La Diagonal is going to stop being something exclusive to Barcelona. The Community of Madrid wants to convert Metro line 11 —The dark green— in the great Diagonal of the capital. It will be a new mobility axis that aims to transform the shortest route of the Madrid underground into one of the longest: 33.5 kilometers from southwest to northeast; from Cuatro Vientos to Valdebebas. The regional government has presented it this Monday. The project will cost about 1,600 million euros that, if all goes well, the European Union will pay.
The project has been presented this Monday by Ignacio Aguado, Vice President of the Community, and Angel Garrido, Minister of Transport. This is one of the projects that the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Infrastructure presents to obtain financing from the European Union Recovery and Resilience Fund within its strategy of transforming urban mobility towards a more sustainable model.
La Diagonal “will connect 11 of the 12 suburban linesIt will link seven of Madrid’s transport interchanges and will reach strategic points for mobility, such as the Atocha station or the airport ”, Aguado highlighted.
Despite the ambitious project, there are still important details to outline. The first is the number of new stations to be built. Two new ones are already planned: Comillas, in the neighborhood with the same name, between Plaza Elíptica and Arganzuela; Y Madrid Rio, very close to the Pirámides station. But it is not known how many new stops there will be further north. It is expected that more will be built between Vinateros and Mar de Cristal, according to the Ministry, but it is yet to be defined.
Another very important detail is how much it will cost the people of Madrid. The total cost of the work is expected to be around 1.6 billion euros. The Community is going to present the project to Brussels in the hope that the recovery funds will pay for everything. But what Europe does not pay, Madrid will pay.
The project has all the requirements to be financed in its entirety by the European Union, which last month approved the most ambitious budgets in its history: a total of 1.8 billion euros to rebuild post-pandemic Europe.
Works on the Diagonal are scheduled to begin in 2022 and the entire project will be completed in 2026. This forecast seems quite optimistic if we look at examples such as the Gran Vía Metro station. It is two years late in its reopening after the accessibility and connection works with the Cercanías de Sol. Two years late, only one station.
Count of Casal, key
The project of the new Diagonal Line in Madrid will be carried out in phases and will integrate the extensions already planned for Metro line 11, Plaza Elíptica to the future Conde de Casal interchange; and the arrival of the Metro to the new developments in Valdebebas.
Thus, in the southern section, the line will extend from its current end in La Fortuna to Cuatro Vientos (with connection to Cercanías and Metro line 10), and the expansion already announced from Plaza Elíptica to Conde de Casal will be completed. In total, 18.3 kilometers that include two new stations (Comillas and Madrid Río), the connection with Atocha Renfe and a large interchange in Conde de Casal for the entire A-3 corridor.
The central section will connect Conde de Casal with Mar de Cristal, with a planned connection at the Vinateros, La Elipa, Pueblo Nuevo and Arturo Soria stations. Further, new intermediate stops will be studied. In total, 8 kilometers in length and connections with the lines 2, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 Metro.
Finally, the northern section, of 7.2 kilometers, will link Mar de Cristal with the new station City of Justice (which will act as an interchange with the Cercanías de Valdebebas station), with the Aeropuerto T-4 station and with a new station in the north of Valdebebas. This section guarantees the arrival of the Metro to new developments in the northeast of Madrid (with infrastructures such as the new Isabel Zendal hospital, the future Ciudad de la Justicia, the IFEMA expansion or the airport) and replaces the initial project of a branch line from line 8.
Decongest the 6
The new Diagonal de Madrid will favor the decentralization of mobility in the city, configuring an alternative of public transport that avoids the forced passage through the central areas of Madrid.
The project will also serve to unload lines 6 and 10, by facilitating exchanges with the largest possible number of Metro lines and generating alternative and more direct routes for travelers. In turn, it will promote intermodality – the use of various means of transport – by connecting seven of the main exchangers with which the city will have: Cuatro Vientos, Plaza Elíptica, Atocha, Conde de Casal, Mar de Cristal, Valdebebas-Ciudad de la Justicia and Aeropuerto T-4.
In addition, it will facilitate a new connection with the Atocha high-speed terminal, which has a demand of more than 30 million passengers per year, and a faster connection will be created between this station and the airport.
This is not the only project that the Government of Isabel Diaz Ayuso It is planned for the Madrid Metro. The Ministry aspires to receive about 5,000 million euros of European funding to promote 117 projects that will accelerate the digital transformation, the ecological and territorial transition in mobility in the region.
Among them are also the planned extensions of the line 3 by Metro, which will connect Villaverde with Metrosur through the El Casar station; and the line 5, which will run from Alameda de Osuna to the new airport terminal.