Catering to an annual 44 million passengers based on 2010 figures, Atocha Station is indeed the main railway station of Madrid linking all points of the city. Having situated in the southern part, it is a point of convergence of different places and is close to such tourist attractions as Buen Retiro Park and Barrio de las Letras borough.
It is an integral part of the transportation system in which commuter trains are stationed and bus lines stopped.
Atocha Station has undergone drastic transformation since its completion in 1851. The first trip was Maria- Aranjuez .Designed by Alberto Elissange, an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel, the present structure dates back to 1892 and is a manifestation of cast- iron architecture along with Delicias Station and San Miguel Market.
The first modification in the station was the installation of commuter trains of which Rafael Moneo was the one who designed the architectural expansion in the 90s. The second was done in 2011 which has been hosting high speed trains.
Within the Atocha Station lies a garden that has thousands of plants of more than 260 species from different parts of the globe as well as marine life that is being nurtured in an artificial manner.
Despite this man-made beauty, however, the place is more known because of the 2004 Al- Qaeda bombing that left 191 deaths and hundreds injured. A monument was erected to commemorate the victims which can be seen from Avenida Ciudad de Barcelona.
Alta Velocidad Espanolais (AVE) the other name for the station signifying the high- octane lines departing from here to different parts of the country such as Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Valladolid, Cordoba and Saragossa. Such trains can travel at a speed of 310 km per hour. The north and south part of the country are connected by AVE Service and Madrid Chamartin Station through a tunnel inaugurated in 2011.