An alliance between the past and the present of the Station

A governmental body within the Spanish Ministry of Transport, ADIF is in charge of managing railway infrastructures throughout Spain. Such assets and properties have considerable potential – they may no longer be part of the railway system, but nowadays they can play a new and stimulating role. This is the case of the station at Bustarviejo, where Translating the Wind is being launched. As part of its development plan, ADIF consistently takes today’s needs and challenges into account, such as the effects of rural depopulation and the economic development and welfare in areas where unused sites are located. It is essential to point out that these abandoned buildings and structures are part of Spanish Culture and the collective memory in Spain, as well as a vital element in sustainable development and the environment.

Because of the cultural, historical and architectural value of such structures and buildings, both Translating the Wind and ADIF are committed to their recovery and conservation.  By reusing them for educational and creative purposes, we can prevent their architectural deterioration and retain an important part of Spain’s cultural memory.

At Translating the Wind, we are in the process of recovering and reclaiming the old train station of Bustarviejo for creative endeavours ranging from the Arts to Creative and Critical Thinking, but mostly as a place for the meeting of minds and to embrace cultural expressions that are respectful of both human beings and Nature.  Sustainable development cannot progress without the relevant cultural environment, so we need to understand the challenges that Humanity is facing today.  Undeniably, Culture has the power to generate a transformative change in our world.

The purpose of ADIF’s programme Activos para el Desarrollo is to lease train stations for social and cultural use.  The programme supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN’s 2030 Agenda.  Although there are no SDGs referring specifically to the subject of Culture, this is nevertheless a cross-disciplinary subject in those goals relating to quality education and wellbeing, sustainable cities and communities, climate action and protection of heritage, the promotion of inclusive and non-violent societies, and the creation of common objectives and alliances.

THE HISTORY OF THE TRAIN STATION

The train station at Bustarviejo was built by prisoners sentenced to forced labour.  The majority of them were political prisoners who had fought on the Republican side against Franco during the Spanish Civil War.  The works of the station began during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923 – 1930) and would be continued during the Franco dictatorship (1939 – 1975).  There were various detachments of prisoners in nearby towns and villages.

The detachment in Bustarviejo (in the area of Dehesa Vieja, 2.5km from the town of Bustarviejo) was established in 1944, at the request of the construction company Hermanos de Nicolás Hernández, to build the railway stretch between the municipalities of Miraflores de la Sierra and Valdemanco, which was a section of the Madrid-Burgos train line. The train station would not be in use until 1968.

The main works carried out were the drilling of the tunnels of El Pendón and El Collado, 395 metres and 248 metres in length, the construction of the railway access viaduct in La Gargüera, 169 metres in length, that included 11 arches with a span of 30 metres each, and additionally the outbuildings of the train station and a connecting road (2km in length).

(Fuente: Municipio de Bustarviejo, Asociación “Los Barracones”)