Rail services paralysed as bridges fall and tracks hang loose after inland flooding

Damage on the Bobadilla-Algeciras line at the Las Tinajas steam.
Damage on the Bobadilla-Algeciras line at the Las Tinajas steam. / Ñito Salas
  • Damage is considerable in many areas and the inland towns of Teba and Campillos may be without running water for several weeks

The storm that swept across parts of northern and western Malaga province last weekend cut off some railway lines, forcing the suspension of services for the time being.

From early on Sunday morning there were no services on the Seville-Malaga, Malaga-Ronda, Granada-Bobadilla-Algeciras and Seville-Granada routes of the medium distance non-high speed trains. Sections of track and bridges had been swept away by the fast-moving flood waters. The AVE or Avant lines via Cordoba were not affected as they follow a different route.

The damage to rail routes will take several months to put right, said track infrastructure owner Adif. Train operator Renfe quickly announced alternative routings and replacement bus services until further notice.

Engineers are considering using an unfinished stretch of AVE high- speed line running from Antequera towards Seville. Parts of this route, which was mothballed when funds ran out, are close to the damaged Seville-Malaga traditional gauge line. This route was being seen this week as a possible, quicker solution to getting the trains running again on the old line, especially in Aguadulce, just across the provincial border in Seville, where the rains swept away a large metal bridge.

A dozen main roads were also cut off during and after the torrential rain in Malaga province, including the A-92 Seville-Granada road, and the AP-7 and A-7 near Estepona.

This week Estepona council has estimated that a million euros alone is needed to repair its damaged rural roads. However local farmers in the municipality have called for faster action to remove storm debris from rivers such as the Padrón and Castor.

Inland, the Caminito del Rey tourist walk will be closed until Tuesday, 30 October, due to damage, and in nearby Teba and Campillos water tankers are being used, as officials say that mains running water may not be restored to homes for several weeks as piping has been washed away in the flooding.