es-Madrid metro sol gran via link-M A Navarro

Photo: Mariano Álvaro Navarro

SPAIN: A pedestrian subway has been opened in central Madrid to link the underground suburban station at Sol with Gran Vía on metro lines 1 and 5.

The surface entrances of the two hubs are approximately 400 m apart, and until recently transfer between the two required a walk along the pedestrianised Calle de la Montera. Passengers interchanging between the two networks can now use a subterranean passage which is expected to handle up to 22 000 people per day.

The 100 m long, 5∙5 m wide subway was excavated when the second cross-city tunnel was being built to carry main line and regional services between Chamartín and Atocha. The RENFE Cercanías station at Sol was opened on June 27 2009, but it was not until this year that ADIF decided to complete the link.

The infrastructure manager has invested €3∙18m fitting out the passage, installing wall and surface coverings designed to repel attacks by vandals, as well as ventilation, fire detection, alarm and extinguishing systems, lighting and signage.

The link incorporates four moving walkways, which are inclined as there is a 12 m height difference between the two stations. A new concourse has been provided at the Sol end, equipped with ticket vending machines and barriers.

Completion of the subway complements the renovation of Gran Vía station by Metro de Madrid, which has been underway since 2018 at a cost of €11m. The station was closed in August 2018 to facilitate the expansion of the main concourse area and the completion of accessibility works to provide step free access throughout the station, along with the installation of technology to assist visually-impaired travellers.

The metro station has 14 new ticket vending machines, all equipped with large screens and designed for contactless transactions. They also incorporate video screens through which passengers can receive assistance in real time.