Reader (and contributor) Bradley Heard wants to know why Silver Line trains don’t have silver lights in their destination signs like other lines do. Why is that?
I noticed the Silver Line Metro trains don’t have the silver light preceding the text of the line. Any idea when/if those are coming?
The short answer is that they don’t have silver lights because they’re not capable of showing that color. When the current cars were manufactured or rehabilitated, there were only 5 colored lines, and those are the colors the signs can show.
Right now, trains say “silver” on the front, though without the colored stripes. On the sides, they say either “Wiehle Reston” or “Largo,” again without the colored stripe.
However, the 7000 series cars are indeed capable of displaying a color for silver. Those cars have white LEDs that will be used to show the color silver.
But the 7000s won’t go into service until this fall (and it will be a slow trickle over the next several years). The older cars, however, will also operate on the Silver Line, and many of them will be around for a while.
WMATA staff is currently looking into the possibility of retrofitting the older cars’ signs, but they haven’t yet decided whether or not that’s going to happen.
The 1000s and 4000s will be retired in the next few years, so they probably won’t have retrofitted or new signs. But the 2000s, 3000s, 5000s, and 6000s will be carrying passengers for many years to come, and it might be helpful for those trains to be able to show the silver color on signs. Whenever WMATA decides, we’ll be sure to let you know.