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 Comunidad de Madrid . Spain

Madrid Metro Map © R. Schwandl



Metro logoSpain's capital Madrid is situated right in the centre of the country and has over 3 million inhabitants, with some 5 million in the metropolitan area.

In 2007, the Madrid Metro has become the second largest metro network in Europe after London (415km). In 2006, the total length was 227 km with 236 stations (counted separately for each line), but with the completion of the 2003-2007 expansion programme in spring of 2007 and another short extension, the total length of the network was 284 km with 283 stations (07/2008). This has since increased to approx. 292 km and 290 stations (03/2015).

The Madrid Metro has the peculiar gauge of 1445 mm, all lines have overhead power supply, either by conventional tram type catenary or rigid overhead power rail. The Madrid Metro is operated on the left. The network can be divided into two separate networks, which are only compatible to a certain extent:

- the small-profile network includes the older Lines 1-5 and R. Initially platforms were only built 60 m long, these were later extended on Line 1 (1960s) and 3 (2004-06), except for Line 5 which was built with 90 m long platforms from the start. Trains are 2.3 m wide. Most tunnels were excavated below ground by the so-called Madrid Method, a mining technique suitable for Madrid's soft soil. Most stations are located not deeper than 20 m below street level (except e.g. La Latina on Line 5 - 28 m) and boast a vaulted ceiling. The average station distance is 630 m. [Photo Logo Chamberí: Juan Carlos Zamorano]

- the large-profile network includes the newer Lines 6-10 and Line 12 (MetroSur). Trains on these lines are 2.8 m wide and platforms were built approximately 115 m long. Many stations, especially on Lines 6 and 9, lie very deep (e.g. Cuatro Caminos - Line 6: 48 m, Avenida de América - Line 7: 36 m - Line 9: 44 m, Sainz de Baranda - Line 9: 43 m). Stations built since the 1990s are located as close as possible to the surface. On large profile lines, the average station distance is 850 m (except on L-8 and L-9 south of Puerta de Arganda).

Besides the extensive metro network, Madrid also has a dense network of suburban trains called Cercanías. Some routes (especially C-5 from Móstoles to Fuenlabrada via Atocha) operate a metro-like service.

  Pinar de Chamartín - Valdecarros 24 km - 33 stations

The oldest of Madrid's metro lines opened in 1919 and runs north-south through the city centre. Platforms were extended in the 1960s from 60 m to 90 m, when one of the original stations, called Chamberí and located between Iglesia and Bilbao, was closed.

In recent years , the busy line has once again been extended at both ends. In the north, from Plaza de Castilla to Pinar de Chamartín, via Chamartín railway station, and in the south, from Congosto to the new Vallecas housing estates.

More about Line 1

  Cuatro Caminos - Las Rosas 14 km - 20 stations

L2Line 2 runs north-south from Cuatro Caminos to Ópera where it turns east, crossing Lines 1 and 3 at Sol in the heart of the city. This line still has only 60 m long platforms, thus only 4-car trains can be used. Despite this limited capacity, the line was extended east 6.2 km in two stages, to La Elipa in early 2007, and to Las Rosas in early 2011.

More about Line 2

  Ópera - Príncipe Pío 1.1 km - 2 stations

The 'Ramal' is considered a branch of Line 2, although it has always been operated as a separate shuttle line. It links the city centre to the former Estación del Norte, now the transport hub Príncipe Pío. The steep line is entirely double-track and operated with 4-car trains of class 3000.

More about Line R

  Moncloa - Villaverde Alto 15 km - 18 stations

L3Line 3 is among the busiest lines of the network, so platforms have finally been extended from 60 m to 90 m in recent years to allow the use of 6-car trains. At the same time the line length was more than doubled in 2007, with a southern extension from Legazpi to Villaverde Alto along Avenida de Córdoba. It is now being extended south to Getafe (El Casar; 2.6 km).

More about Line 3

  Argüelles - Pinar de Chamartín 16 km - 23 stations

L4As Line 2, Line 4 is still operated with 4-car trains as platforms are only 60 m long. The line has been extended several times towards the northeastern districts and gets very busy at times. It links with all metro lines (except 11 and 12), but it does not provide direct interchange with Cercanías.

At Pinar de Chamartín, Line 4 links up with Line 1 and the Metro Ligero Line ML1 to Sanchinarro.

More about Line 4

  Casa de Campo - Alameda de Osuna 23.2 km - 32 stations

L5Line 5 is a long cross-city line linking the districts in the southwest to those in the east. It was built with 90 m long platforms from the start, though still in small profile.

Line 5 has two surface stations, Empalme and Aluche, which opened in 1961 as part of the 'Suburbano' from Pl. España to Carabanchel (now mostly part of Line 10).

An eastern extension with two stations, from Canillejas to Alameda de Osuna, opened in December 2006.

More about Line 5

  Circular 23.5 km - 28 stations

L6Line 6 is one of only a few real circular metro lines in the world. Built in the 1970s, its stations lie at a deep level. The line functions as a distributor and provides interchange with all other lines, except Line 12. At most interchanges, transfer is provided via long flights of escalators and tunnels, although at Príncipe Pío cross-platform interchange with Line 10 is available.

Some of its stations are of the 'Spanish' type, with an island and two side platforms, and train doors opening at both sides to improve passenger flows.

More about Line 6

  Pitis - Hospital del Henares 31 km - 31 stations

L7For more than 20 years Line 7 was used far below its capacity before it was extended to the west from Avenida de América and better integrated with the rest of the network. As Line 9, it does not reach the city centre proper, but convenient interchange is provided at Gregorio Marañón and Canal.

In May 2007, Line 7 was extended towards the east to the neighbouring municipalities of Coslada and San Fernando de Henares, this extension also being referred to as MetroEste. All passengers have to change trains at Estadio Olímpico.

More about Line 7

  Nuevos Ministerios - Aeropuerto T4 16 km - 8 stations

Line 8 was designed as an express metro line to link the Barajas Airport to Madrid's business district around Nuevos Ministerios, where check-in facilities have been established. It also serves the Fairgrounds and Congress Centre at Campo de las Naciones.

In May 2007 , Line 8 was extended from Barajas station to the new Terminal 4 building at the Airport.

More about Line 8

  Paco de Lucía - Arganda del Rey 40 km - 29 stations

L9Line 9 actually consists of two sections, the urban stretch Paco de Lucía - Puerta de Arganda, the proper Line 9, and the suburban, mostly surface stretch from Puerta de Arganda to Arganda del Rey, also referred to as Line 9b.

Whereas the urban stretch is similar to Line 6 with some stations lying very deep, the suburban stretch runs through largely unpopulated areas. All passengers have to change trains at Puerta de Arganda.

More about Line 9

  Hospital Infanta Sofía - Puerta del Sur 40 km - 31 stations

L10What started as a secondary 'Suburbano' in 1961 has become one of Madrid's busiest cross-city lines in recent years. Line 10 certainly has the most interesting history having been rebuilt and extended several times.

The present line absorbed the former Line 8, which ran between Fuencarral and Nuevos Ministerios (later extended single-track to Avenida de América), it was then linked to the old Line 10 (Alonso Martínez - Aluche) via Gregorio Marañón, temporarily operated as a small-profile line, later the old tunnels were widened and the line extended to Puerta del Sur.

More about Line 10

  Plaza Elíptica - La Fortuna 6.5 km - 7 stations

L11The present Line 11 is only a short stretch of a long line planned to link MetroSur to Chamartín via Atocha and the eastern districts. As of yet, it is only linked to the circular Line 6. Though built to large profile from the start, it was operated with small-profile rolling stock (platforms had to be widened temporarily to cover the 25 cm gap) until its conversion to large profile on 20 Sept 2010.

In Dec. 2006 Line 11's length was doubled, when it was extended to the Carabanchel Alto neighbourhood.

In 2022, construction of a 6 km stretch via Atocha to Conde de Casal was launched, although the future destination is no longer Chamartín, but Valdebebas Norte via Ciudad de la Justicia and Aeropuerto T4; at the western end, L-11 is planned to be extended from La Fortuna to Cuatro Vientos (L-10).

More about Line 11

  MetroSur 41 km - 28 stations

Madrid's second real circular line operates entirely outside the city of Madrid. It links the towns in the south of the metropolitan area. It runs totally underground, even through some still unpopulated areas. MetroSur is Madrid's longest line, the entire route having been opened at the same time.

Line 12 is currently operated every 7.5 minutes during normal daytime, with 3-car trains of class 8000 (more cars can be added as passenger numbers rise).

More about Line 12 MetroSur

  Metro Ligero

Metro LigeroThe 2003-2007 expansion programme added a new means of transport to the already extensive Madrid metro network, the 'Metro Ligero', a network of modern light rail lines, operated with low-floor tramway rolling stock, running on separate right-of-way and with long underground sections, especially on line ML1 in the northern outskirts of Madrid.

More about ML1 | ML2 | ML3

 Tranvía Parla Tram

Tranvía de ParlaOn 5 June 2007, the first section of a 8.2 km circular tram route in the town of Parla, in the south of the Madrid metropolitan region, began regular passenger service. Parla is linked to Madrid via Cercanías line C4.

More about Tranvía de Parla


17-10-1919: L1 Sol - Cuatro Caminos
26-12-1921: L1 Sol - Atocha
08-05-1923: L1 Atocha - Puente de Vallecas
11-06-1924: L2 Sol - Ventas
27-12-1925: L2 Sol - Quevedo
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
22-10-2002: L10 (Batán -) Casa de Campo - Colonia Jardín
11-04-2003: L10 Colonia Jardín - Puerta del Sur
11-04-2003: L12 MetroSur
24-11-2006: L5 Canillejas - Alameda de Osuna
18-12-2006: L11 Pan Bendito - La Peseta
30-03-2007: L1 Pl. Castilla - Chamartín
11-04-2007: L1 Chamartín - Pinar de Chamartín
11-04-2007: L4 Parque de Santa María - Pinar de Chamartín
21-04-2007: L3 Legazpi - Villaverde Alto
26-04-2007: L10 Fuencarral - Hospital Infanta Sofía
03-05-2007: L8 Barajas - Aeropuerto T4
05-05-2007: L7 Las Musas - Henares
16-05-2007: L1 Congosto - Valdecarros
24-05-2007: ML1 Pinar de Chamartín - Las Tablas
11-07-2008: L9 Rivas-Futura station
05-10-2010: L11 La Peseta - La Fortuna
16-03-2011: L2 La Elipa - Las Rosas
28-03-2011: L9 Herrera Oria - Mirasierra
25-03-2015: L9 Mirasierra - Paco de Lucía

For full history click here or see each line description.

Lines | History | Projects | Trains | Cercanías | Books | Links



As of Feb. 2020, three extension projects have been approved:

Line 3: Villaverde Alto - El Casar (2.6 km)
Line 5: Alameda de Osuna - Aeropuerto T1-T2-T3
Line 11: Plaza Elíptica - Conde de Casal (via Atocha railway station)

For older projects click here


METRO DE MADRID - Official Page

Consorcio de Transportes de Madrid

Metros Ligeros de Madrid, S.A. (ML1)

Metro Ligero Oeste S.A. (ML2 & ML3)

Comunidad de Madrid > Gobierno Regional > Consejería de Transportes, Infraestructura & Vivienda: Projects

RENFE Cercanías (Suburban Rail)

Andén 1 - Asociación de Amigos del Metro de Madrid

Asociación "Metropolitano Histórico de Madrid" (MHM)

Metro de Madrid en Wikipedia (Spanish)

Die Madrider U-Bahn bei Wikipedia (German)

Madrid Metro, Cercanías and Light Rail drawn on Google Maps

BLOG: Read your webmasters impressions on Madrid's Metro and Metro Ligero (June 2015)


Metro & Tram Atlas SpainRobert Schwandl:

METRO & TRAM ATLAS Spanien | Spain

Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cádiz, Donostia/San Sebastián, Granada, Madrid, Málaga, Murcia, Palma, Parla, Sevilla, Sóller, Tenerife, Valencia, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Zaragoza

Numerous colour images, detailed network maps, Text deutsch/English, ISBN 978 3 936573 46 6, Sept. 2015, EUR 19.50

More info

100 Years Metro MadridCésar Mohedas García, Juan Carlos Zamorano Guzmán ed al.: 100 Años de Metro en Madrid. De Cuatro Caminos al centenario. - 2019, Ediciones La Librería, Madrid, ISBN 978-84-9873-420-1

Schwandl, Robert: METROS IN SPAIN. The Underground Railways of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao.
Capital Transport Publishing, London, July 2001- ISBN 1854142429

Editorial Rubiños, 1997.- ISBN 84-8041-096-5.
Explains the name of each metro station and its surroundings.

Aurora Moya: METRO DE MADRID 1919 - 1989. Setenta Años de Historia.
- Published by Metro de Madrid - 1990 ISBN: 84-404-8285-X

Manuel González Márquez, a.o.: El material móvil del metro de Madrid. - 04/2002, Metro de Madrid, 132 p., ISBN: 84-607-4370-5

Ester Méndez Pérez: La Compañía Metropolitano Alfonso XIII: Una Historia Económica (1917-1977). - 2000, UNED, Madrid, ISBN 84-362-4051-0



Lines | History | Projects | Trains | Cercanías | Books | Links

All photographs © UrbanRail.Net (Robert Schwandl)











 NEWS FLASH (no longer updated!)

30 Sept: Line 3 reopened with 90 m long platforms and new trains of class 3000. All stations are now fully accessible. Voltage changed to 1500 V dc.

5 June: Line 3 closed until September to finish the improvement works.

Line 8 between Colombia and Mar de Cristal is closed. It will re-open in September 2006.


Nov 2004 - 'tourist tickets' introduced. 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days of unlimited travel

9 June 2004 - new station Parque Polvoranca opened on the southern Cercanías line C-5, between Leganés and La Serna

24 May 2004 - new station La Garena opened on Cercanías line C-1, C-2, C-7, between Torrejón de Ardoz and Alcalá de Henares

27 Feb 2004 - Cercanías Line C5 extended from Fuenlabrada to Humanes (6.2km)

11 April 2003 - L-10 extended south from Colonía Jardín to Puerta del Sur + Metrosur (L-12) fully opening!

22 Oct 2002 - L-10 reopened with new 7000-series large profile rolling stock and extended to Colonia Jardín, L-5 operating through to Casa de Campo

9 Sept 2002 - L-5 now operating from Canillejas to Campamento

1 Aug 2002 - new station Las Retamas opened on Cercanías line C-5, between Alcorcón and Móstoles

24 July 2002 - Cercanías C-7 extended from Tres Cantos to Colmenar Viejo

29 June 2002 - L-10 Fuencarral - Nuevos Ministerios and Batán - Campamento closed until 2 August 2002. From August until 1 Oct. the entire line will be closed for the definitive change to large profile and the use of the new 7000-series trains.

21 May 2002 - Opening of L-8 Mar de Cristal - Nuevos Ministerios See pictures here!

4 April 2002 - Cercanías branch line C-3a from Pinto to San Martín de la Vega (15.3 km) in service

8 Feb 2002 - normal service resumed on Line 9 between Pío XII - Concha Espina. Colombia station had been closed to allow construction of Line 8 to Nuevos Ministerios - scheduled to open 2 May 2002 (city's holiday). (Antonio Rodríguez)

14 Jan 2002 - New 8000 trains in service on reopend Line 8 Mar de Cristal - Barajas (Antonio Rodríguez)

20 Sept 2001 - Normal service resumed on L-2 (Paul Naumann)

16 July 2001 - Service on L-2 interrupted until September between Banco and Santo Domingo. No direct transfer possible at Nuevos Ministerios between L-6 and Renfe Cercanías to to construction of new station complex.

18 April 2001 - L-10 fully reopened between Tribunal and Campamento (R.Benítez, E.Collantes)

17 March 2001: L-10 Nuevos Ministerios closed due to the works for the L8 (airport) extension (approx. for one year); April - Dec 2001 L-9 will discontinue operation at Colombia (trains will run between Herrera Oria and Pio XII and from Concha Espina to Arganda del Rey). (Paul Naumann)

20 Dec 2000: L-10 reopened between Gregorio Marañón and Tribunal

20 June 2000: Construction of MetroSur officially started in Getafe (Rafael Benítez)

1 June 2000: L-10 closed for reconstruction between Gregorio Marañón and Campamento from June 2000 until March 2001 (Enrique Collantes)




2006 © UrbanRail.Net by Robert Schwandl.