Although it is fourth in Spain in terms of passenger numbers, the Malaga Cercanías (suburban) railway is way down the list in terms of government investment.
Information provided in response to a parliamentary question raised by Malaga MP Miguel Ángel Heredia shows that the 'Nucleo de Cataluña', which includes Barcelona, Gerona and Tarragona, received the highest sum between 2012 and 2016, at 392.95 million euros. Next was Madrid, with 132.8 million, and Cantabria, with 57.95 million, followed by Valencia, San Sebastián, Seville, Cadiz, Oviedo, Bilbao and Murcia. One has to scroll down to 11th place to find Malaga, which has received 7.68 million euros over the past five years. Only Zaragoza has received less funding.
The Malaga suburban railway service has two lines: the C1 to Fuengirola and the C2 to Álora. In 2016, they were used by 10,530,000 passengers.
Miguel Ángel Heredia has presented a series of questions in writing to the government about this apparent discrepancy between levels of service and investment. He complained that the C-1 between Malaga and Fuengirola is one of the most profitable in Spain, but despite this the province has received less than 11 per cent of the investment in suburban rail services made by the government since Mariano Rajoy came into power. He asked, “Does the government consider that spending just over one million euros a year for the suburban railway in Malaga province is sufficient, especially taking into account that this sum includes the cost of studying the project to extend the line to Marbella?”