A peek at Metro stations under construction along Silver Line’s Phase 2

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority leaders got everyone’s attention earlier this month when they said Phase 2 of Metro’s Silver Line could open in mid-July 2020. Phase 2 of the Silver Line comprises six stations: Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Dulles Airport, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn.

Capital Rail Constructors is 94 percent complete with construction of the main track, systems, guideways, stations and support facilities for Phase 2. Hensel Phelps is 98 percent complete with construction of a 90-acre rail yard being built on the grounds of Dulles Airport.

There is still much work to be done, including resolving critical issues such as track and concrete problems. A massive windscreen — 300 feet long and 16 feet tall — is still to be built at the Dulles Airport Station, and of course there will be multiple tests of the system and its components. Test trains are running the length of the project.

Charles Stark, the Airports Authority senior vice president for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, says the July 2020 goal is reachable. “That is our goal at this point and we’re working very hard to meet it,” he said.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which will take over the project when it is completed, will have the final say on when passenger service begins.

WMATA will set accept the project after the rail line and the rail yard are completed to meet its standards and contract requirements, and passes final safety and certification requirements.

Photos and details of the six new stations are available at the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project website. The information includes a list of facilities that will be located at each station pavilion, such as parking garages, bike racks and lockers, kiss & ride and bus lanes.

The website also has examples of planned transit-oriented developments at the stations that will provide new retail, dining and office space for communities across Fairfax and Loudoun counties. Fairfax County has approved many mixed-use developments that will create more opportunities to work, live and play along the rail line.

“Connecting our international airport to the rest of the region is important for those who need to get to and from Dulles for flights and for work, but it is also a major step forward in terms of the region’s brand and image,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “I am excited to see progress on the second phase of the Silver Line and look forward to the day it opens.”

Looking east at the south side of the Dulles Airport Station with Saarinen Circle in the front of the photo. The glass wall at the base of the station is part of the mezzanine, which will offer views of the main terminal. (Photos courtesy Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project)

A train passes through Dulles Airport Station as part of dynamic testing along the aerial guideway. Saarinen Circle is in the foreground. Soon a glass screenwall will be installed along this side of the station. The screen will serve as a buffer to winds atop the station platform, and it also will mirror the architectural features of the iconic Dulles Airport Terminal.

An inside view of the Dulles Airport Station. In the center is one of four elevator shafts. Through the glass windows on the right is the adjacent parking garage. A tunnel connects the garage and the main terminal.

The north side of Innovation Center Station and the north pedestrian bridge along the Dulles Toll Road and the Dulles International Airport Access Highway.

Looking south to the parking garage at the Innovation Center Station. The garage, which was designed by Fairfax County and will be operated by the county, will hold about 2,100 vehicles on the south side of the station.

Facing east along the bus bay drive at the Herndon Station. The South Pavilion is on the left with the existing and new parking garages to the right. Together the garages that will be operated by Fairfax County will hold about 3,700 vehicles.

The South Pavilion at the Reston Town Center Station.

Silver Line tracks rise after the Innovation Center Station and curve toward the Dulles Airport Station. From the airport the trains head out to two Loudoun County stations along the Dulles Greenway as well as a rail yard and maintenance facility.