Social events and passengers looking for new opportunities
rom its beginning, Delicias
Station participated in significant social events, beginning
with the opening of the direct Madrid-Ciudad Real line by King
Alfonso XII on February 3, 1879. As mentioned before, months
later, on March 30, 1880, the monarch and his wife officially
opened the station.
Just a year later, Alfonso XII would return to Delicias to undertake a journey to Valencia de Alcántara in order to open, along with Portugal’s King Luis I, the international connection between both countries. From then on, Delicias was the terminus station of the direct line with Portugal and therefore witnessed the arrival in Madrid of personalities, authorities and artists from the neighbouring country. However, its platforms also bade farewell to emigrants setting off to America, via the port of Lisbon, and received migrants from Extremadura coming to settle in Madrid or continuing onwards to the north of Spain, in search of a better future.
From Portugal came future King Juan Carlos I, who arrived in Spain for the first time on November 9, 1948, on board the Lusitania Expreso. On that occasion, Franco, in order to avoid promonarchist demonstrations, obliged him to get off at nearby Villaverde Station. Seven years later, on January 18, 1955, Juan Carlos I would come to Delicias Station itself, on his way to begin studying at the General Military Academy in Zaragoza. This time he was received by an enthusiastic crowd, in addition to the mayor of Madrid, José Finat, and the region’s field marshal, Miguel Rodrigo.
However, the station was also the scene of more down-to-earth activities, such as black marketeering in its surroundings during the post-war period or, in the 1960s, the arrival of holidaymakers from the southwest Iberian Peninsula.