DescriptionThe first part of the system was opened in 1959 between Sete Rios / Entre Campos and Restauradores showing a Y form system. The eastern branch to Alvalade was built until 1972. The extensions from Sete Rios to Colégio Militar-Luz and from Entre Campos to Cidade Universitária were opened in 1988. Finally, in 1993, the eastern and the middle branch met at Campo Grande forming a circle (although trains did never run in a circle). Until 1995 trains starting at Campo Grande would run via Alameda alternately to Colégio Militar-Luz or back to Campo Grande via Cidade Universitária. Then in 1995, the line (90 % underground) was split into two lines with very poetic names:
Linha da Gaivota (Seagull line): Colégio Militar/Luz - Campo Grande via Alameda
Linha do Girassol (Sunflower line): Rotunda - Campo Grande
In 1998, coinciding with the Lisbon Expo98, the first stage of the metro extension project was finished. In Dec 2008, the system has four lines with a total length of 40 km long (47 stations, of which 4 are transfer stations):
Metro Lisboa decorates all stations with some artistic elements (see official page below) which is especially visible on the new Oriente Line (mainly interesting Olaias, Chelas and Oriente stations). Older stations are of a very simple design with small wall decorations.
Blue Line - Linha da Gaivota (14km - 17 stations) extension north from Colégio Militar/Luz to Pontinha (2 stations) opened Oct. 1997 and after splitting the line in the city centre it runs from Restauradores via Baixa-Chiado (Aug. 1998) down to the harbour at Terreiro do Paço and further to Sta. Apolónia railway station (2008).
Green Line - Linha da Caravela (Caravel line) (9km - 13 stations) is the name of the remaining eastern branch split from the Gaivota line. It runs from Campo Grande via Alameda, Rossio, Baixa-Chiado to the Cais do Sodré railway station (April 1998) by the harbour. An extension from Campo Grande to Telheiras (1 station) was taken into service in Nov. 2002. Additional stations had been planned in the past, but not built: Madrid between Areeiro and Roma, and Calvanas between Alvalade and Campo Grande. Later this line is planned to be extended towards Pontinha.
Yellow Line - Linha do Girassol (Sunflower Line) (11km - 13 stations) was extended from Rotunda to Rato in Dec. 1997. In 1999 construction work started on a northern extension to Odivelas. This 5km extension opened on 27 March 2004, almost doubling the Yellow Line's length. The new stretch runs in tunnel between Campo Grande and Senhor Roubado and then on a bridge to Odivelas across a large valley in this area.
Red Line - Linha do Oriente (Eastern line) (11.3 km - 12 stations) was a completely new line serving the Expo98 area at Oriente when it opened on 19 May 1998. Initially starting at Alameda on the Green line it was extended to Săo Sebastiăo in 2009, now providing transfer to all other metro lines. The Red Line eventually reached the Airport in July 2012 (3.3 km).