Metro Bilbao

The Bilbao Metro is the subway the tenth largest city in Spain, Bilbao, and was opened in 1995. She is currently (2009 ) consists of two lines and is operated by a company of the same name. The network has meter gauge is 43.31 km long and serves 40 stations. Soon, the network will be expanded to 45 km with 41 stations.

  • 2.1 First thoughts Games in their twenties
  • 2.2 Large growth leads to new plans
  • 2.3 Construction and opening
  • 2.4 Step by step towards the south
  • 2.5 A second subway line

Line network

The 43.31 km long network has 24 underground stations and 16 on the surface. All stations have disabled access.

Metro Bilbao is the main mode of transport of the metropolitan area of Bilbao. It is not only for inner-city, but also for the regional traffic of central importance because it connects Bilbao and its suburbs. Furthermore, there is since 2002 a tramway in Bilbao with the name EuskoTran. As a supplement also serve the suburban railways of the three operating companies Cercanías Renfe, EuskoTren and feve. In addition, there are two bus companies called Bizkaibus and Bilbobus that serve as a supplement to rail transport. The Consorcio de Transportes de Bizkaia is responsible as the supervisory body works as well as for ticket sales and its regulation as a collective group.

The Metro operates daily from 6:00 to about 23:00 clock clock. On Fridays, the operation will be extended to 2:00 clock and Saturdays the metro leaves every half hour all night. In the off-peak time is on the two outer sections, a 10 - to 20 -minute intervals, during low traffic time clock five to seven minutes. During peak time there departs approximately every five minutes a train. By focusing on the section line San Inazio - Etxebarri each doubling of the clock.


By always new extensions and route openings in densely populated areas ridership of Metro Bilbao rose steadily. In the second year of the Metro, the red-black- silver trains carried 31 million passengers already. The following year, the value jumped to 41 million. In 2002, the operators were among 66 million. In 2003, the 70 - million mark with the value of 72.6 million passengers transported could be achieved in 2004, the value increased only slightly to 73 million.

The station most widely used of Bilbao, the metro network is Abando with 6.2 million passengers counted, directly followed Casco Viejo with 6.1 million. Both are located in the city of Bilbao. The least used stations are particularly found on the old suburban route; the line runs through there too thinly populated areas. The lowest value of the scoring Lutxana station with 202 107 passengers, followed by Lamiako with 320 505.


Metro Bilbao is a closed system with access barriers along the lines of the London Underground. The ticket with a magnetic strip must be read when entering and leaving the platform at a lock.

The line network is divided into three zones. In addition to the usual single tickets ( " Billete ocasional " ), round-trip tickets ( " Ida y vuelta " - Price as two individual cards), day passes ( " Billete dia" ) are also available for tourists with the " Creditrans " ticket a favorable and easy way, next to the metro, the tram EuskoTran ( Tranvía de Bilbao), the buses of Bilbobus and Bizkaibus the Ascensor de La Salve, the Funicular de Artxanda, to use the Puente de Vizcaya (or Puente Colgante ) and the Autobuses de Lujua. The map available for 5, 10 or 15 euros can be recharged in 5 euro steps. The price of a ride is about 50 percent cheaper (eg single ticket € 0.69 compared to € 1.40).

Architecture and Design

Especially by the design of the individual stations, the Metro Bilbao is known in the underground world. Here, the star architect Norman Foster and his team not only left a few impressive stations like in London on the Jubilee Line, but he designed a completely new subway line. He succeeded also in response to integrate them into the already existing route to plentzia.

Foster used in the stations almost exclusively in the postmodern very latest materials such as steel, concrete and glass. The architect thus pursued three main points of his concept: simplicity, functionality and aesthetics. This can be distinguished among other things, that the stations Foster spacious and well designed, it should also not interfere eye-catching elements. It should also, as far as was possible, the incidence of natural light and are made ​​possible. The stations should be possible not only to save energy at the surface, but also as soon as possible and be accessible without large detours. Generally, the free accessibility has been paid great attention to every station. The Metro Bilbao already received several awards, including the GIMM Award, which was awarded due to its excellent accessibility for wheelchair users and parents with prams and the like since its inception.

As the most striking feature of his station designs Norman Foster designed shell-shaped entrances, which soon received the name " Fosterito " in the vernacular. They are without doubt the most striking in the new Bilbao, Metro system. Foster already won in 1988 for his design of the Brunel Award for Railway Architecture. From the passenger is not usually appreciated, the company received Aqaba from Irun, which manufactured the benches in the individual stations, in November 2000, the National Prize of Industrial Design from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology.

The corporate design including the logo of the new Metro Bilbao developed the designer Otl Aicher, Michael Weiss and Hans Brucklacher. For all materials the transport company, the colors red, black, gray and white are used. This allows a clear structure, which in turn serves the simplicity compared to the passenger. The logo is in contrast to the other three Spanish metro systems no red, square sign with a blue bar. In Bilbao, it consists of three partially overlapping red rings. These represent, according to the transport company, the movement of public transport dar. Otl Aicher developed for the Metro the font Rotis Semi Sans, which is used on all publications and directions for use.


First thoughts Games in their twenties

On October 17, 1919, the Spanish King Alfonso XIII opened. the first Spanish metro network in the capital Madrid. The second largest city in the country, Barcelona followed, a little later in 1924 with the inauguration of the Gran Metropolitano de Barcelona. The Basque city of Bilbao, traditionally set very locally patriotic wanted, not the rear pending and also drew up plans for a first underground subway line. You should from the major train Atxuri - then as now the starting point of trains to Gernika, San Sebastian and Bermeo - lead over Basurto station Abando, which has become by several other closings and relocations to today's quasi- central railway station of the city. End here and start today, among other trains to Orduna, Santander, Oviedo and Madrid. Due to financial problems, but also because of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, pursued neither the city council nor the government these plans.

Huge growth leads to new plans

After an economic crisis hit Spain in the 1940s and early 1950s, this could be overcome by a radical economic reform until the 1960s again. During this time we also spoke of a " Spanish economic miracle." Consequently, the population increased disproportionately, which in turn attracted large traffic problems. Neither the existing road nor the rail network in Bilbao were designed for larger populations, also in 1964 been shut down the last line of the tram. It was founded in 1971 under the direction of the Basque Government, the City Council of Bilbao and the Chamber of Commerce, the Comisión de Comunicaciones de Vizcaya, which aimed to coordinate the existing traffic and regulate. In addition, they should develop new solutions to existing problems.

Then, too, came back the construction of a subway, or at least a busy in high clock -speed rail line to the language. Generally several alternatives for a route were discussed. As a network variants were in Y-shaped and alternatively considered two separate lines. In addition, the questions had to be answered, how many river crossings should give it and how to connect the different neighborhoods and communities of Bilbao should look like. At the time the Commission set out the future Key data for the high-speed railway line. The main lines should be in contrast to the Spanish narrow gauge network of 1,000 millimeters and the Spanish broad gauge of 1674 millimeters have the standardized European standard gauge of 1435 mm. The future 115 meter platforms should accommodate trains with five cars, which should drive up to 80 kilometers per hour. Even then, it established a catenary at a voltage of 1500 volts for the power supply.

In 1975, the responsibilities for planning at the newly founded Consorcio de Transportes de Vizcaya were transferred. Two years later the plan called " Plan de Construcción de la red de ferrocarril metropolitano de Bilbao " was approved ( blueprint for the railway from Bilbao). However, these plans fell by the onset of democratization of Spain to a standstill. During this time, a complete reconstruction of the state apparatus was needed. At the same time, the Madrid central government of the province of the Basque Country conceded considerable autonomy rights.

In 1981, the autonomous government came to the conclusion that the previous version of the metro network is not sufficient to solve the traffic problems. In 1985 he was a complete Neuüberarbeitung of the project and in 1987 the building permit subway line Casco Viejo - plentzia. The existing since 1887, driven by the Basque government railway suburban route Lutxana - plentzia should, as already proposed in the 1970s, will be integrated into the new track. Due to financial savings, it was decided to transfer the used on the old suburban railway narrow gauge of 1000 millimeters on the metro.

Construction and opening

Before the actual start of construction, the " Ingeniería del Metro de Bilbao, SA" ( IMEBISA ) was founded, which was responsible for the coordination and subway construction. You should also vote at the same time the schedule with the Basque State Railways ( EuskoTren ), as these had to transfer their rights under the distance setting. In 1988, together with a renewal of the old town of the same name Erandio station was placed on the suburban line in the ground. In the same year the city of Bilbao exclaimed an international architectural competition for the design of the new metro.

1989 began the first construction in the city center of Bilbao for the new tunnel route, including the ramp to the suburban railway, which is located near the Ascao road. The stations were built as close as possible to the surface, which in particular has savings of braking and start-up energy result. The soil in and around Bilbao consists mainly of clay, sand, quartz, as well as from a large number of rocks, which are, however, due to its location just dig. Main advantage of the New Austrian Tunnelling Method largely used in the soil conditions in Bilbao was that not the entire city had to be torn open. It filed a " input", Plaza Moyua, as well as a " starting " near San Nicolás. The Cut - and-cover method (" dig and cover " ), however, was used for longer road sections with deeper rocks.

For the two sub- crossings of the Ría de Bilbao, which meanders through the city, two methods were used. Presented for the river crossing between San Mames Deusto and the construction companies on a provisional drydock at Deusto two 86 meters long, 11 meters wide and 7.5 meters high caissons ago that were slowly lowered into the riverbed. For the other crossing the Nervión this method was not an option as they do not stand the possibility of Trockendockerrichtung available. In addition, the flow at this point is too narrow. The river bed is there mostly of rock, but also of permeable gravel that was compacted for construction work, so including a tunnel could be drilled.

On 1 October 1993, the Metro Bilbao, SA was founded, the future operator of the underground organization. Shortly before the opening of the subway in November 1995 put the company on November 1 EuskoTren operating on the route Lutxana - plentzia silent, so that they could be legally transferred to the Metro Bilbao transport companies on 10 November.

The Basque Prime Minister - - On 11 November 1995, the Lehendakari opened José Antonio Ardanza solemnly the new Metro line between Casco Viejo and plentzia, which was a total of 26 miles long and included 23 stations. So now took to Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, the fourth Spanish city subway system in operation. The opening of the Metro was another high point in the redevelopment and revitalization of the city of Bilbao dar. This is still suffering under the coal and steel crisis of the 1980s. Thus came after the Bilbao Metro, the construction of the world famous Museo Guggenheim Bilbao and the Euskalduna venue. At the same time but also big transformation and renovation work in the city center took place.

The stations of the new tunnel route were completely designed by star architect Norman Foster and his team. New main feature in the city should especially be the inputs to the Metro, in the vernacular gave them the nickname " Fosterito ". Foster used in its design mainly concrete, steel and glass.

Step by step towards the south

On 24 June 1996, the aboveground stopover Gobela that lies between the stations Areeta and Neguri, opened with a central platform. Six months later, there also took an elevator to the operation.

Only two years after the opening of the metro line, more precisely since July 5, 1997, the operation of the Metro line extended to three stations from the south. The new stations Santutxu and Basarrate operate so that the located on the eastern half of the city Nerviónufer. Same results at the terminus Bolueta the two-kilometer extension of a comfortable transfer possibility for regional transport of EuskoTren towards Lemoa, Bermeo and San Sebastián.

Another compound in the south there is since 8 January 2005. Since that day, the Metro Bilbao crosses two viaducts the Nervión a kilometer to Bilbao, suburb Etxebarri where a sewage treatment plant and a steel mill of the European group Arcelor is. The station, which is equipped like all the stations of the Metro Bilbao also with lifts, has two side platforms.

A second subway line

Already in the first plans for a rapid transit Bilbao, was intended to open up the north-western side of the river also. Also in 1995 was the construction of a metro fixed there. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Linienast with five stations, which should branch off the three-pronged Station San Inazio, took place in spring 1997.

Since the Abzweigungsbahnhof located on the right bank of the Nervión, crossing under the river was again necessary. Here even one of the widest points had been selected. However, the tunneling of two lying on the planned route peninsulas this very simplified. Also, the above-average station distance between San Inazio train stations and the first new station Gurutzeta / Cruces made ​​it possible to lay the tunnel under the water very deep with 45 meters. During the construction of the tunnel under the river as well as in the rest of the track construction companies used mainly the already proven New Austrian Tunnelling Method. Some of the cut- and-cover method was used again.

The architectural design of the new road section took over again Norman Foster. The new stations thus not differ significantly from those of the parent track in their appearance. The only major exception is the Ansio station, which was built in an open design with a large daylight.

On 13 April 2002, the new rail section went with the new stations Gurutzeta / Cruces, Ansio, Barakaldo, Bagatza and Urbinaga in operation. The 5.9 km long route has since been navigated by a separate, marked black line with the number 2. It serves the entire section and then moves on to the main line, together with the Line 1 to the common terminus Etxebarri. Look at the passenger on the railway network of the Greater Bilbao, the parallel transport between the new line 2 and the RENFE line to Santurtzi falls on. However, the construction of the metro is justified by the high population density of the local region and the much larger distance between stops on the suburban railway.

On 8 January 2005, an extension of the line to one mile and a railway station was further north to Sestao, almost exactly two years later, on 20 January 2007, the line was extended by a further two stations to Portugalate on 4 July 2009 to Santurtzi. 2011 will go Kabiezes until then final terminus metro line 2.

Metro Bilbao is currently used types of trains of the series UT -500 and UT -550. The transport company has 24 trains of the first series and the second thirteen. In addition, the operator has fourteen operating and auxiliary traits. All of the cars are regularly located in the maintenance workshop Sopelana, between the stations Sopelana and Urduliz, waiting.

The first sixteen vessels which 501-516 are numbered UT, provided the two companies CAF and ABB Henschel until November 1995. A train of the Metro is a four tier and completely accessible. Inside are 2 2 seats each vis -à-vis in the colors of the Corporate Design - Red and Grey - arranged. A prison is a total of 72.12 meters long, 3.85 meters high and 2.80 meters wide. This is the Metro, for a railway, which operates on meter gauge, unusually broad. Car of the big Berlin profile whose carbody example, is only 2.65 meters wide, drive on the European standard gauge of 1435 mm. Use the trains, as well as the suburban railways in the region, the overhead line at a voltage of 1500 volts and have a total of sixteen motors of 180 kilowatts; together yields the traction unit per 2880 kilowatts. The maximum speed is 80 kilometers per hour. A train holds 712 people. This information is based on 144 seats and 568 standing room at an average of six persons per square meter.

The number of trains increased by a further order until the second quarter of 1996 to 24 trains with the numbers UT 517 to 524 for the higher demand in the newly built line 2, the transport company now ordered from the company CAF and Adtranz ( parent company of ABB ) thirteen other trains that were delivered by October 2001. The final delivery is now contained the new features of the UT -550 series. This differs from its predecessor by a higher efficiency and improved air conditioning.

Having to 1998 still partially existing Streckenabzweigungen on the old suburban route were closed, since the systems are ATP (Automatic Train Protection, Automatic Train Protection ) and ATO (Automatic Train Operation, automated driving), installed. The latter means that the train driver need only press a button, the rest of the cable routing is done by the computer ( automatic speed control). This can be seen as a precursor to a fully independent Driven by the computer system ( driverless train operation ).

Construction and planning

Currently being built in Bilbao at two metro projects. 2013, received on Line 2 its terminus with the name Kabiezes the metro. The reason given for the construction of the local line, even to the argument of the parallel transport to invalidate the Cercanías line of RENFE, the high population density in the suburbs on the west bank of the Nervión and to the large distance between stops on the suburban railway.

The second current Metro project concerns both line 1 and line 2 Already in January 2005 was celebrated until Etxebarri station an extension to a station that is now particularly for the employees of the neighboring ArcelorMittal steel plant (formerly Aceralia ) is important. On 11 November 2011, the southern terminus Basauri was achieved with the intermediate station Ariz. With these two projects, the underground network of Bilbao is expected to grow in the near future to a total length of 44.5 km with 41 stations. The contract extension signed to this Operation and Local Government in early 2007, the cost totaled 58 million euros.

Furthermore, the operator or was known in representation the transport consortium in February 2005, a further short-term plans. Among other things, a new station named Ibarbengoa in the suburb Maidagan to be opened between the stations Bidezabal and Berango due to the high stops spacing. The construction costs are estimated at 17 million euros, the planned construction period is 24 months. The work on this project is scheduled to begin in 2006 and completion is planned for 2008.

A resumption of the former feve - route to Sondika often appears in the plans. This route is already connected to the Lutxana station on the Metro, but not electrified.

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