Metro’s new Silver Line is officially open and carrying passengers. Enjoy this photo tour of the new line and opening day festivities.
Metro’s star-studded ribbon-cutting ceremony featured US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, and seemingly every other dignitary in Northern Virginia.
Once the gates at Wiehle station opened, riders rushed in to catch the first train. Cheers erupted as the “doors closing” chime sounded for the first time, and the train sped forward.
The first train took off from Wiehle-Reston East station shortly after noon, and moved east through Tysons on its way to Largo. GGW’s troop of partiers exited at East Falls Church to double back and tour each of the five new Silver Line stations individually.
The ride between East Falls Church and McLean station offers a champion view of the Tysons skyline, and McLean station itself.
Metro’s tracks swoop gracefully into McLean station.
The station is elevated over Capital One Drive, and features an angular starburst-shaped platform canopy. The mezzanine is one level below the tracks. The sidewalk is one level below that.
Construction transforms the landscape outside the station, except a lone ball field.
Looking west, the growing skyline around the Tysons Corner station looms.
Tysons Corner station
Tysons Corner station is situated between Tysons’ two gargantuan shopping malls and its tallest buildings (so far). The platform canopy is a futuristic gambrel-like shape.
Tysons Corner station uses the gambrel roof instead of the starburst because the mezzanine is above the tracks, rather than below. That same pattern repeats at other stations along the line. Mezzanine below tracks gets a starburst, while mezzanine above gets a gambrel.
The mezzanine commands an impressive east-facing view.
On the north side, Tysons Boulevard runs perpendicularly under the station. It’s so similar to how Colesville Road runs under Silver Spring that it’s easy to imagine Tysons Corner one day being just as urban.
On the south side, Chain Bridge Road is a highway that most people will use a bridge to cross.
At sidewalk level below the station, it’s reminiscent of Silver Spring.
The south facade includes a prominent public art piece.
Just past Tysons Corner station the Silver Line enters a brief subway tunnel, to pass under the crest of a hill.
The next station west is Greensboro, which also uses the gambrel-like roof.
High walls block out noise from car traffic on Leesburg Pike, to either side of the station.
Like all new Silver Line stations, Greensboro sports updated WMATA branding: More colorful signage and silver fixtures, rather than Metro’s original 1970s-era brown.
Looking west, there’s a great view of Leesburg Pike and the next station, Spring Hill.
Spring Hill station
Spring Hill uses the starburst roof, like McLean.
Spring Hill is the final station in Tysons. From there, it’s a five-mile ride through the Fairfax County suburbs to Wiehle-Reston East.
Wiehle-Reston East station
The terminal station feels like a nicer-looking twin of Vienna, set in the median of the Dulles Access Road instead of I-66.
The gambrel-style roof looks great here.
One key difference from Vienna is that Wiehle’s commodious mezzanine includes publicly-accessible restrooms. All five new Silver Line stations have them.
South of the station, a pedestrian bridge crosses the Dulles Toll Road and lands in an unassuming bus depot, with office building parking lots beyond.
North of the station, impressive transit-oriented development is already sprouting.
On the north side, the station entrance is set in a plaza atop the roof of a parking garage. The ground floor of the garage is Wiehle’s main bus depot, taxi stand, and bike parking room. To access the garage, go through the glass house.
Beyond Wiehle, the Silver Line will eventually extend to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County, but for now it’s just a bit of train parking and construction staging. For a tour of the six stations that will make up Silver Line Phase II, check back in 2018.