The Madrid regional head, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, yesterday, Thursday 15th July, inaugurated the newly renovated Gran Vía Metro station, complete with its replica of the former Art Deco granite entrance, opened in 1917, by the architect Antonio Palacios, including the original lions who guard the city.
The 10.7 million Euro reconstruction project has taken over 3 years, and will see the station double in size to become a hub for an expected 66,000 passengers a day on the line 1 and 5 metro lines.
In addition a new underground walkway leads directly to the nearby Sol mainline commuter and metro station.
The new station has been expanded to include four new lifts, 13 escalators, voice-recognition ticketing and tactile ticket-vending screens, and a museum space, housing the important historical finds treasures that were discovered during the renovation work.
In her opening remarks Diaz Ayuso said that before its closure in August 2018, more than 16 million passengers used the station which she pointed out is ” the population of Andalucia and Catalunia combined and more than the populations of Belgium, Portugal or Greece”.
The Gran Vía station was one of the original 8 stations that comprised the Madrid Metro, which was inaugurated in October 1919, by King Alfonso XIII.
Today it is the third largest metro system in Europe after London and Paris and comprises 302 stations and 290 km of track.
Over the years it has had different names, starting life as Red de San Luis, then Gran Via before an interlude as José Antonio under Franco in homage to the Falangist leader Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, before returning to Gran Via in 1984 .