Friday, 27 January 2023, 09:30
A group of British railway enthusiasts are reliving the experience of travelling through Andalucía by train in the 1980s, an experience many of them enjoyed in their youth.
The unusual journey is organised by the company PTG Tours, and is currently touring (from 22 to 28 January) some of the main historical sites linked to the railway world in Andalucía.
The train is hauled by fabulously eye-catching old green and yellow diesel locomotives, including one manufactured by American Locomotive Company (ALCo) in the 1960s.
The tourist route has been officially named 'The Costa del Alco', although local enthusiasts and rail workers have christened it "el tren de los ingleses" (the train of the English).
The group of British enthusiasts boarded their train at Madrid's Chamartín station and travelled through the spectacular Despeñaperros gorge to Linares (Jaén), and from there it continued on to Almeria.
It then went to Guadix and stopped in Granada for the night.On Tuesday they reached Cordoba and headed towards Malaga, passing through the important Bobadilla junction and the Gaitanes gorge.
Their itinerary then took them to Algeciras along the Bobadilla line, one of the most spectacular routes in Spain, as it passes through the Serranía de Ronda towards Gibraltar. Stops were also planned in Cordoba, Seville and Cadiz, before returning to Madrid this weekend.
Alsa Rail operates tourist trains such as this one and others, including the Felipe II route in Madrid. Antonio Vázquez, the company's manager, said that the main attraction is the journey itself for the railway lovers.
"It is about remembering what the railway was like in Spain in the 80s, going through areas that many of them visited in their first trips to Spain during their youth. The objective of the trip is to travel on the train and see the landscapes during the journey; they are only in the cities to sleep."
Alsa has preserved the three locomotives that are covering the route in perfect working order, which, together with the old railway junctions they visit, are the main attractions.
"They are stopping at stations and areas that were travelled through in those days, some of which are now disused, but they want to make the same stops as they did 40 years ago," Vázquez said of the tour group.
The train caused great excitement among Malaga railway enthusiasts, who have been closely following its journey through the rolling Andalusian countryside.
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