A visitor at the RailLive! international congress in Malaga. / MIGUE FERNÁNDEZ

Junta seeks private operator to provide medium-distance train services between Andalusian cities

Tender to be put out before the end of the year to study the demand for this service

IGNACIO LILLO

A private operator is set to be brought in to provide medium-distance train services between the main Andalusian cities.

This would be similar to those already operating AVE high speed trains, the first of which will arrive in Malaga in March next year.

This will be the case if the proposal being worked on by the regional Ministry of Public Works is successful, although the project would take several years.

Regional minister Marifrán Carazo announced on Wednesday, before the inauguration of the international congress RailLive! at Malaga's congress centre, together with Spain's Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, and the Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, that her department is going to put out to tender a study on the demand for this service before the end of the year.

"We are ready to manage the railway and to add kilometres for the benefit of connectivity and the environment," Carazo said.

The Andalusian government has already made a first offer to Madrid to manage the railway in Andalucía. Carazo said: “We are going to offer to the Ministry [of Transport] to connect cities by means of competitive intercity services, with better frequencies, to help solve the existing deficit”.

Carazo added that the idea is to have a private operator, although the Junta will manage the operation, once the government and Adif authorise the leasing of the conventional track. If the project succeeds, for which the councillor has set a deadline for the end of this term of office, there will be more connections between all Andalusian cities.