THE OPENING of the 3·1 km extension of Line 1 from Congosto to Valdecarros on May 16 at a cost of €257·6m marked completion of the metro projects contained within Madrid's 2003-07 expansion plan, which has seen 90 km of routes built at a cost of €4·4bn. With regional government elections scheduled for May 27, still to enter service were the three light rail routes connecting Colonia Jardín with Boadilla del Monte and Pozuelo de Alarcón, and linking Pinar del Chamartín with Las Tablas.

The President of the regional government, Esperanza Aguirre, had opened the 12 km extension of Line 7 from Las Musas on May 5. Built at a cost of €650m, it has eight stations including the new terminus at Hospital del Henares which is to open at the same time as the new medical facility it will serve. May 3 saw the opening of a 2·5 km extension of Line 8 from Barajas to the new Terminal 4 at Barajas Airport, built at a cost of €58·5m. The terminal has been used by an average of 74 000 passengers a day during its first year of operations, and its new metro station is expected to be used by 20 000 passengers a day.

At 15·7 km, the longest metro route in the 2003-07 programme opened on April 26, comprising MetroNorte from Las Tablas to Hospital del Norte and the extension of Line 10 from Fuencarral to Las Tablas. With a total of 11 stations, MetroNorte serves a population of 184 000 residents and cost €784·5m to build using three tunnel boring machines. The shaft sunk to remove two TBMs at Marqués de la Valdavia has been incorporated in the final station design to provide a view down to the platforms.