Madrid´s “Ghost” Metro Station Reopens For Visitors

Madrid’s ghost metro station is reopening as a museum this week after a full-scale restoration to bring the past back to life.

The time capsule metro station of Chamberi on Madrid´s line 1 between Bilbao and Iglesia stops dates back over a century has been in disuse since the 1960s.

Visitors will be able to glimpse into what madrileños of the past would have been seeing on their daily commute complete with advertisements from the period.

The station was one of eight original stations on the Metro’s first line, which was opened in 1919, running for four kilometers, from Cuarto Caminos to Puerta del Sol.

Madrid´s metro system was a comparative late starter compared to many others in Europe but today can boast the third largest network behind London and Paris.

During the turbulent years of the Spanish Civil War, the station provided shelter from the deadly aerial bombing campaigns and artillery barrages of the approaching Nationalist forces.

After the war the line 1 was extended and the station platforms lengthened, but because Chamberi was built on a curve and close to both Bilbao and Iglesia, lengthening the station’s platform proved pointless and it was in 1966.

However, the line still went through and and trains continued to pass though the station itself fell into disrepair.

It was not until 15 years ago that efforts began to rehabilitate the station into a museum chronicling the history of the Madrid Metro.

The museum station was finally opened in 2008, as Andén 0, or “Platform Zero,” featuring  a fully restored Chamberí, complete with original ticket offices, turnstiles and Madrid metro maps from the period.

The main attraction, however, is found in the beautifully restored tile lining of the walls of the platform, as well as period ads including those of the Philips, Agua de Carabaña and the Trust Joyero brand advertisements.

The latest round of remodelling brings the final touches to bring out the original beauty of the station designed by one of Madrid´s great architects, Antonio Palacios.

Last year Madrid´s regional premier opened the newly restored Gran Via station featuring its impressive art deco entrance which was the centre piece of Palacios´s work.



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