It’s our 100th birthday!
When King Alfonso XIII of Spain, who provided one million pesetas of the initial investment to build the first stations, made the first journey between Cuatro Caminos and Sol on what was then called the North-South Line, few could have imagined what the Metro project would become 100 years on. Who, back in those days, would have told the monarch that those initial eight stations and 3.48 km would grow into 294 km and 302 stations, connecting areas of the city and region that were hours apart?
On 17 October 1919, the Madrid underground company became the thirteenth in the world to offer this type of public transport. Today, the Madrid Metro carries approximately 2.3 million passengers per day. Such myths and legends as the ghosts of Chamberí and Tirso de Molina also inhabit our network, which includes other curiosities such as museums, exhibitions, works of art such as the mural in the Paco de Lucía station and even archaeological remains and fossils.
These numbers and curiosities would no doubt astound King Alfonso XIII, who would surely not blink like he did in the official inauguration photograph for the company in 1919, which led to one of the first photoshop moments in history when a pair of open eyes were added over the monarch’s closed eyelids.
In 100 years, we have grown and become part of Madrid’s history. Our stations are meeting points, our trains feature in the memories of the Madrid population and our lines form the daily travel routes for millions of people. What emerged as an idea in the minds of the engineers Miguel Otamendi, Carlos Mendoza and Antonio González Echarte is now part of a Madrid that cannot be imagined without its Metro, just as the Metro would make no sense without Madrid.
We look forward to being by your side for at least another 100 years!