The Community of Madrid invests more than 26 million to renovate the track on Metro line 1 between Sol and Valdecarros

The Governing Council today agreed to renew the track superstructure of the southern section of Metro Line 1, between the Sol and Valdecarros stations, for more than 26 million euros and with a completion period of 10 months

The Community of Madrid will comprehensively improve lines operation with these works, which will reduce train journey times, improve comfort, provide greater technological features that will increase reliability of the facilities and optimise route work and maintenance costs, among other actions.

The project approved consists of removing the ballast (traditional stones that can be seen in some sections of the route) and existing wooden sleepers, replacing them with a new concrete platform to renew the rail anchor and support systems, and new high-tech track devices (that manage crossings or branches) will be installed. This system modernisation leads to improved reduction of noise and vibrations. The entire route drainage system and geometry will also be optimised, which will improve maintenance and reduce incidents.

In total, work will be carried out on more than 13 kilometres of the route. The contract is divided into two lots: the first for the complete renovation of L1 between Sol and Atocha, and the second for the stations of Atocha and Valdecarros.

Works are scheduled to start at the end of March. In the first phase, which will last approximately three months, a series of preliminary works will be carried out at night and without affecting service on the line. In a second phase, estimated to take a maximum of 129 days, Metro service between Sol and Valdecarros must be interrupted as the work is incompatible with the running of trains. This part of the work will coincide with the summer period, when fewer passengers use the network.

In order to alleviate the inconvenience to users, the Community of Madrid will provide a free replacement bus service that will cover the affected section of the route. Once service is reopened, in a final phase estimated to take another three months, work will again take place at night to finish polishing the work carried out.

Track renewal is not the only action planned. At the same time, while these works are being carried out, there are also plans to work on overhead line installations and the signalling system. In addition, asbestos will also be removed from the infrastructure where necessary.

The action is part of the comprehensive plan for the complete renovation and improvement of Line 1, which in 2022 accounted for 82 million journeys, making it the second busiest line in the network (after Line 6). Once the phase that has now been awarded has been completed, further work is planned on the line, possibly in 2024, to renew the track on the section between Chamartín and Sol stations.

A century-old line

Line 1 was the first Metro network line to be built and put into service in 1919. In its more than 100 years of history, numerous improvement and remodelling works have been carried out both in its tunnels and stations, highlighting the extension of platforms in the sixties or recent tunnel consolidation works carried out in 2016.

Specifically, in the summer of that year, the tunnel was waterproofed and consolidated on the section between Cuatro Caminos and Portazgo, in addition to replacing the conventional catenary (from which the train takes the electrical energy needed to operate) with a rigid one between Plaza Castilla and Sierra de Guadalupe stations.

This intervention required highly complex engineering and assembly work to adapt 21st century commercial solutions to the peculiarities of a tunnel built in the early 20th century. Once installation of the rigid catenary on this section was completed, the entire overhead line system of Line 1 was transformed to this system. For these works, the Community of Madrid earmarked 37 million euros.