If you travel to the bustling city of Madrid, you will quickly learn that practically everyone here uses the Madrid Metro system. School children and working adults alike take advantage of the public transportation system as it is extremely user-friendly and connects to virtually everywhere in the city. Inaugurated almost 100 years ago in 1919, the metro currently contains 318 stations and 13 lines. Over the years, various reconstruction and expansion projects have taken place including the closure of one metro stop, Chamberí.
The Chamberí station was one of the original eight metro stations and is (still) located on metro Line 1 directly under the Plaza de Chamberí. Line 1 was the first of the metro stations that opened, and it connects Sol to Cuatro Caminos. However, in May of 1966, the Ministry of Public Works agreed to shut down the station due to an exponential influx in riders and the station’s structural inability for future augmentation. Additionally, the Chamberí station was discovered to be too close (within 500 meters) to the Iglesia stop when plans to increase the platform lengths from 60 to 90 meters were initiated. Metro Line 1 continues to pass through Chamberí as it makes its way underground from Iglesia to Bilbao. Since the metro does not stop at Chamberí anymore, it has come to be called “La estación fantasma”.
After its closure in 1966, the Chamberí platform was deserted for about 40 years. Many madrileños knew the platform existed (or used to), but they didn’t know what had happened to it. Anymore, Chamberí could not be found on maps and trains passed through the former station to stop at either Iglesia or Bilbao. Due to vandalism, restoration of the Chamberí station began in 2006 in an effort to transform it to its original condition. In 2008, it opened to the public as a museum called “Andén 0”.
Being built in the early 20th century, the walls of the Chamberí station house vividly-colored, antique advertisements that are constructed of beautiful ceramic tiles. Architect Antonio Palacios wanted the new subterranean stations to be warm and inviting to the then residents of Madrid, so they would feel comfortable utilizing the new form of transportation.
In the station, you can still find some advertisements that have Madrid’s then four-digit phone numbers! In addition, at Andén Cero you can see the old ticket offices, metro maps, original platforms, and of course, experience the dim, yellow train station lighting of the 1920s! Additionally, the museum has a small audiovisual component that tells of the history of the Chamberí station as well as the rest of the metro system in Madrid.
Andén Cero is located in the Plaza de Chamberí. There is no entry fee for the museum. It is open on Thursdays from 10AM to 1PM, Fridays 11AM to 7PM, and Saturdays & Sundays 11AM to 3PM. The museum is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.