Line B (Buenos Aires Underground)

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Línea B (SBASE).svg
Line B
Uruguay (Subte de Buenos Aires).jpg
Uruguay station
Type Rapid transit
System Buenos Aires Underground
Termini Leandro N. Alem
Juan Manuel de Rosas
Stations 17
Daily ridership 412,882 (2009)[1] Increase.svg 13.7%
Opening 1930
Operator(s) Metrovías
Character Underground
Line length 11.75 km (7.30 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification Third rail
Route map
Leandro N. Alem (Línea E (SBASE) bullet.svg)
Carlos Pellegrini Línea C (SBASE) bullet.svg Línea D (SBASE) bullet.svg
Pueyrredón Línea H (SBASE) bullet.svg
Carlos Gardel
Ángel Gallardo
Malabia/Osvaldo Pugliese
Dorrego Mainline rail interchange
Federico Lacroze Urquiza U 60px.png
Tronador/Villa Ortúzar
Los Incas/Parque Chas
Juan Manuel de Rosas Mainline rail interchange

Line B of the Buenos Aires Underground runs 11.75 kilometres (7.30 mi) from Leandro N. Alem to Juan Manuel de Rosas in Villa Urquiza. Line B opened to the public on 17 October 1930.[2][3]

In recent years it has held the title of being the most used line by the locals, and it is expected increase even more so after the opening of a section of tunnel between Los Incas station in the neighborhood of Parque Chas and a shopping centre in Villa Urquiza. It was the first line in Buenos Aires whose stations had turnstiles and moving stairways.

It is the only line that uses third rail current collection, while the rest collects electric current from overhead lines. Its gauge of 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) is the same as the rest of the Buenos Aires underground system. The rolling stock currently used on the B line are former Tokyo Metro (formerly Eidan Subway) 300/500/900 stocks, which was used on Marunouchi Line. These Japanese units were acquired in the early 1990s, and offer less sitting room than the previous setup, increasing the line's capacity during peak hours. The travel time between demand headers is about 25 min. Some of the CAF series 5000 trains, which were built in 1974 for use on the Madrid Metro, were acquired by the B line in the early 2010s to supplement the Japanese-built units.

When excavation was carried out for construction of the Leandro Alem station, the remains of a Mammoth of the Quaternary period where found, which were sent to the Museum of Natural Sciences of La Plata.


In 1912 the Congress of Argentina enacted Law 8,870 to carry out the line that would unite the Correo Central (Central Post Office) and the intersection of Triumvirato and Elcano streets, splice site with the tracks of the Buenos Aires Central Railroad (Ferrocarril Central de Buenos Aires or FCCBA), which belonged to the same business group through an 8.7 km tunnel. The Act provided that the works "would clear in part the traffic in the central area of the city".

Latterly on 17 December 1927 in New York the financial agreement to build was signed between Teófilo Lacroze, the president of Banco de la Nación Dr. Tomás de Estrada, Dr. Louis J. Rocca directory owner of Ferrocarril Terminal de Buenos Aires and bankers Harris and Forbes. This will grant the concession of the line for passengers, parcels and freight to Lacroze Brothers Company.

Terminal Central de Buenos Aires bronce plaque in Federico Lacroze railway station
Original signage
Fleets on line B with original painting, formerly used on Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line.
Repainted fleets.

The construction was done by the Argentine builder Dwight P. Robinson & Cía, and the line was called Ferrocarril Terminal Central de Buenos Aires (Central terminal railroad of Buenos Aires). The first section between Federico Lacroze and Callao opened on 17 October 1930 and measured 7.021 km. The maiden voyage was made by President de facto José Félix Uriburu.

On 22 June the following year it was extended to Carlos Pellegrini station. Finally the line was completed on 1 December 1931 when the subway reached the station Leandro N. Alem. These three sections were carried out entirely below Corrientes Avenue, including 19 curves and 13 stations.

According to the depth of the line some sections were made by open ditch (cut-and-cover method) or gallery or tunnel. As so were performed mainly at open skies the stations Federico Lacroze, Dorrego, Canning, (now Malabia), Río de Janeiro, (now Ángel Gallardo) and Medrano . When you reach the tunnel at Maipu Street the maximum depth reached 17 metres. Underneath the Rancagua (today Los Andes) park, in Chacarita, a workshop and a 10 track garage (with capacity for 110 wagons) were built.

This line had escalators and turnstiles for the payment of coin-operated service, initially manufactured in United States, formerly controlled by guards. It also was deeper than the Line A, and like it, each station was decorated with friezes of characteristic colors.

An underground link with the subsoil of the Mercado Central de Abasto (central wholesale fruit and vegetable market) was made available on 12 July 1933, by which goods wagons with freight from the Ferrocarril Central de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires Central Railroad) would arrive, driven by electric locomotives. This was lifted after the fire occurred on 27 November 1952. From the beginning the circulation was protected by an automatic luminous signalization, with devices for mechanic trains, which were substituted in 1980 for others of magnetic induction, also replaced in 1998 for an electric system with ATP.

Interior view of rolling stock

The Service was inaugurated with 56 English Metropolitan Cammell cars (numerated from 101 to 156), of two bogies and metallic bodywork painted with cream and red colours on the exterior, with decorative artwork and dark blue coloured doors. Each car had two 105 HP motors. The interiors had 47 wooden seats, the majority with reversible back and three slide doors on each side, at the platforms level, of opening ans closure commanded by the guard. Later on, 20 similar cars made by Osgood Bradley Car Company of the US were incorporated.[4]

Recent expansion[edit]

Line B was recently extended underground further west (2 km) from Los Incas/Parque Chas to Echeverría and Juan Manuel de Rosas (previously named Villa Urquiza) where transfer to the Ferrocarril Mitre is provided. The new stations opened in July 26, 2013.[5]

In the meantime, there is a record of passengers and lack investment, but plans are in the list which includes: installation of a new signal system, acquisition of new cars, construction of a new central workshop for the repair of machinery, widening of platforms, hallways and all areas of pedestrian traffic at stations and at transfer nodes, improvements in transfer centers with other means of transport[6]

Events and highlights[edit]

  • The Ferrocarril Terminal Central de Buenos Aires of Lacroze brothers would be access to the centre of Buenos Aires, but ended up the B line subway.
  • Until the privatization of subte in the 1990s, the B line was identified by the green color, whilst the D line used red.
  • Florida and Carlos Pellegrini stations are the two busiest stations on the line, as most commuters alight there in the morning to work in the downtown financial district. They also provide easy access to the entertainment district in the evening (see also Florida Street). These two stations have a central andén (platform) serving both directions, and their crowded access ramps and stairs are a boon for pickpockets.
  • Carlos Pellegrini and Pueyrredón are the only stations that allow transfers to other subway lines.
  • Carlos Pellegrini station can be reached from an underground commercial gallery located right below the Obelisco landmark, used by pedestrians to avoid crossing 9 de Julio Avenue at street level.
  • Uruguay station is located near the Tribunales (Courthouse) and many famous restaurants and theaters.


External links[edit]