Isabel Díaz Ayuso inaugurates new Gran Vía underground station, a “pioneer in Europe” thanks to its technology and accessibility
The President of the Regional Government of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, today inaugurated the new Gran Vía underground station which connects Lines 1 and 5 – the most modern station in the underground network in terms of technology and accessibility. “This will be the first 4.0 station in Spain, and it is thus one of the pioneering stations in Europe”, stated the President of the Regional Government of Madrid referring to this new station which, as from 6 am on Friday, will offer its services to the public and it is hoped will be used by close to 66,000 passengers a day.
“This is one of the most used stations in the underground and before its closure, in August 2018, some 16 million passengers a year passed through it”, highlighted the regional president, who, to highlight its magnitude, explained that this figure “accounts for the combined population of Andalusia and Catalonia and is higher than the population of countries including Belgium, Portugal and Greece, to quote a few examples in the European Union”.
The regional president, accompanied at the inauguration by the Regional Councillor for Transport and Infrastructure, David Pérez, underlined that this is a station that forms part of a network of 294 kilometres with more than 300 stations that has transported up to 2.7 million people a day. “The Madrid underground has more stations than other cities such as London, New York, Shanghai and Paris and has a greater network length than others like Seoul, Moscow and Beijing”, he stressed.
Metro de Madrid, the Directorate-General of Infrastructures and Adif have collaborated on these works for almost three years to start-up one of the most ambitious project in modern times, which connects the Puerta del Sol axis (with the underground and Cercanías-Renfe) and Gran Vía – two emblematic locations in the capital city of Madrid.
Gran Vía station is one of the 25 most used stations in the underground, with some 16 million passengers passing through each year. Around 44,000 passengers use the station each day. Thanks to the new connection established as from today with Cercanías Renfe and Sol underground station, the forecast is that the number of passengers will increase by some 22,000 a day to thus total 66,000 users a day.
With an investment of 10.7 million euros, the architecture of the station has undergone a profound renovation, which now provides a vertical connection between its different levels. As Isabel Díaz Ayuso explained, the first level includes a much larger entrance lobby that replaces the previous lobby, increasing its useful surface area from 900 to 2,000 square metres.
The second intermediate level houses a small museum with archaeological remains discovered during the excavation and station enlargement works. Lastly, the third level connects with Line 5 and with an access tunnel that joins Gran Vía underground station with Renfe Cercanías Sol. Accordingly, the safety features and the installations in general have been significantly improved with two entrances and exits by joining the two stations below ground.
Gran Vía station is now also fully accessible, with four new lifts and 13 connected escalators that are monitored from the Metro control post. By adding this newly accessible station, there are now 206 underground stations that are fully accessible with a total of 558 lifts installed on the network. New fire detection and firefighting systems have also been installed.
4.0 TECHNOLOGY IN ACCESS WAYS
Users will have 14 new ticket machines at their disposal which, with their 4.0 technology, offer a new design and more efficient features, thus making it the most modern underground station. These devices have large screens, offer contactless payment transactions and a better interface design by taking full advantage of the screen size and the possibility to access customer services by video call.
In addition, 17 ticket control machines (entry turnstiles) have been installed, six of which are designed for users with reduced mobility, distributed in two entrance lobbies. These models take up less space, have a more intuitive interface and a screen that informs users of the transport card validation through both graphics and text, as well as LED lighting at doorways, on the contactless reader and on the ground to inform passengers of the result of the validation.
Users with reduced mobility can access such devices as easy door-opening systems, non-slip strips on staircases, braille labelling on handrails, accessibility signage and ceramic visual tactile paving to facilitate their movements. This project has been co-financed by the Regional Government of Madrid and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Operational Programme 2014‐2020.
RECOVERY OF PAVILION OF RED DE SAN LUIS
The station, of a futuristic design, also combines recovered elements from the past for users such as the incorporation of a ceramic mural installed in the entrance lobby that represents the original access pavilion to the station designed by Antonio Palacios, and a work by the artist Miguel Durán-Loriga, 2.12 metres high and 6.48 metres across, which is more than half a century old.
Gran Vía was one of the first eight stations inaugurated by Metro de Madrid in October 1919 by King Alfonso XIII. Its original name, back in 1919 and 1920, was Red de San Luis, which then changed to its present name. However, during the time of Franco it took the name of José Antonio, and only recovered the name of Gran Vía in 1984.
The most characteristic element it has taken is the pavilion of the architect Antonio Palacios, which was a landmark for the access to the old underground station and which now, following the remodelling of the station, has been reincorporated above ground in the form of a replica. Dating back to 1920, it remained outside the station until 1970, when it was dismantled and taken to Porriño, the home town of the architect Antonio Palacios.
Located between the streets of Montera and Gran Vía, it reproduces the original solution that Palacios designed to mark the access point to the old station as faithfully as possible. The underground thus recovers the great symbolic value it had in the years it was operational.
The reproduction is of the same size as the original design. Its large awning has been built of glass and steel and is completely translucent, allowing light to flood into the lift shaft. A semi-circular arch completes the design, sporting the shield of the city of Madrid, hand-crafted in stone.