The Madrid Metro is the large metro system serving the city of Madrid. It is one of the largest metro systems in the world, which is especially remarkable considering Madrid's population of approximately 3.5 million (Madrid city) to 6 million (metropolitan area). In fact, it is among the top 10 longest metros in the world, though Madrid is approximately the twenty fifth most populous metropolitan area in the world. It is also one of many fast growing systems in the world, rivaled, among many others, by the Seoul Metro or the Beijing Subway. It should be noted that, unlike Barcelona Metro, Madrid Metro trains use left-hand running on all lines. Instead Spanish trains runs usually on the right side, except the Madrid-Hendaye broad gauge line and its branches, where trains run on the left.
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 was intended to be part of line 4 since its construction but was exploited as a branch of line 2 until the construction of line 4.
In the sixties, a suburban railway was constructed between Plaza de España and Carabanchel, linked to lines 2 (in Noviciado station with a long aisle) 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 after and it is planned to rearrange the station to install a Museum.
At the beginning of the seventies, the network was subsequently 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 eighties and all remaining projects were abandoned. After all these projects, 100 km 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.
At the beginning of the nineties, control of the network was transferred to a public enterprise, Metro de Madrid. More large-scale expansion projects were presented. 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 into a longer line 10, a new line 8 was constructed to expand the underground network towards the airport and 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.
A huge project in early 2000s installed approximately 50 km of new metro tunnels, including a direct connection between downtown Madrid (Nuevos Ministerios) and the airport, lengthening (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 40 km of tunnel and 28 new stations, including an interchange station and an additional 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 current efforts of Madrid provincial government are channeled towards the enlargement of the Metro network. In the recently finished 2003-2007 term, President Esperanza Aguirre funded a multi-billion dollar project, which has added to, joined, or extended almost all of the metro lines. The project included the addition of 90 km and the construction of 80 new stations. It has carried the 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, 3 interurban light rail lines were built to the western outskirts (Pozuelo de Alarcón, Boadilla del Monte), mL2 and mL3 (ML for Metro Ligero) and to the new northern districts of Sanchinarro and Las Tablas. As a last-minute addition, a project on line 8 connected it to the new T4 terminal of Madrid-Barajas Airport.
Stations in the Madrid metro reveal their age in their design: older stations on the narrow lines are often quite compact, rather like the stations on the Paris Metro. They were decorated with tilings in different colour schemes depending on the station. In recent years, most of these stations have been refurbished with single coloured plates matching those in the newest ones. The stations built between the late 70s and the early 90s are slightly more spacious and most of them have cream colored walls.
On the other hand, the most recent stations are built with space in mind, and are considered amongst the best in the world for their natural-like lighting and ample entryways. The colour scheme varies between stations, using single-colored plates and covering the whole station in light colors. Recently built transfer stations have white walls, but this is not the norm.
Most stations are built with two side platforms, and a handful of them (the busiest transfers) have a central island platform in addition to the side platforms theoretically dedicated to exits. This system was originally used on the Barcelona Metro and is called the Spanish solution. Stations with this setup include:
Some stations have cross-platform interchange arrangement which allows extremely fast transfers between two lines. The only stations with this setup are Príncipe Pío and Casa de Campo (). On both occasions, Line 10 uses the outside tracks, so passengers alighting here use the right doors instead of the left, which is the norm.
In Addition, a few stations are built with one island platform instead of the usual side platforms. These stations are:
Another system is where there is one island platform with one side platform. This system is used in the stations on Lines 7, 9 & 10 where it is required for passengers to change to smaller trains to continue their journeys, normally to towns outside Madrid like Alcobendas or Coslada. This is done so the island platform can be used for passengers to change easily between trains, and the side platform is possibly there so if the decision is taken to extend full service past these stations, the station setup will be the same as the majority of the network, so passengers will not be confused with the different exit side. These stations are:
The Metro network has 231 stations on 12 lines plus one branch line, totalling 282 km, of which approximately 92% is underground. The only surface parts are: Campamento-Eugenia de Montijo Lago-Casa de Campo and Puerta de Arganda-Arganda del Rey (). Additionally, some 30 km of Metro Ligero (modern tram) lines serve the various regions of the metropolitan area which have been deemed not populated enough to justify the extraordinary spending of new Metro lines. Most of the ML track length is on surface, usually running on platforms separated from normal road traffic. However, ML1 line has some underground stretches and stations. Traditionally, the Madrid metro was restricted to the city proper, but today nearly one third of its track length runs outside the border of the Madrid municipality. Today, the Metro network is divided in five regions:
At most of the borders between the regions, one has to switch trains even when staying in the same line, because the train frequency is higher in the core MetroMadrid than in the outer regions.
Madrid also has an extensive commuter train (Cercanías) network operated by Renfe, the national rail line, which is intermodal with the metro network. In fact, 22 Cercanías stations have connections to the Metro network, which is indicated on the official map by the Cercanías logo. Many of the new lines since 1999 have been build to link to or end at Cercanías stations, like the ML2 line, which ends at the Aravaca station providing a fast entry into Madrid though the C-7 or C-10 commuter lines and arriving in only one step to the bus and Metro hub Príncipe Pío ().
See also the list of Madrid metro stations.
|Line||Terminus||Length||Stations||Loading gauge||Platform||Main service by||Configuration|
|Pinar de Chamartín – Valdecarros||23.8 km / 14.7 miles||33||narrow||90 m||CAF s. 2000-A||M.R-M.R-R.M|
|La Elipa – Cuatro Caminos||9.5 km / 5.9 miles||16||60 m||CAF s. 3000||MRRM|
|Villaverde Alto – Moncloa||16.4 km / 10.2 Miles||18||90 m||CAF s. 3000||MRSSRM|
|Argüelles – Pinar de Chamartín||16 km / 9.9 miles||23||60 m||CAF s. 3000||MRRM|
|Alameda de Osuna – Casa de Campo||23.2 km / 14.5 miles||32||90 m||CAF s. 2000-B||M.R-M.R-R.M|
|Circular||23.5 km / 14.6 miles||28||wide||115 m||CAF s. 5000, AnsaldoBrena s. 7000||M.M-M.M-M.M|
|Pitis – Estadio Olímpico – Hospital del Henares||31.2 km / 19.4 miles||29||AnsaldoBreda s. 9000||MRSSRM|
|Nuevos Ministerios – Aeropuerto||16.4 km / 10.2 miles||8||CAF s. 8000||MRSM|
|Herrera Oria – Puerta de Arganda – Arganda del Rey||38 km / 23.6 miles||26||CAF s. 6000 & 8000, AlsaldoBreda S. 9000||MRM-MRM|
|Hospital Infanta Sofía – Tres Olivos – Puerta del Sur||39.9 km / 24.8 miles||31||AnsaldoBreda s. 7000 & 9000||MRSSRM|
|Plaza Elíptica – La Peseta||5.3 km / 3.3 miles||6||CAF s. 3000||MRSSRM|
|MetroSur||40.7 km / 25.3 miles (Circular)||28||CAF s. 8000||MRM-MRM|
|Ópera – Príncipe Pío||1.1 km / 0.7 miles||2||narrow||60 m||CAF s. 3000||M.R-R.M|
|ML||Pinar de Chamartín – Las Tablas||5.4 km / 3.4 miles||9||tramway||32 m||Alstom Citadis 302||MRRRM|
|ML||Colonia Jardín – Estación de Aravaca||8.7 km / 5.4 miles||13|
|ML||Colonia Jardín – Puerta de Boadilla||13,7 km / 8.6 miles||16|
Every rolling unit in the Madrid Metro has a unique ID that singles it out in the whole network. Those IDs are grouped by the rolling unit model (the "series") and thus is used to categorize the trains, as they bear no user-visible statement of the model specified by the manufacturer. An ID is made up of:
The Madrid Metro network is split into the six "functional" zones mentioned above. Each one has a "single" ticket (Billete Sencillo), valid for one trip within the zone, and a 10-trip ticket for a comparatively lower price. When crossing zone boundaries, one has to buy a new ticket for the zone being entered. There is also a "combined" ticked, which provides for a single trip between any two points of the network except the Airport stations, which have an additional supplement of 1€. All in all, it is possible to go from the airport to any other point of the network for 2.75 €.
Also, the Consorcio Regional de Transportes (Regional Transportation Authority) has a division of its own, with geographic zones named A through C2. This body sells monthly and annual passes for unlimited trips within their zone of validity, and also a range of Tourist Passes for 1, 3, 5 or 7 days. All of them are accepted at the Metro stations within their zones, and passengers using a CRT pass do not have to pay the airport supplement.
|Name||Valid for||Expires after||Price|
|MetroX Sencillo||MetroX zone||1 trip||1 €|
|Metrobús||MetroMadrid and EMT buses||10 trips||6.70 €|
|MetroX 10 viajes||MetroX|
|Sencillo Combinado||Whole network||1 trips||1.75 €|
|Abono Transportes Joven||A - C2 (<21 y.o.)||One calendar month||26.30 - 46.40 €|
|Abono Transportes Normal||A - C2||40.45 - 73.60 €|
|Abono Transportes 3ª Edad||A - C2 (>65 y.o.)||10.15 €|
|Abono Transportes Annual Normal||A - C2||One calendar year||444.95 - 809.60 €|
|Abono Transportes Annual 3ª Edad||A - C2 (>65 y.o.)||111.65 €|
|Abono Turístico||A||1 - 7 days||3.80 - 19.80 €|
|Abono Turístico||T (all CRT zones)||7.60 - 39.60 €|
The metro is operated by its own company, under the Department of Public Works, City Planning, and Transportation of the autonomous community of Madrid. The passage between Puerta de Arganda (Line 9) and Arganda del Rey (Line 9) is operated by Transportes Ferroviarios de Madrid (TFM). All of Madrid's rapid transit systems are members of the Consorcio Regional de Transportes, which sells monthly passes for unlimited use of the metro, bus and commuter train networks within the area covered by the pass.
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