The evolution of the Madrid Metro from 1919 to the present day, told on an interactive map

When Alfonso XIII inaugurated the first line of the Madrid’s Underground he could hardly imagine the dimensions that the city would take just a century later. At that time the capital of the Kingdom of Spain had some 700,000 inhabitants, not many more than Barcelona, ​​and its limits did not extend beyond the second belt. Today Madrid is a megalopolis of 3.2 million inhabitants and growing, not including the population pockets of its peripheral municipalities.

In the process their metro service has changed. It has perhaps inevitably expanded. Madrid has gone from a secondary city in the great European theater to a demographic and economic epicenter of Europe, becoming along the way one of its three largest urban agglomerations. And for this, it has required an extensive metro line, bordering 300 kilometers and close to 300 stations. Is a of the longest and wide of the continent, although not of the most used.

In 2019, the last normal year for which we have records, Metro de Madrid added 677 million of passengers. The record is still held in 2007, with 687 million. These are impressive figures but only the national context. The Barcelona metro, more concise and with less population, moved 400 million of passengers the same year; while the Paris or London networks far exceeded the 1,000 million. As a curious note, none of them come close to the true continental titan: the Moscow metro, with more than 2,400 million annual passengers.

Anyway, as Madrid is today a very different city than it used to be in the past, especially after the migratory exodus After the Civil War and due to its transformation into a pole of economic and demographic attraction during our days, the Madrid metro has changed. In a spectacular way. And what better way to observe its evolution and definitive synthesis than through a map. It is, a video produced by the YouTube account Metro Liner, is especially didactic.

The story begins in 1919, with the line that joined Sol with Cuatro Caminos. Today it is part of Line 1, in permanent reform since the city council undertook the reform of the Gran Vía station (still closed, incredible as it may seem). Until 1924 the successive extensions of the network consisted of an extension of Line 1 to the south, towards Puente de Vallecas. It is in that year when the second line opens, heading northeast, connecting Sol with Ventas.

The first connection between two lines arrives the following year, when Line 2 reaches the Cuatro Caminos station. During that decade the first branch was pulled, connecting Opera with the North Station, today Prince Pio; and Line 1 extends to Tetuán. The 1930s largely paralyzed the expansion of the network. A different branch is opened for Line 2, with a stop in Diego de León, and the first station of Line 3, heading south, with the Embajadores station is inaugurated.

Mapa1949

Mapa1961

It will not be until after the war when demographic needs force a significant expansion of the network. In ’44 he connected the city horizontally for the first time, joining Goya and Arguelles. From there we find very limited extensions on the North-South axis. Even in 1961 the network is essentially identical to that of the mid-1940s, discounting the extensions of Line 1 to Plaza de Castilla and Line 3 to Legazpi. Otherwise, all very similar.

The 1960s, with their migratory explosion and economic growth, will allow more significant works. At the beginning of the decade the S Line, a suburban, bordering the Casa de Campo and reaching Carabanchel (today Line 10). Line 1 goes to Portazgo; Line 2, to Ciudad Lineal; and Line 5 is opened linking Callao and Carabanchel, thus serving the increasingly populous neighborhoods of the Great South. The great expansion project culminated in 1970 with the arrival of the L5 to Ventas. The section from Ventas a Pueblo nuevo of L2 becomes L5.

The 1933 London Underground map that forever revolutionized urban cartography

In the ’70s we found the expansion of the northeast and the opening of L7 (between Las Musas, San Blas neighborhood, and Avenida América) and the extension of L4 to Esperanza. In ’79 the first section of the Circular opens, connecting Cuatro Caminos and Pacífico; while a year later the L5 is taken to Canillejas. These are years in which the current composition of the Madrid Metro is taking definitive shape.

In 1980 the L9 to Pavones was inaugurated, following in parallel the route of the L1; L8 also opens between Nuevos Ministerios and at that time far away Fuencarral, laying the definitive foundations of the current L10; Circular / L6 extends to the south; and the southern section of the P is definitively connected with Herrera Oria, cutting diagonally, the Southeast-Northwest axis, the city. By 1994 the Circular is almost complete, so another extension of L1 begins, reaching Miguel Hernández.

Mapa1961

Mapa1968

Mapa1979

The ’90s witness the definitive closure of L6 and the rectification of L8, drawn some years ago towards Avenida América, to connect it with Alonso Martínez from Nuevos Ministerios, closing L10. Subsequent expansion will focus on taking L4 to Parque de Santa María and extending L9 to L1 to the south, towards Vicálvaro. In ’99 the L7 direction Pitis (greetings, Ramón) and connects to the city with Barajas by the L8. Everything is ready for the last major expansion of the Madrid Metro, in 2007.

It was then when the network, after having entered Arganda del Rey, Puerta del Sur and the southern municipalities (L12 through), again expanded within the central almond. The L2 took to La Elipa, in the aftermath of the M30; the L3 was taken from Legazpi to Villaverde; the L7 led to Coslada; the L8 to the T4; the L10 was driven over Chamartín, to Hospital del Norte; L1 was extended to the glittering neighborhood of San Chinarro; and two light meters were opened to the west, one from Colonia Jardín to Pozuelo; and another to Boadilla.

That was the last great widening of the network. It remains to complete the L2 to Las Rosas (2011) and take the L9 to Montecarmelo to reach the current form of the network. Immense

Mapa1998

Mapa2007

Mapa2021

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