Fast construction: assembling and riveting
ecember 28, 1878, saw the
beginning of this truly notable project,” declared El Globo.
Diario Ilustrado regarding the commencement of the station’s
passenger building. The building material for the railway
complex, which consisted of tools, structures, roofs,
scaffolding, planks, slating, guttering, glass, etc., was sent
from France by ship.
By 1879, the two covered freight-loading bays were already built. They were longitudinal buildings made of brick masonry, with Polonceau-type cable-stayed iron frameworks covered with galvanised roofing iron. The coal- and cattle-loading bays, water deposit and toilets would be built later.
In February 1879, the main building’s metallic skeleton began to be assembled. The beginning of construction was delayed due to the late arrival of the building material, as a result of bad weather and because, after arriving in Spain, the material was detained by customs in Alicante. This situation forced the company to temporarily equip covered bay No. 1 as the passenger building, until the permanent one was finished. This enabled the railway company to avoid losing money, since the line had been opened in February.
Nevertheless, the building work advanced rapidly due to the industrial building’s functional nature and the use of a mixed construction system featuring cast iron and brickwork, as well as prefabricated pieces made in series and assembled with rivets. The metallic structure and glass from L. Gobani were supplied by the Fives-Lille company, an experienced firm specialising in the construction of railway material and stations, while their on-site assembly was directed by the French engineer M. Vaseille.
The building materials consisted of iron for the structure
and ornamentation, brick for the walls (solid brick façades for
the outer walls and ordinary whitewashed ones inside), granite
for the plinths, wood for the windows and doors, and glass for
the glazed screens. The predominance of exposed iron and the new
technique employed resulted in a singular building of European
iron architecture, a symbol of progress and modernity in the era
The construction of the station was carried out by engineers belonging to the CRB company, Cachelièvre and Calleja, and was inspected by engineers from the Division of Ferrocarriles del Oeste, Bonifacio Espinal, Enrique Ulierte and assistant engineer Enrique Verdú.
Once the station was opened, traction and hauled-material service installations were gradually built, as well as the tollhouse for taxing food, a building located beside the freight service that was designed by the engineer José Antonio Calleja in April 1880.