Commemorating 90 years of the Barcelona metro
During the last months of 2014, a number of events took place to mark the 90th anniversary of the Barcelona metro. On 30 December 1924 the first 2.47 km section of the Gran Metro line, precursor of today’s Line 3, was opened, between Lesseps and Catalunya.
To celebrate this anniversary, TMB organised a series of activities, for which it won its second Bonaplata award. Aimed at the general public, they took place during the second half of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015.
The commemorative events were:
A historical journey on Barcelona’s first metro train
The historic M1-M6-M8 train, which years later became part of the 300 series, was the first to run on the Gran Metro de Barcelona line between Lesseps and Catalunya. It was in service for over 60 years, from the opening of the line on 30 December 1924 until the end of 1987. The train came out of hibernation in spring 2010 for a journey along Line 2 between La Pau and Sagrada Família stations, as part of the TMB Culture project. Since then, TMB and the TMB Foundation have organised annual outings for the train, the last taking place in April 2014.
Discovery Underground race
A 10-kilometre race along Line 2 of the metro was organised by Discovery Max, under an agreement signed between the two companies, making Discovery Max the main sponsor of the programme of activities to mark the metro’s 90th anniversary. The race took place on the night of 28-29 August, after the metro closed. More information on the event website.
New TMB Education activity for 2014-2015 academic year
The TMB Education rogramme launched a new activity for the academic year 2014-2015 aimed at primary and secondary schoolchildren. Through a virtual guided tour participants learned about key moments in the history of the Barcelona metro and how this form of transport has responded to the social changes taking place during its 90-year history. The activity included an audiovisual journey from the first days of the metro to the present day and a visit to the exhibition in the Espai Mercè Sala.
Event for employees
TMB’s employees were the real stars of these anniversary celebrations. They were therefore invited to an exclusive concert given by the band Love of Lesbian, who performed their greatest hits and gave the audience a preview of their new show. The private concert for TMB employees took place at l’Auditori de Barcelona on 30 September.
Literary and audio-visual activity “It happened in TMB”:
During the most recent short story competition he judges selected six stories from the special anniversary category “It happened on TMB” to be made into audiovisual presentations. These projects were included as a special feature in the 2014 Subtravelling Festival and could be viewed on the Subtravelling Festival website from 4 to 21 November. The best “It happened on TMB” story was chosen by the public, who could vote on the festival’s microsite.
A surprising route through the metro network
A surprising tour of discovery, showing us the hidden side of the metro network. Since the opening of the first metro line, a parallel story has been unfolding underneath the surface of the city. From the public spaces of the first metro lines, the Gran Metro and Transversal lines, the route followed an underground itinerary from metro to metro, with intriguing anecdotes on the history of this transport system and its relationship with the city of Barcelona, including how it was excavated and built, how stations were decorated or used as air raid shelters, signage, and legends of ghost stations.
A series of lectures took place in the last quarter of the year, held in l'Espai Gaudí and the Jaume Fuster library (location of the first metro depot at Plaça Lesseps). The talks were linked to the 2014 Railway Week, which had "Metropolitan railways" as its theme in this, its 10th year.
In his talk at the Jaume Fuster library at 5.30 pm on 23 October, entitled "Metro technology, from the early days to our time", Agustín del Castillo, former Director-General of the Metro, spoke about subjects including rolling stock technology, ticket systems and traffic communications.
A talk on “Precedents and projects for the arrival of the Metro in Barcelona, the vicissitudes of entrepreneurs before 1924”, by Josep M. Rovira, Vice-Dean of the College of Industrial Engineers and a member of the railway appreciation society Amics del Ferrocarril, at Espai Gaudí on 30 October at 5.30 pm.
A talk on “History of the city: from Roman times until 1924. Transformations of the city until the arrival of the Metro”, by the historian Dani Cortijo, at Espai Gaudí on 5 November at 5.30 pm.
A lecture on “Barcelona at the cutting edge of metros in the future” by Ramon Malla, manager of automatic metro lines, on 11 November at 5.30 pm in the Pompeu Fabra auditorium at the College of Industrial Engineers.
The first four metro stations
An activity identifying the first stations to form part of the Barcelona metro network, linking them to a QR code to show what they were like when they were opened in the 1920s. This initiative was designed and developed by the recently formed Andana Central Association (Association of Friends of the Metro).
Reconstruction of the historical memory of the metro
The aim of this activity was to develop a shared album of memories of the metro with contributions from the public and TMB staff. Many small stories were gathered together to paint a bigger picture: how the city’s metro network has developed and served us over the last 90 years. The album was open until 28 November to collect images and memories of every era of the metro. Contributors to the collaborative album shared their memories, or those of their families, becoming part of the historic record of the metro system. Prizes were awarded for the best photographs and contributions.
Travelling exhibition at metro stations
From 19 November 2014 to the end of February 2015 a travelling exhibition visited Lesseps (L3), Sagrada Família (L2), Diagonal (L3/L5) and Universitat (L1/L2) stations. It covered the key stages in the last 90 years of the metro with triangular display stands that allowed the public to quickly appreciate the history of the service. Further information about this exhibition can be found in our article in Hora Punta
Exhibition at Espai Mercè Sala
From 17 December 2014 to 6 March 2015, this exhibition transported us back in time to before the metro service was launched, looking at its conception, design, construction and inauguration. The exhibition included photographs and historical assets belonging to the TMB Foundation. Information about the Espai Mercè Sala.
Publication of the commemorative book “90 years of Barcelona’s metro”
The book "90 years of Barcelona’s metro. 1924-2014" contains a short history and a wide range of images belonging to the TMB Foundation and the Barcelona Photographic Archive. The book was published by the TMB Foundation and the Barcelona City Council publishing service, which distributed it through its regular network. See the book "90 years of Barcelona’s metro. 1924-2014" in our SlideShare library. Further information on the book can be found in the article entitled "A highly visual history of the Barcelona metro" in Hora Punta magazine