Please give my regards to your friend!
Published by Antonio Tajuelo
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Chamberí metro station is a piece of history that Metro de Madrid offers to all visitors, as it does with Nave de Motores de Pacífico.
This is a station that was open from 1919, where Metro de Madrid started operating, and 1966, when it was closed. Recently it has been opened again for visitors. You can visit it on every friday (11h to 13h) or every saturday and sunday (10h to 14h). Entrance is free.
Chamberí station is placed under Plaza de Chamberí. You can come to this place in metro (Iglesia station, line 1).
More information for your visit can be found at Metro de Madrid website.
Coming inside Chamberí station is like travelling in time. This station stopped operating about 50 years ago.
Now, Metro de Madrid is one of the most modern underground systems in the world. In fact, the company exports a lot of its technology and know how to many other cities in the world. When you walk into Chamberí station, you get conscious of all innovations that have been applied to the underground transport system in the last decades.
The first thing you will see in this station is the hall area, where tickets were bought. In the past, tickets were priced differently depending on the route that each passenger would like to make. Price for a ticket ranged from 0.15 and 0.40 peseta cents. Later, and for the most part of Metro de Madrid history, tickets were priced at a fixed rate. From 2012, metro tickets were priced using a variable rate again, depending on how many stations are in your route. These days, metro tickets range from 1.50€ to 2€.
10-ride tickets existed from a long time ago. Now you can pay for 10 rides in a single ticket. However, in the early years of the Metro de Madrid what is now known as "10 ticket" consisted of a small block with 10 single tickets, which were being spent with each trip.
Of course, all these tickets were manually sold by metro employees at the station ticket office. Today the sale of tickets is almost always done automatically, using a multiple language user interface, while metro employees are limited to just providing help when needed or if any machine break. Metro employees work has evolved from performing repetitive and routine ticket sales to a more informative and customer oriented labour.
Here you can see the auxiliary ticket office, only used in rush hours.
The first Metro de Madrid stations, entrances and many building from the first half of XX century were designed by Antonio Palacios. This architect tried to create large and bright spaces inside the stations in order to avoid the possible reluctance from the city folks for using this new transport system at the time.
Travelers should validate their ticket just after its purchase. During the first decades of Metro de Madrid operation, this was another manual process, in a second box office located after the ticket booth. Over the years, ticket validation and access control were automatically done by machines.
In this picture you can see the exit system that Metro de Madrid passengers used in the past. This is a very classic technology, in which the closed gate is unlocked only when a person passes over a metal plate located on the inner side. In this way you get to have an "exit only" door that prevents travelers from entering without purchasing their ticket.
A close look into the ticket booth.
In its opening year (1919), Metro de Madrid line 1 only had8 stations: Sol, Gran Vía (renamed as José Antonio during Francisco Franco's dictatorship), Tribunal, Bilbao, Chamberí, Iglesia, Ríos Rosas and Cuatro Caminos. Line 1 full route was 3.48 km long.
In 2013, Metro de Madrid has 238 stations and 293 kilometers of rails. It is the second most extensive underground network in Europe, after London, and the sixth largest network in the world, after Shanghai, London, New York, Tokyo and Moscow.
In the exit gates there are little bins where travelers could throw their metro tickets after they had been used, so the station hall or exit stairways don't get cluttered.
Stairs down to one of the platforms.
A passage over the rails used to access the platform further away from the main hall. The passage is quite narrow if we compare it with the passages that are used today. The lighting of the tunnels consisted of just lightbulbs.
A very old technique is the usage of small pieces of glass on the steps surface in order to prevent slips and falls on the stairs. This technique has been used for almost the entire history of Metro de Madrid.
Signaling poster in Chamberí station. Metro de Madrid logo design was also made by architect Antonio Palacios. It is a very easily recognizable and practical. It has survived to these days with very little modifications. The design was inspired by the London Underground logo, using a diamond instead of the red circle.
One of the most interesting details in Chamberí station are the old advertisements that can be found on the walls. Metro de Madrid used advertising throughout the twentieth century as a source of additional income.
Initially, advertising was painted on tiles, so the advertisement renewal process long and costly. In the following years, the ads renewal process changed and paper posters glued on top of each other were used.
In the picture you can see an ad for Gal, a company from Madrid in the soap and perfume manufacturing industry.
Chamberí station platform in the photo. Today trains continue to pass by this station. If you are traveling on line 1 of Metro de Madrid, remember to look into the window when you are between Bilbao and Iglesia stations. Trains slightly decrease speed as they pass through this station.
The platforms was the reason for the closure of Chamberí station. With the increase of traffic in the metro line, it was decided to extend the length of the platforms in order to accommodate longer trainsets. Chamberí station was too close to Bilbao and Iglesia stations. Furthermore, it is a curved station. Therefore it was advised against the platforms extension and the station finally became closed.
Platform of Chamberí station.
Classic Philips bulbs ad. "The best in the world" and "Dutch manufacturing" are its main claims. Claims like the first one were very common at the time.
Phone numbers of the time, using only 4 digits, when telephone lines were just installed in Madrid. Very easy to remember.
Purgative waters advertisement from Carabaña, a municipality in the eastern area of the Community of Madrid, famous precisely because of its waters.
Advertisement from El Trust Joyero Internacional. I could not find any information about this company.
Chamberí station is the only abandoned subway station that exists in Madrid. There are other cities, like London, with many more abandoned stations along its network.
I hope you enjoyed knowing more about Chamberí station and I also hope that you visit it if you have a chance ^^.
Please give my regards to your friend!