The Regional Government of Madrid transforms Metro Line 1 into the ‘Centenary Line’, offering a journey through the history of the underground

Centenary Line
Today is the celebration of the anniversary of the opening to the public of the first line of Metro de Madrid, on 31 October 1919. In addition, a vinyl-wrapped train, inspired by the train that ran on the inaugural journey, will operate permanently on Line 1

As from today the Regional Government of Madrid has transformed Metro Line 1 into the ‘Centenary Line’ with a permanent exhibition set up in the stations on the original route of the first line of the underground, which ran between Cuatro Caminos and Sol and which was initially called the North-South Line. The opening of the exhibition coincides with the anniversary of the opening to the public of this line, which took place on 31 October 1919, two weeks after the official inauguration by King Alfonso XIII.

This exhibition will offer a journey through the history of Metro through oversized photos installed in ticket halls, platforms and corridors. In addition, a vinyl-wrapped train inspired by the original train used for the inaugural journey of the underground almost one hundred years ago will run continuously on the line.

The ‘Centenary Line’ is one of the projects undertaken by the Regional Government of Madrid to celebrate the company’s one-hundredth birthday. It will offer Metro users the chance to take a closer look at the history of the company and of Madrid through photographs and explanatory texts.

The vinyl wall decals are located at the entrances, as well as in the ticket halls and corridors of Cuatro Caminos, Ríos Rosas, Iglesia, Bilbao, Tribunal and Sol Stations on Line 1. The exhibition has already been installed and can be enjoyed by passengers starting today in Sol and Cuatro Caminos and will be on view in the rest of the stations in the next few days. Due to the upgrade works being carried out at the present time, Gran Vía and Bilbao Stations will not be included in this initiative.


This exhibition refers directly to the history of the first section of the Metro network, inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII on 17 October 1919. This first section consisted of eight stations: Cuatro Caminos, Ríos Rosas, Martínez Campos (later called Iglesia), Chamberí (closed and now converted into a museum), Bilbao, Hospicio (later changed to Tribunal), Red de San Luis (now called Gran Vía) and Sol. The total length of the line was close to 4 kilometres.


Together with this display, passengers can also enjoy the exhibition of classical trains located in Chamartín Station, which was inaugurated by King Felipe VI on 17 October. The trains (a total of four cars) are the ones which ran initially on the network, that is, the MR-6 and the MR-9. Nevertheless, eight more cars (currently in the process of restoration) will arrive in the next few months. This is a permanent exhibition and can be visited on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm.

Other actions taken to celebrate the underground’s one-hundredth birthday include the creation of a microsite devoted exclusively to the Centenary, showing the history and evolution of the company through photographs, videos and unpublished material. In addition, Metro will be launching its new corporate website in the next few days.

Likewise, a drawing contest for schoolchildren will be held in November to involve the youngest members of the community in the celebration of the Centenary, and the “100 Days of Solidarity”, an initiative which will enable Metro to collaborate with several NGO’s and not-for-profit entities, will also commence during the month.

The month of December will usher in additional exhibitions and a number of activities such as the ‘Centenary Train’ or children’s workshops in Metro’s museums. In early 2019, Metro de Madrid’s Engine Shed at Pacífico will be the venue for a photography exhibition in which well-known faces from the world of Spanish culture and sport will promote the use of public transport. There will also be room for sports in these celebrations: on 3 February, Madrid citizens will be able to participate in the ‘Centenary Race’, an historic 5-kilometre route on the surface between Cuatro Caminos and Sol, following the same route inaugurated in 1919 of what was then known as the underground’s North-South Line.