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Metro: Behind schedule on Silver Line punch-list items

Monday - 6/9/2014, 2:31pm  ET

Sophie Ho, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- Though Metro has yet to set an opening date for the Silver Line, Deputy General Manager Rob Troup said he expected work to be further along at this point.

In a conference call Monday, Troup stated concerns that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and its contractors were behind schedule on about half of its to-do list.

Metro took over the Silver Line in May, which will run to Reston and eventually, Dulles International Airport.

The transit agency says it has until late August to get the line open to passengers.

"This is work that has to be completed before we start revenue services and we expected to be further along at this point," Troup said.

Examples of such items include painting tunnel handrails and drainage, though Troup emphasized they are weighting each item equally.

He declined to comment on whether a potential summer opening for the Silver Line would be delayed.

He said he didn't want to be pinned to a start date that would incur undue pressure on the contractors or employees.

"What we don't want to do is have any specific date out there that would compromise our ability to initiate safe and reliable service," Troup said. "Again, our main consideration in doing this is to ensure that the line is safe for operation and it's going to be reliable for operation."

Metro is also in the process of hiring 416 employees to work on the Silver Line and others to support the new service. That number includes 302 employees for maintenance, 102 operations personnel, 41 transit police and 10 information technology staff members.

Rail operators will work at the Silver Line only after having experience on Metro's other lines.

Andrew Mollenbeck contributed reporting.

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