Tajuña and 40 Day Train Greenways
Along the lovely Beet Train road
The starting point is located in the town of Arganda del Rey, a site which can be reached from the city of Madrid by means of Metro line 9. The starting point (km 0) is located at Avenida del Ejército, 200 m from the metro station however we recommend a visit to the La Poveda Railway Museum, located 4.3 km from the Arganda Metro Station where you can travel in one of its historical trains. For this purpose, we can take the La Poveda bicycle lane which uses the railway esplanade. Shortly before arriving, we cross the M-300 road. Pay attention at the junctions!
Now in the Tajuña Greenway, having passed the industrial zone of Arganda and the Hospital del Sureste, the route passes under the A-3 motorway; we now begin a moderate ascent which concludes in a zone known as El Alto to subsequently bypass a cement factory. From here, there is a pleasant descent which leaves us before one of the best terraced areas over the Tajuña valley just before arriving to Morata de Tajuña. This section up to the next town, Perales, has the specific feature of small level differences.
Tajuña. Altimetric profile
After Perales, the route passes under the A3 motorway. At this point, it is necessary to travel a few more metres on the right shoulder of the access road to the motorway to finally connect to the road recovered as a “vía verde” (greenway) which leads to Tielmes next to the south river bank. We must warn that this new section shares traffic with several vehicles that access from the neighbouring properties. You must be very careful. In this area, the route travels though orchards, fields and cornfields.
Having passed Tielmes, at km 35, we arrive to Carabaña, where we can connect to the Gran Tour CiclaMadrid (Stage 3) and the 40 Day Train Greenway, a branch railway line with a 14 km route which takes us up to Estremera in a slight ascent among spectacular trenches, olive trees and farm lands.
40 Day Train Greenway. Altimetric profile
Continuing along the Tajuña Greenway from Carabaña, there are the final 6 km, which extend in a section where the former railway line could be more faithfully recovered. We pass by Orusco and a pleasant pine grove prior to arriving to Ambite and the old railway station which is now a café-restaurant and a swimming pool.
The Tajuña valley itself, the plaster walls between Perales and Tielmes with their old caves, the old water mills, the riverside forest and the village churches, are the main natural and cultural attractions of this greenway. In Ambite the Vega del Tajuña Nature Center. And in La Poveda is another of the assets of the area: the Arganda Train Museum and its tourist train.
Brief historical overview
The Tajuña valley was crossed until 1953 by a narrow-gauge train that had its starting point in Madrid's Retiro Park. The so-called Arganda Train, of which it was said “that whines more than functions“ loaded beets in this Tajuña plain and transported it to the La Poveda sugar factory. This line was part of a larger project to link Madrid with lower Aragon, but in fact it was never built beyond Alocén, in Guadalajara. On the other hand, another railway connected with it: the 40 Day Railway, also called Vía Negrín, adopted this name because it was built in this short space of time to supply Madrid during the civil war. Its layout linked Torrejón de Ardoz with Villacañas, thus providing a rail link between besieged Madrid and the Republican Levante, along tracks far from Francoist bombshells.