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Simulated service begins on Metro's Silver Line 5 days before the new subway line opens

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WASHINGTON - Metro is simulating service on its new Silver Line, with just five days left before it opens to rail commuters.

Metro began running Silver Line test trains on 11 miles of new track Sunday. The agency says riders on some other routes should expect delays this week, especially on the Blue Line, where wait times could increase from eight minutes to 12.

In fact, Metro projects that about 21 per cent of riders affected by the addition of the Silver Line are affected negatively, because of a bottleneck that is created at the tunnel in Rosslyn, which is used by the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.

On a conference call Monday with reporters, spokesman Dan Stessel said the simulated service ran smoothly on Sunday and during the Monday morning rush hour.

The trains are being run to test signals and train drivers along the route from Largo, Maryland, to Reston, Virginia. Trains are running between the five new stations through Tysons Corner and Reston, but are not open to passengers.

Proponents say the new stations will help transform Tysons Corner, Virginia, from a driving destination into a walkable residential and commercial centre.

The Silver Line is expected to carry about 25,000 passengers a day when it opens to the public on July 26.

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