In advance of a more detailed post on Metro de Madrid, let me start with something quick about Anden Zero, the small and free museum of Metro de Madrid. Despite being with Bill and I, Astrid was lucky in two respects – that the museum was very small, and that there was no shop.
Briefly, the museum is located along Line 1 between Bilbao and Iglesia stations. The station originally opened as part of the initial line, now Line 1, in 1919. The line is incredibly reminiscent of the Paris Metro (of which its own Line 1 was the first part of the system to open, in 1900). When it opened, Line 1 had 4-car trains serving 200-foot-long platforms; in the mid-1960s stations were lengthened to about 300 feet to accommodate 6-car trains, and the Chamberi station was closed – primarily because of its location on a sharp curve (such that an extended station would be prohibitively curved in terms of gap between train and platform), but also due to proximity to adjacent stations.
In 2008 the station was restored to something like its 1919 style and opened as the museum Anden (platform) Zero. The museum features a 15-minute video on the history of Metro de Madrid (shown in what was effectively the street entrance, with what was the steps providing seating) and the ability to walk along one of the two platforms, just inches from passing trains.
Probably the most interesting part of the museum was the tiled advertisements; the period ads are always one of the most interesting things to be found at the NY Transit Museum, and that held true here too. Instead of paper ads pasted onto the wall, the original Metro de Madrid apparently had ads built into the tile – those must have cost a pretty peseta!