The cities of Malaga and Granada could be connected by AVE high-speed train by the end of this year, or early 2021 at the latest. The key part of the works which will enable the service to begin is the new Antequera-Ciudad station, which is now around 80 per cent complete. The contract with the previous constructor was cancelled (which led to a three-year delay) and reassigned in April 2019. The works were expected to take about 12 months to complete.
The Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias (Adif) organisation, which is behind this project, has confirmed that the main elements are now at an advanced stage: the station building, platforms, access roads and parking areas. The structure, roof, panelling, lifts and escalators in the passenger building are finished, and the curtain wall of the front and granite flooring will be completed soon. All the installations are progressing well and some, like the heating and air conditioning, are already finished.
The structures and cement paving of the platforms are ready, and the finishes and outside painting is almost done. The plate tracks have also been installed for each platform,
In terms of urbanisation, all the earth movement and digging works are complete, and so are the roads and car parking area. The structures of the ventilation shafts have been built, as have the stairways, and the pedestrian access is very advanced. An underpass has also been built so passengers can cross from one platform to another beneath the tracks.
Renfe says the station will open and the Avant, the medium-distance service between Malaga and Granada, will start running very soon, once all the necessary safety permits have been granted. The rail operator has decided to wait for those before selling tickets, although officially it could do so now, with a model similar to that for the Malaga-Seville connection, which calls at Cordoba and Santa Ana station in Antequera on the way. This makes the journey time uncompetitive when compared with the time it takes to do the same trip by car or bus.
When this new Antequera-Ciudad station is ready, however, the trains will be able to run directly along the Gobantes bypass and that will shorten the journey time between the two provincial capital cities to one hour and 20 minutes.
The service will be using series S-114 (Alstom) trains and there are expected to be three a day in each direction.