Estación Príncipe Pío

Estación Príncipe Pío in the mid-western part of Madrid serves a few suburban lines, mainly the commuter rail traffic of RENFE, the state-owned railway company. It also serves as a Metro station for lines 6 and 10, as well as for the Ramal branch line of the Madrid Metro, a shuttle line between Príncipe Pío and the station at Ópera.

As such, it is termed a transport interchange, or "intercambiador", and is located in an area bounded by the Glorieta de San Vicente roundabout andCuesta de San Vicente, Paseo de la Florida and Paseo del Rey streets.

The bus station part of Estación Príncipe Pío is served by bus numbers, 25, 33, 39, 41, 46, 75 and 138. Since 2005, the building has included a major shopping center with bars, restaurants, cinemas and cafés.

It was the line from Madrid to Irun, in the far north of Spain, first proposed in 1845, that sparked off the building of Estación Príncipe Pío in Madrid. However, things didn't get off to a good start. The cities of Avila and Segovia each wanted the line to run through them, and their were many delays in construction. The location of the station in Madrid also presented a problem with everyone concerned having their own idea of where it should go.

Finally it was decided that the new station would be built at the foot of la montaña del Príncipe Pío. This hill lies in the western part of the city of Madrid and is named after Prince Pius of Savoy.

The station was originally called Estación del Norte, and the original building has been described as being "ugly" and always considered a temporary solution. In fact, it was the only major railway station in Madrid that did not enjoy all the usual jubilant pomp and ceremony of a proper inauguration.

The Carlist Wars of the nineteenth century meant that the Irun - Madrid line suffered considerable setbacks and more or less closed. In 1876 the line reopened and Estación Príncipe Pío was in business once again. By 1880 over 91,250 tons of goods had travelled south to Madrid from Irun, as well as over 200,000 passengers.

The original station at Estación Príncipe Pío was obviously too small to cope with the growing traffic by this time, and a second station was planned for the site. Around this time Estación Príncipe Pío ceased to be a freight station, mainly because its location was not best suited for this. The first phase of the second station was complete by 1882, but some 20 years passed before it was completed.

Estación Príncipe Pío had another major facelift in 1928, mainly the front part that opens out onto Paseo de San Vicente. When Chamartín station opened in the late 1960s, it saw the beginning of the end for Estación Príncipe Pío, as Chamartín, like Príncipe Pío, principally served the north of the country. The station virtually closed, or operated on a partial basis, for a number of years before re-opening in 1979.

Hotels & Apartments near the Principe Pio Station: