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 Catalonia . Spain

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

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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 operator in charge of L1-L5 and L11, as well as 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  20.7 km, 30 stations

L1 Santa EulàliaSecond 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), Mercado Nuevo (now Mercat Nou), Sans (now Plaça de Sants), Hostafranchs (now Hostafrancs), España (now Espanya), Rocafort, Urgel (now Urgell), Universidad (now Universitat) and Cataluña (now Catalunya). 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 Badalona Pompeu Fabra  13 km, 18 stations

Artigues - St. Adrià © DAVORRather new 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 Trinitat Nova  18.4 km, 26 stations

L3 ValldauraThe 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 (now closed). 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 stretch 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  17.3 km, 22 stations

L4 Trinitat NovaL4 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 Vall d'Hebron  18.8 km, 26 stations

CAF 5000L5 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 Vilapicina 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  7 km, 13 stations (incl. L7)

L6 SarriàUrban service on the Sarrià Line, in mixed traffic with suburban trains (Metro del Vallès) between Pl. Catalunya and Sarrià. Sant Gervasi, La Bonanova and Tres Torres stations are only served by L6 and S5/S55 trains. L6 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)

Pl. CatalunyaUrban 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  12 km, 11 stations

L8 Pl. EspanyaUrban service on the 1000 mm 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 500 m further east trains go underground for the rest of the journey through Cornellà (Cornellà-Riera, Almeda), L'Hospitalet (L'H., Sant Josep, Gornal, Europa-Fira, Ildefons Cerdà) and Barcelona. More about L8


    Can Zam / Gorg – La Sagrera  11.1 km, 12 stations

L9/L10The first section of a completely new 46.6 km line opened in Dec. 2009 in the northern suburban municipality of Santa Coloma de Gramanet. L9/10 will run like a semicircle line from the airport and Zona Franca to Zona Universitària, further on to Sarrià and Lesseps and via Guinardó and La Sagrera (Meridiana) to the planned Sagrera AVE Railway Station. Then north to Bon Pastor and under the Besòs river splitting into two branches, one to Santa Coloma (Can Zam) and one to Badalona (Gorg - L2). Construction from La Sagrera (L1, L5) north to Can Zam and Gorg began in late 2001. L9/10 is being excavated by tunnel boring machines at great depth, with a 12 m diameter tunnel, which allows trains to run on top of each other. Also stations are located inside this tunnel, with separate platforms on top of each other, and accessible by lifts. The line is operated in driverless mode and the stations are therefore equipped with platform screen doors. The Zona Franca leg in the south will be elevated. The project has repeatedly been modified, especially in the airport area. More about L9/10


   Trinitat Nova – Can Cuiàs 2.3 km, 5 stations
L11 Trinitat NovaThis 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. Once platform screen doors have been added, the line will be operated automatically without drivers. Construction of this long claimed extension began in spring 2001 and the line was opened in Dec. 2003, serving the areas of Ciutat Meridiana in Barcelona and Can Cuiàs in the neighbouring Montcada i Reixac. More about L11

Total network length: 120.3 km, 163 stations (09/2011)


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 Sept 1995 - L2 Sant Antoni - Sagrada Família
06 Jan 1996 - L2 Sant Antoni - Paral.lel
20 Sept 1997 - L2 Sagrada Família - La Pau
27 Oct 1999 - L4 Via Júlia (formerly Roquetes) - Trinitat Nova
21 Sept 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
04 Oct 2008 - L3 Canyelles - Trinitat Nova
13 Dec 2009 - L9 Can Zam - Can Peixauet (3.9 km)
18 Apr 2010 - L9/L10 Bon Pastor - Gorg/Can Peixauet (3.4 km)
26 June 2010 - L9/L10 La Sagrera - Bon Pastor (2.8 km)
11 July 2010 - L2 Pep Ventura - Badalona Pompeu Fabra (0.6 km)
30 July 2010 - L5 Horta - Vall d'Hebron (2.2 km)
19 Sept 2011 - L9 Santa Rosa station added


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 46 km line L9/L10.

Currently under construction:
- L5: new station called Ernest Lluch between Collblanc and Pubilla Cases
- L9/10: In spring 2002, construction began on the first section of the new semicircular L9, from La Sagrera (L1, L5) to Can Zam and Gorg (L2), which was completed in 2010. In the meantime, all other sections are under construction, too. More about L9/10.

For more extensions see special PROJECTS page.


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

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

TMB - Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona - Official Metro site

FGC - Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya - Catalan Railways Suburban Service (Metro del Vallès and Metro del Baix Llobregat)

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

Rodalies de Catalunya

Journey Planner for Barcelona and Catalonia

Barcelona Metro at Wikipedia.cat

WEFER - by Marçal Guardiola (Metro and other Spanish Rail)

Trenscat - by Bernat Borràs

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

Transporte BCN - by Denis Medel Valverde

PTP - Associació per a la Promoció del Transport Públic

Blog about Barcelona Metro issues

Blog about L9/L10 construction project

Barcelona Metro track map from carto.metro

TramTram Barcelona (Official Site)

Tram Barcelona Tram on UrbanRail.Net

Tramvia.org (Everything about Barcelona's new tram lines)


2004 © UrbanRail.Net by Robert Schwandl.