Barcelona metro network continues to grow
New metro line L9
EMTA members holding the biannual General Meeting kindly
hosted by Autoritat del Transport Metropolità ATM last
November in Barcelona had the opportunity to visit part of the
metro line 9 and the challenging technical works.
The first stretch of the new underground line L9 of Barcelona
was inaugurated in December’09. The length is 3.9 km and
consists of 5 stations, but it is only the first part of a line which
complete length will be 47.8 km and 52 stations, most of it in
construction today. According to the plan, the line will be in full
operation in 2014 when the last segment (central) will be open
to service. The line will link the northern suburbs of the city with
the southern ones, where the airport is located, drawing a huge
semicircle along the city and avoiding the central area, already
served by the underground network. The stretch in operation is
in the North (top right in the map) from Can Zam to Can Peixauet.
The 12 m diameter tunnel is built according to a new concept:
there are two levels, one for each direction, with an intermediate
concrete slab. This structure allows four circular sectors along the
tunnel, two of which being reserved for main tracks and the two
others for additional purposes, that is to say platforms in the
stations, connection ramps, service tracks and power stations.
The 52 stations are built according to three kinds of typologies:
5 in viaduct at open air, 17 are the conventional “boxes” and the
remaining 30 meet the specific L9 model: the station is just a
shaft with a set of up to six lifts and its platforms fit inside the
The rolling stock is the Alstom 9000 series: automatic driverless
trains of five carriage units.
Extension of Line 5 and Line 2
Along with the recent entry into service of metro lines L9 and L10
(see 1 on the map) Barcelona metro network has also expanded
with the extension of two existing lines, namely the L5 between
Horta and Vall d’Hebron (see 2 on the map) and the L2 between
Pep Ventura and Badalona Pompeu Fabra (see 3 on the map).
The portion of the metro network operated by TMB  (lines L1–L5
and L9–L11) now covers a total of 102.4 km and 140 stations.
These figures do not include the urban portions of the lines run
by the other operator FGC, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de
The recently inaugurated segment of L5 includes the station at El
Coll/La Teixonera, close to Parc Güell. It was constructed on a
particularly difficult site. As a result, this station is the deepest in
the whole network, with a maximum depth of 104 m below
To facilitate access for the residents of El Coll and La Teixonera,
it has proved necessary to construct long corridors equipped
with escalators to circumvent the steep slopes of the
neighbourhood, as can be seen in the attached photograph
which shows an entrance located in a street where the pavement
in fact consists of a flight of stairs.
As a result of the depth, the three street-level entrances of the
station are distant from each other for as much as 630 m in some case
(see map) - which is very unusual for the Barcelona metro.
For more: www.atm.cat
Updated : December 27, 2010