

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