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 Catalonia . Spain

Barcelona Metro network 2004 © R. Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)Metros in Spain

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Barcelona MetroBarcelona is the capital city of Catalonia and bilingual, Spanish and Catalan. The city itself has some 1.6 million inhabitants with about 3 million in the metropolitan area (including the towns of L'Hospitalet, Cornellà, Esplugues, Sant Joan Despí, Sant Just Desvern, El Prat de Llobregat in the south, Santa Coloma de Gramanet, Sant Adrià de Besòs and Badalona in the north).

The Barcelona rapid transit network is operated by two companies:

1) Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB): city owned transport operators in charge of L1-L5 and L11 and city buses in Barcelona city proper.

2) Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC): owned by the Autonomous Region of Catalonia, in charge of L6-L8 and suburban rail services starting from Pl. Catalunya (Metro del Vallès) and from Pl. Espanya (Metro del Baix Llobregat).

These metro lines are complemented by a network of suburban railways operated by RENFE (Spanish National Rail) on 4 cross-city routes, and the new tram lines running in the north and the south of the metropolitan area, so far without crossing the Barcelona city centre.

Hospital de Bellvitge - Fondo  20.7km, 30 stations
Second oldest line, opened in 1926 as Ferrocarril Metropolitano Transversal de Barcelona, actually designed to connect all mainline railways and therefore built with Spanish gauge (1,672 mm). Still today, L1 (Red Line) runs parallel to RENFE (Spanish State Railways) between Catalunya and Fabra i Puig, and between Plaça de Sants and Torrassa. The first section opened included the stations Bordeta (out of service since 1983), Sans (now Plaça de Sants), Hostafranchs, España, Rocafort, Urgel, Universidad and Cataluña. L1 crosses the entire municipality of L'Hospitalet (Hosp. de Bellvitge - Santa Eulàlia), Barcelona and finally Santa Coloma de Gramanet (Santa Coloma, Fondo). L1 runs on the surface for a short stretch before and after Mercat Nou station. More about L1
Paral.lel - Pep Ventura  13.1km, 17 stations
Newest line, though first sections built in the 1960's. Initially planned to run from Horta to the city centre via Sagrera and Sagrada Família. The project was eventually revamped for the 1992 Olympics, although the line opened only in 1995, with the Horta branch being left with L5. Extended in 1997 it took over the former L4 Pep Ventura branch in 2002. L2 was built with a rigid catenary from the start. L2 runs in Barcelona up to La Pau, then through the small municipality of Sant Adrià de Besòs (Verneda, Artigues) and finally in Badalona. L2 is totally underground. More about L2
Zona Universitària - Canyelles  16.6km, 24 stations
The oldest line, Gran Metro de Barcelona, had initially two branches from Aragón (now Pg. de Gràcia) to Liceo (Liceu) and to Jaime I (Jaume I) and Correos. From 1975 until 1982, the Pueblo Seco (now Paral.lel) - Zona Universitària stretch was operated independently as line IIIB, as only this stretch was equipped with third rail power supply, the original strech having an overhead wire. As with all the other lines, the third rail was replaced by a rigid catenary in 2001-2003. L3 runs entirely within the Barcelona city boundaries. L3 is totally underground. More about L3
Trinitat Nova - La Pau  16.7km, 22 stations
L4 includes an old stretch between Pg. de Gràcia and Barceloneta, which was initially a branch of L3. Until 2002, L4 continued to Badalona (now L2). At Trinitat Nova, shared platform with L11. L4 runs entirely within the Barcelona city boundaries. L4 is totally underground. More about L4
Cornellà Centre - Horta  16.6km, 23 stations
L5 was designed as a second transversal line to relieve L1. The Sagrada Família - Horta section was initially built for L2 and temporarily linked to L5, but eventually remained part of it. In the 1960's the first section from Sagrera to Vilapiscina was operated automatically. L5 has always had overhead power supply. L5 starts in Cornellà ( - Sant Ildefons), runs through L'Hospitalet (with Can Vidalet on the border to Esplugues) until Collblanc, and then in Barcelona. L5 runs on the surface for a short stretch east of Can Boixeres station. More about L5
Pl. Catalunya - Reina Elisenda  7km, 13 stations (incl. L7)
Urban service on the Sarrià Line, in mixed traffic with suburban trains (Metro del Vallès) between Pl. Catalunya and Sarrià. Sant Gervasi, Bonanova and Tres Torres station only served by L6 and S5/S55 trains. Uses track 1 (southernmost) at Pl. Catalunya, and both western tracks at Sarrià. L6 is totally underground. More about L6
Pl. Catalunya - Av. Tibidabo  (see L6)
Urban service on Tibidabo branch running under Balmes street (also called Línia de Balmes). Uses track 2 at Pl. Catalunya and outer tracks at Gràcia. Single track terminus at Av. Tibidabo, where transfer is possible to Tramvia Blau, a vintage tram. L7 is totally underground. More about L7
Pl. Espanya - Molí Nou/Ciutat Cooperativa  12km, 9 stations
Urban service on the 1000m gauge line from Pl. Espanya to Sant Boi and Molí Nou. Confusing timetable with many S-labelled lines stopping at the same stations. Starts on the right bank of the Llobregat river, which it crosses on a bridge just after leaving Sant Boi; about 500m further east trains go underground for the rest of the journey through Cornellà (Cornellà-Riera, Almeda), L'Hospitalet (L,H., Sant Josep, Gornal, Ildefons Cerdà) and Barcelona. More about L8
Trinitat Nova - Can Cuiàs 2.1km, 5 stations
This is a single track underground line with double track at Torre Baró/Vallbona to allow train crossing. Trains (2 cars only) used are similar to those on L2, and the tunnel was built to full metro standards so it can be upgraded later if considered necessary. From June 2004, after platform screen doors have been added, the line will be operated automatically. Construction of this long claimed extension began in spring 2001 and the line was opened in Dec. 2003. (More details with photos here). Serving the areas of Ciutat Meridiana in Barcelona and Can Cuiàs in the neighbouring Montcada i Reixac. L11 is on the surface for a short stretch around Torré Baró/Vallbona station. More about L11

Total network length (2004): 102km, 140 stations

L3 Liceu L1 Santa Eulàlia Artigues - St. Adrià © DAVOR L4 Trinitat Nova L8 Pl. Espanya

30 Dec. 1924 - L3 Catalunya - Lesseps (Gran Metro)
10 June 1926 - L1 Bordeta (now closed) - Catalunya (Metro Transversal)
19 Dec. 1926 - L4 Aragón (now Passeig de Gràcia) - Jaume I (Gran Metro branch)
for more details see special HISTORY page.

18 Feb 1992 - L1 Santa Coloma - Fondo
25 Sep 1995 - L2 Sant Antoni - Sagrada Família
06 Jan 1996 - L2 Sant Antoni - Paral.lel
20 Sep 1997 - L2 Sagrada Família - La Pau
27 Oct 1999 - L4 Via Júlia (formerly Roquetes) - Trinitat Nova
21 Sep 2001 - L3 Montbau - Canyelles
01 Oct 2002 - L2 La Pau - Pep Ventura became part of L2 (previously L4)
04 Aug 2003 - L4 El Maresme | Fòrum station added
14 Dec 2003 - L11 Trinitat Nova - Can Cuiàs


In 2000, the Barcelona Transport Authority (ATM) approved the metro expansion plan for the next 10 years which includes several line extensions and a new 43km line L9/L10.

Currently under construction:

- L5: Horta - Vall d'Hebron (3 stations) > late 2006
- L3: Canyelles - Trinitat Nova (2 stations) > late 2006
- L9: In spring 2002, construction began on the first section of the new semicircular L9, from Sagrera-Meridiana (L1, L5) to Can Zam and Gorg (L2) > late 2005
- L2: Pep Ventura - Badalona Centre - construction beginning autumn 2004 for completion in late 2006

For more extensions see special PROJECTS page.

 Practical Info

Monday - Thursday 5:00 - 24:00; Friday & Saturday and day before public holidays 5:00 - 2:00; Sundays 5:00 - 24:00

Daytime frequency - every 4 - 6 minutes, evenings & Sundays - every 6 - 9 minutes

Very well signposted, just find out the name of the last station on the line you want to take and you'll know the direction you have to follow. All trains run from one end to the other of the line at any time and stop at all stations.

Fares (2006)

Bitllet senzill Single ticket valid for one trip on bus, metro or FGC urban lines (no transfer between bus and metro).
1.20 EUR
T-1O 10 rides, valid on Barcelona city buses, the metro, RENFE Rodalies or the FGC urban lines in Zone 1. Free transfer between different modes within 1 hour 15 min.
6.65 EUR
T-Mes Unlimited travel for one month within zone 1 on all buses (including NitBus - night bus), metro, FGC trains and RENFE Rodalies (Suburban Rail). To buy this ticket you need a Transport ID Card available at information offices at "Sants-Estació", "Universitat" and "Sagrada Família".
42.75 EUR
T-Dia 1 day travelcard for unlimited travel in all modes
5.00 EUR
2 Dies, 3 Dies, 4 Dies, 5 Dies Same conditions as T-Mes for 2, 3, 4 or 5 days, but ONLY valid on buses and metro, and FGC trains!

2 days - 9.20
3 days - 13.20
4 days - 16.80
5 days - 20.00

The new zonal fare system introduced at the beginning of 2001 offers a tremendous discount for passengers using the T-10 strip card, which substitutes the traditional T-1 ticket, which has always been the most popular. Now you can change as often as you like (you may only pass the metro, FGC or Renfe gates once) for only half a euro. Until now you had to pay again when you transfered from one bus to another or to the metro.
During 2001, the new fare system is being expanding to the entire metropolitan area with six semi-circle zones. Zone 1 is not only Barcelona city and its adjacent municipalities, but it stretches out to Montgat and Montcada in the north and to Castelldefels in the south (except Renfe stations Aeroport, Viladecans, Gavà and Castelldefels).

Automatic ticket vending machines are located at almost all metro entrances, there is at least one manned ticket office in every station.


Metros in SpainSchwandl, Robert: METROS IN SPAIN. The Underground Railways of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao.
Capital Transport Publishing, London, July 2001- ISBN 1854142429 More info

Salmerón i Bosch, Carles: EL METRO DE BARCELONA: Història del ferrocarril metropolità de Barcelona.- Els Trens de Catalunya, Barcelona, 1992.
Salmerón i Bosch, Carles: EL METRO DE BARCELONA - II: Història i tècnica.- Els Trens de Catalunya, Barcelona, 1992.
These two volumes (in Catalan) give very detailed information on all aspects of the Barcelona Metro. They inlude many black & white photographs.

Transports de Barcelona (ed.): ELS TRANSPORTS A L'ÀREA DE BARCELONA. Diligències, tramvies, autobusos i metro. - TMB, Barcelona, 1986. Very well illustrated book (text in Catalan) showing the development of urban transport in the metropolitan area of Barcelona.

Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (ed.): ELS NOMS DE LES ESTACIONS DEL METRO. - TMB, Barcelona, 1988. Explains the origin of station names (in Catalan) station by station (with colour photographs). Also published in Spanish.

Direcció General de Transports (Generalitat de Catalunya): METRO DE BARCELONA: Manual de Senyalització. - Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona, 1984. This book gave the guidelines for the new metro image in 1984 when lots of stations were renamed into Catalan.

Cabana, F.: ESTACIONS. - Lunwerg Editores, 1998. ISBN 84-7782-522-X A kind of photo album of the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, including both underground and surface stations in and around Barcelona (in Catalan with Spanish and English summary).


ATM-TransMet (Autoritat del Transport Metropolità) - includes description of new projects

Network Map (incl. all railway services in and around Barcelona - pdf from FGC Site)

TMB - Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona - Official Metro Page incl. maps (gif or pdf)

FGC - Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya - Catalan Railways Suburban Service (Metro del Vallès and Metro del Baix Llobregat) (Website about transport in Catalonia, incl. all current public transport projects)

RENFE Rodalies (Cercanías) - Spanish National Railways Suburban Service / S-Bahn

WEFER - by Marçal Guardiola (Metro and other Spanish Rail) by Òscar Ureña i Serrano

El Metro de Barcelona - by Theo Campos, listing rolling stock and other interesting details

áreaBCN - by Sergio Juárez incl. all transport in the Barcelona metropolitan area

PTP - Associació per a la Promoció del Transport Públic

Tram Barcelona Tram(Official Site)

Tram Barcelona Tram on UrbanRail.Net (Everything about Barcelona's new tram lines)

L11 Trinitat Nova L6 Sarrià L3 Mundet L3 Valldaura Canyelles
-- May 2004: Trambesòs opened from Glòries to St. Adrià de Besòs
-- 3 April 2004: Trambaix (modern tram line) opened from Francesc Macià to Cornellà
-- 14 Dec 2003: L11 finally opened from Trinitat Nova to Can Cuiàs; Cornellà (L5) renamed Cornellà Centre, Feixa Llarga (L1) renamed Hospital de Bellvitge
-- 3 Nov 2003: U6, U7 and S3 changed to L6, L7 and L8
-- 4 Aug 2003: El Maresme-Fòrum station opened on L4 - first station in Barcelona to be added along an existing line
-- 1 Oct 2002: L2 now runs from Paral.lel to Pep Ventura. Joan XXIII station renamed Artigues - Sant Adrià (See photos)
-- 1 July - 30 Sept 2002: L4 Selva de Mar - Pep Ventura closed to link section La Pau - Pep Ventura to L2; on L4 a new station called Maresme-Fòrum is being added between Selva de Mar and Besòs Mar (2004)
-- 23 June 2002: construction on L9 officially started from Sagrera-Meridiana to Can Zam in Santa Coloma, with a branch to Gorg in Badalona
-- 16 May 2002: service extended until 24:00 also on L1
-- April 2002: Bid invited for L5 extension from Horta to Vall d'Hebron (L3)
-- early 2002: L1 power supply changed from third rail to rigid overhead wire
-- late 2001: Construction preparation on L9 (both northern branches) started
-- 1 Nov 2001: Service extended until 24:00 on all metro (except L1 and L4), FGC and most Renfe Rodalies (to Mataró, Granollers, Vilanova, Martorell and Terrassa) lines.
-- 21 Sept. 2001: L3 extension Montbau - Canyelles taken into service (see special photo gallery)
-- July 2001: new trains ordered for L5
-- 7 July 2001: Construction of "Light Metro" (metro lleuger) Trinitat Nova - Can Cuiàs officially started
-- 30 June 2000: Construction of L3 extension to Canyelles advances
-- 15 June 2000: ATM decided alignment for new L9 which will also run to the airport
-- 27 April 2000:
-- from 1 Jan. 2001 the Barcelona metropolitan area will be divided into 6 zones and the same ticket can be used for all kinds of transport, rail and buses, serving a population of approximately 4 million.
- Contracts for the construction of a modern tram line, Trambaix, from Plaça Francesc Macià to Esplugues, Cornellà, Sant Joan Despí and Sant Feliu awarded to a consortium led by Alstom and FCC (16.8 km with 35 stops, partly single track, Alstom's Citadis trams). Scheduled to open early 2003.
-- Feb. 2000
- Construction of a light metro from Trinitat Nova (L4) to Can Cuiàs north of Ciutat Meridiana could start in summer 2000. This single track underground line with 5 stations might be converted into a full metro later.
- Lines 1, 3 and 4 will be equipped with a rigid overhead wire.
- A 2.5 km long extension of Line 5 from Horta to Vall d'Hebron (with two very deep intermediate stations at Carmel, 31 m deep, and Teixonera-Coll, 70m! deep) is in advanced planning stage and construction might start in spring 2001 although financing hasn't been settled yet.
-- from January 2000, RENFE suburban trains may be used with the T-Mes (monthly pass) and T-Dia (1-day-pass) tickets within zone 1.
-- Line 4 Extension to Trinitat Nova (700m, 1 station) opened 27 October 1999. Roquetes renamed into Via Júlia.
-- In May 1999 the Barcelona Metro extension program for 2000-2010 was approved.
-- Construction work on a L3 extension from Montbau to Canyelles (with two intermediate stations, Llars Mundet and Valldaura) started in April 1999.
-- Construction work for L4 extension from Roquetes to Trinitat Nova (1 station) started in summer 1998 (decision taken by Catalan Government in March 1998) and should open by the end of 1999. The new section actually runs through a former yard which is now transfered to a new yard built in the 'Triangle ferroviari' accessible from La Pau (L2, L4).
-- From summer 1998 the Barcelona Metro operates until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
-- During 1998 network maps have been installed inside all trains next to the doors to make orientation easier while you're travelling.

2004 © UrbanRail.Net by Robert Schwandl.