Aguado announces that the Atocha Renfe Metro station is to be renamed Atocha Constitución del 78
The Regional Community of Madrid is going to rename Atocha Renfe Metro station this coming March as Atocha Constitución del 78, in tribute to the Magna Carta. This was announced today by the Vice-President, the Regional Minister for Sport and Transparency and the spokesperson for the government of the Regional Community of Madrid, Ignacio Aguado, and the Regional Minister for Transport, Mobility and Infrastructures, Ángel Garrido, who were accompanied by Metro de Madrid's CEO, Silvia Roldán.
This change of name coincides with the recent liberalisation of the railway sector in Spain, which will see new operators arriving and Renfe no longer the only company providing services at Atocha station.
The regional vice-president said he was "proud" of this new name, given that "the 1978 Constitution is the biggest and best meeting point for Spaniards, just as Atocha is a meeting point for citizens of all origins". Aguado has called for stronger ties of unity and consensus by appealing to the events of 1978.
The Vice-President also stressed that Metro de Madrid "has been and is a history book with an outstanding debt to one of the most important moments in the history of Madrid and Spain: the signing and approval of our Magna Carta as our guarantor of coexistence". "We need to pay tribute to this milestone, in our suburban railway structure and its image abroad", he added.
"Metro has demonstrated over the last hundred years that it is an essential public transport service", Aguado pointed out, stressing that the underground "works for and on behalf of the people of Madrid, brings us closer, unites us and is always at the forefront". It was at this point that he reminded everyone of the Metro service during the Filomena storm and its having remained open, without interruption, for 168 hours.
"The new name represents our wish to pay tribute to the Constitution adopted by all Spaniards after 40 years of dictatorship, and which is the key to our democracy and freedoms. A Constitution that guarantees the unity and equal rights of all Spaniards as well as moderation and coexistence. A tribute we are also paying at one of the most iconic stations on the Metro network", explained Garrido.
This is not the first time that Metro de Madrid has changed the name of one of its stations. The former Metropolitano was renamed Vicente Aleixandre around the end of 2018, to avoid confusion with the Metropolitano station on line 7. The latter station, formerly known as the Estadio Olímpico, had changed its name in 2017, at the request of Atlético de Madrid fans.
Atocha likewise had its name changed to El Arte Station, to make its association with Madrid's three main nearby museums clearer: the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía. For its part, Campo de las Naciones had its name changed to Feria de Madrid to highlight the importance of the Regional Community’s trade-fair and congress activities, which are mainly concentrated in the IFEMA complex.
KEY POINT FOR TRANSPORT
Atocha Renfe, which is on Metro line 1, was officially opened on 24 July 1988, to provide a direct connection with the railway station. It therefore connects the Metro network with both medium- and long-distance railway lines as well as with local commuter railway lines. It also serves as an interchange with intercity buses and Madrid's EMT, making it one of the capital's most important transport hubs.
The station is one of the busiest on the Metro, ranking 20th on Madrid’s suburban railway network. It currently registers a daily average of 28,000 users, a figure affected by the development of the pandemic. A daily average of 58,000 people used it in February last year, before the health crisis.