Madrid Metro

Madrid Metro
Madrid - Estación de Príncipe Pío (7172268427).jpg
Native nameMetro de Madrid
LocaleMadrid, Spain
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines13[1]
Number of stations301[1]
Annual ridership626.4 million (2017)[2]
WebsiteMetro de Madrid
Began operation17 October 1919
Operator(s)Metro de Madrid
Number of vehicles2404[citation needed]
System length293.0 km (182.1 mi)[1]
Track gauge1,445 mm (4 ft 8 78 in),
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
System map

Unofficial map - network as of 2013

The Madrid Metro (Spanish: Metro de Madrid) is a metro system serving the city of Madrid, capital of Spain. The system is the seventh longest metro in the world, with a total length of 293 km (182 mi), though Madrid is approximately the fiftieth most populous metropolitan area in the world. Its growth between 1995 and 2007 put it among the fastest growing networks in the world at the time, rivaling many Asian metros such as the Shanghai Metro, Guangzhou Metro, Beijing Subway, and Delhi Metro. However, the European debt crisis greatly slowed expansion plans, with many projects being postponed and canceled. Unlike normal Spanish road and rail traffic, which use right hand drive, Madrid Metro trains use left-hand running on all lines because traffic in Madrid drove on the left until 1924, well after the Madrid Metro started operation. The Madrid Metro operates every day from 6:00 am until 1:30 am.[3]

A light rail system feeding the metro opened in 2007 called Metro Ligero ("light metro").[4] The Cercanías system works in conjunction with the metro servicing commuter train services to and across the city.

Some underground stations are large enough to hold public events, such as the three-day fitness festival in May 2011, which attracted 2,600 visitors. One station contains a 200-square-metre archaeological museum.

The Madrid Metro has 1,698 escalators, the most of any system in the world. It also has 522 elevators.


The closed Chamberí station on line 1
Metro de Madrid Diesel motors used for generating electricity before the Spanish War

1916–1918: conception and financing

On 19 September 1916, a royal decree approved the 4-line plan for the creation of the metro of Madrid. The engineers who created the plan, Mendoza, González Echarte, and Otameni then began the process of raising the 8 million pesetas to begin the first phase of the project, the construction of Line 1 from Sol to Cuatro Caminos. Carlos Mendoza made contact with Enrique Ocharán, the director of Banco de Vizcaya, who offered 4 million pesetas on the condition that the public pledged an additional 4 million.

Mengemor published a brochure in order to persuade people to make donations. The men were able to raise 2.5 million pesetas of the 4 million they needed. King Alfonso XIII intervened and invested 1.45 million pesetas of his own money.[5]

1919: construction and inauguration

The first phase of construction was finished in 1919. It was constructed in a narrow section and the stations had 60 m (200 ft) platforms. The enlargement of this line and the construction of two others followed shortly after 1919.[6] The Madrid metro was inaugurated on 17 October 1919 by King Alfonso.[7][8][9][10] At the time of inauguration, the metro had just one line, which ran for 3.48 kilometres (2.16 mi) between Puerta del Sol and Cuatro Caminos, with eight stops.[7]

The king, the royal family, and others, then took part in the first official metro ride which went from Cuatro Caminos to Río Rosas, and took 40 seconds. There they stopped for one minute, before traveling to the Chamberí station which took 45 seconds. The trip went all the way to the end point, Sol. The king and his family then rode the metro back to Cuatro Caminos from Sol, this time without stopping. The journey took 7 minutes and 46 seconds.[8]

After the journey, a lunch was served on the Cuatro Caminos platform, and the engineers were congratulated for creating a "miracle."[8]

Two days later, on 19 October 1919, the Madrid metro was opened to the public. On its first day, 390 trains ran, 56,220 passengers rode the metro, and the company earned 8,433 pesetas in ticket fares. .[11]

During November and December 1919, the metro had an average of 43,537 passengers a day and earned an average of 6,530 pesetas a day in ticket sales. Due to their success, the company decided to expand more, and created 12,000 new shares to sell to the public in order to raise more funds to fund further expansion. .[12]

1920–1921: expansion of Line 1 and construction of Line 2

The Company then began to gather materials necessary to expand the Line 1 from Sol-Progreso-Antón Martín-Atocha.

On 31 July 1920 the company submitted it proposal to extend Line 1 from Atocha to Puente de Vallecas. In 1921 the company declared its interest in beginning the line from Sol-Ventas, with the first phase of the project being built from Sol-Goya, along Calle Alcalá.

Work began on 27 March 1921 to expand the Line 1 from Atocha to Vallecas, and to begin construction on a line from Sol-Goya.[13]

On 26 December 1921 the Sol-Atocha section of the Line 1 was inaugurated, adding three new metro stops to the line: Progreso, Antón Martín, and Atocha. The king and queen, Don Alfonso, and Doña Victoria attended the inauguration.[14]

1922 and onwards

In 1924, traffic in Madrid switched from driving on the left, to driving on the right, but the lines of the Madrid Metro kept operating on the left hand side.[15] In 1936, the network had three lines and a branch line between Opera and Norte railway station. All these stations served as air raid shelters during the Spanish Civil War. After the Civil war, the public works to extend the network went on little by little. In 1944, a fourth line was constructed and it absorbed the branch of line 2 between Goya and Diego de León in 1958, a branch that had been intended to be part of line 4 since its construction but was operated as a branch of line 2 until the construction of line 4.

In the 1960s, a suburban railway was constructed between Plaza de España and Carabanchel, linked to lines 2 (at Noviciado station with a long transfer) and 3. A fifth metro line was constructed as well with narrow section but 90 m platforms. Shortly after opening the first section of line 5, the platforms in line 1 were enlarged from 60 to 90 m, closing Chamberí station since it was too close to Iglesia (less than 500 m). Chamberí has been closed ever since and has recently been opened as a museum.

In the early 1970s, the network was greatly expanded to cope with the influx of population and urban sprawl from Madrid's economic boom. New lines were planned with large 115 m platforms. Lines 4 and 5 were enlarged as well. In 1979, bad management led to a crisis. Works already started were finished during the 1980s and all remaining projects were abandoned. After all those projects, 100 km (62 mi) of rail track had been completed and the suburban railway had also disappeared since it had been extended to Alonso Martínez and thence converted to line 10.

Typical Madrid metro entrance, designed by Antonio Palacios, at Tribunal station

At the beginning of the 1990s, control of the network was transferred to a public enterprise, Metro de Madrid. More large-scale expansion projects were carried out. Lines 1, 4 and 7 were extended and a new line 11 was constructed towards the outlying areas of Madrid. Lines 8 and 10 were joined together into a longer line 10 and a new line 8 was constructed to expand the underground network towards the airport. The enlarged line 9 was the first to leave the outskirts of Madrid to arrive in Rivas-Vaciamadrid and Arganda del Rey, two towns located in the southeast suburbs of Madrid.

In the early 2000s, a huge project installed approximately 50 km (31 mi) of new metro tunnels. This construction included a direct connection between downtown Madrid (Nuevos Ministerios) and the airport, the lengthening of line 8, and adding service to the outskirts with a huge 40 km loop called MetroSur serving Madrid's southern suburbs.

MetroSur, one of the largest ever civil engineering projects in Europe, opened on 11 April 2003. It includes 41 km (25 mi) of tunnel and 28 new stations, including a new interchange station on Line 10, which connects it to the city centre and stations linking to the local train network. Its construction began in June 2000 and the whole loop was completed in less than three years. It connects Getafe, Móstoles, Alcorcón, Fuenlabrada, and Leganés, five towns located in the area south of Madrid.

Most of the efforts of Madrid regional government in 2000s were channeled towards the enlargement of the Metro network. In the 2003–2007 term, President Esperanza Aguirre funded a multibillion-dollar project, which added new lines, and joined or extended almost all of the existing metro lines. The project included the addition of 90 km (56 mi) and the construction of 80 new stations. It brought underground railway to many districts that had never previously had Metro service (Villaverde, Manoteras, Carabanchel Alto, La Elipa, Pinar de Chamartín) and to the eastern and northern outskirts as well (Coslada, San Fernando de Henares, Alcobendas, San Sebastián de los Reyes). For the first time in Madrid, three interurban light rails (Metro Ligero or ML) lines were built to the western outskirts (Pozuelo de Alarcón, Boadilla del Monte) - mL2 and mL3 - and to the new northern districts of Sanchinarro and Las Tablas - mL1. As a last minute addition, a project on line 8 connected it to the new T4 terminal of Madrid-Barajas Airport.

There are numerous expansion and improvement projects pending; many suspended due to the financial crisis since 2009. For example, lines 1 and 5 reaching Valdebebas, extending line 11 further north towards Atocha railway station and beyond, as well as extending line 9 to the north, opening the station Arroyo del Fresno on line 7 and extending line 3 further south.[needs update]

Other Languages
العربية: مترو مدريد
aragonés: Metro de Madrit
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Мадрыдзкі мэтрапалітэн
български: Мадридско метро
čeština: Metro v Madridu
Deutsch: Metro Madrid
español: Metro de Madrid
français: Métro de Madrid
Bahasa Indonesia: Metro de Madrid
Кыргызча: Мадрид метросу
latviešu: Madrides metro
Lëtzebuergesch: Madrider Metro
Nederlands: Metro van Madrid
português: Metro de Madrid
српски / srpski: Мадридски метро
Türkçe: Madrid metrosu
Tiếng Việt: Madrid Metro