As you ride on Metro Line 1, you may be catch a glimpse of an eerie abandoned station between the Iglesia and Bilbao metro stops. That was once the Chamberí Metro Station.
Inaugurated on October 17, 1919, it was one of the eight stations that originally formed the underground railway network in Madrid. The architect and designer Antonio Palacios was inspired by the look of the Parisian stations of the time, managing to mitigate the possible reluctance of the public to use the subway through the use of bright, colorful and bright spaces in contact with travelers, halls, tunnels and platform step finishes massively tiled using white ceramic pieces. Its design meets the criteria of functionality, simplicity and economy. Many metro stations during the Civil War were used as warehouses and makeshift shelters for citizens during air raids.
In the 1960’s, due to increased passenger traffic, Madrid Metro decided to extend stations on Line 1 to commission new trains of greater capacity. Thus, the platforms of all stations were extended from 60 meters to 90 meters. Given the technical impossibility of extending the station Chamberí for its curve and proximity to Bilbao and Iglesia stops, the Ministry of Public Works decided to close the Chamberí Station on May 21, 1966.
The station remained unused for over forty years, reducing its speed trains as they passed through its facilities, in which the platforms were cut to facilitate the movement. The fact that external access had been walled allowed the conservation of many of the everyday objects of its period, such as billboards, lathes and even ticket stubs in the bins. However, the station eventually was vandalized.
On 31 August 2006, the restoration of facilities began with the idea of converting it into a museum. On March 25, 2008 it was finally inaugurated and reopened as one of the two locations of Andén 0, the second interpretation center of Metro Madrid. The other Metro museum is located at Nave de Motores on Calle de Valderribas, 49, which includes more of the history of the trains used and the technology of metro systems.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. Saturday & Sunday 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Location: Plaza de Chamberí
Transportation: Metro Bilbao/Iglesia. Buses 3, 40, and 147.