Parts of the railway line near Coín are already used by walkers. :: R. L.
A walk this Saturday aims to attract support to a campaign to turn a disused railway line into a path to the mouth of the Guadalhorce
A group of families from Coín is asking members of the public to support a proposal to open a non-motorised pathway from Coín to the mouth of the Guadalhorce River near Malaga city, using the route of the abandoned inland Algarbia railway.
The 39-kilometre single-track train line was last used in the 1950s and although parts of the track now form sections of country lanes and others have become incorporated into neighbouring private properties, members of VivaAlma are confident that they will eventually succeed in creating a nature path suitable for cyclists, horse-riders, disabled users and walkers from the old railway station in Coín all the way to the beach.
“The land still officially belongs to the railway authorities and with the right support from the authorities we are convinced we can get the route opened up for everyone to enjoy,” said Sofía Aranda, one of the founding members of ViveAlma.
With the support of Coín town council and local environmental group ‘Asociación Jara’, Sofía and the other members of ViveAlma are arranging an event this Saturday to highlight the potential for the project by walking the first five kilometres of the route from Coín’s deserted railway station building to the metal and concrete bridge over the Río Fahala on the outskirts of Alhaurín el Grande.
“We hope that this weekend people will come along, learn a little about the history of the railway line, find out more about the proposal and most of all, just enjoy the walk,” Sofia told SUR in English, adding that there will be members of ViveAlma on hand to explain in English and Spanish about the birds and plants spotted along the way.
The group will be accompanied by a Coín resident who is an expert on the disused railway, that was 100 years old last year.
Although the original route of the railway went into the heart of Malaga city, the ViveAlma plan is to reopen the abandoned line as far as the site of the Churriana railway station, then to join a section of the Gran Senda Malaga route to divert the last few hundred metres to the coast. Sofia explained, “We have the backing of Coín council who agree that this is a positive initiative to improve people’s health, to attract tourism to the area and to stimulate the hospitality businesses along the route.”
Malaga is the only province in Andalucía not to have an officially recognised ‘Vía Verde’ according to the members of ViveAlma, who said they were inspired to reopen the old train line after taking part in a walking event in September as part of the celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the train service from Malaga to Coín.
The original route of the ‘Algarbia line’ started in Malaga and passed through Churriana, Alhaurín de la Torre, Cártama, Alhaurín el Grande and finished in Coín. Many of the original station buildings, cuttings, embankments and bridges can still be seen today, nearly 60 years after the last train ran.