WMATA is moving ahead with the out-of-system transfer between Farragut North and West and is scheduled to begin internal testing by the end of January, they said in an email.

In June, WMATA expressed interest implementing the Farragut “virtual tunnel” rail-to-rail transfer. At that time, Mike Russo of WMATA responded to an email inquiry by saying, “We look forward to re-examining the Farragut transfer concept later this year.”

Since it’s almost the end of the year, I followed up to see what was happening. Raj Srinath, WMATA Treasurer, replied:

Preliminary analysis of the concept and technical discussion regarding the business rules of this transfer proposal have begun. Based on the preliminary analysis, certain programming and software changes have been identified as necessary to implement the “Farragut-to-Farragut virtual tunnel concept.”

Programming and software changes will be completed to test the concept and identify any other potential issues by the end of January 2011. Upon the completion of these changes, staff will be able to determine an implementation plan and timeframe for the virtual tunnel, assuming no major issues have been uncovered.

I am pleased with their responsiveness and that they are moving forward with this project. If all goes well, perhaps the “tunnel” will open in the spring.

Steve Offutt has been working at the confluence of business and environment for almost 20 years, with experience in climate change solutions, green building, business-government partnerships, transportation demand management, and more. He lives in Arlington with his wife and two children and is a cyclist, pedestrian, transit rider and driver.