Local politicians have said they see the EU's 140-billion-euro economic support fund for Spain as the perfect way to get the money at last to extend the Costa's rail line beyond Fuengirola towards Marbella and Estepona.
The mayor of Malaga and the president of the Diputación provincial authority have said the government should be lobbied for when it starts to divide up the high amount of Covid-19 money, the likes of which may never be seen again.
Two options are on the table for any extension of the line. The cheapest would run parallel to the AP-7 toll motorway, which a study in 2018 suggested would cost 2.4 billion euros. The more expensive involves more tunnelling and running closer to the coast, costing 3.85 billion euros.
Francisco de la Torre, Malaga's mayor, made clear that the line shouldn't be an extension of the existing Cercanías track to Fuengirola, but a new, faster line from Malaga connecting Marbella in 40 minutes.
Franciso Salado, of the Diputación, pointed out in the SUR-organised TV debate that Marbella is the only town in Spain with 100,000 people that does not have a direct rail link.
Among other projects in the politicians' sights for the EU funds is improving the connecting water pipes from La Concepción reservoir, near Marbella which fills quickly and has to be released out to sea, to the water-hungry Axarquía area.