File image of Antequera. / sur

Train link set to connect Malaga with new Antequera station from next week

Currently the area is served by some 20 AVE high-speed trains, Avant and medium-distance 'Media Distancia' services which stop at Santa Ana railway station, but this is 19 kilometres from the town centre

IGNACIO LILLO / ANTONIO J. GUERRERO

The opening of the new Antequera-Ciudad station is expected to happen on 25 January and it will mean a huge improvement in rail connection between the town and Malaga.

Currently the inland area is served by some 20 AVE high-speed trains, Avant and medium-distance 'Media Distancia' services which stop at Santa Ana railway station, but this is 19 kilometres from the centre.

Initially, the plan is to start with between four and five departures in each direction. Specific timetables and prices have not yet been confirmed, although it is likely that frequent user passes will be introduced. The operational details will be announced in the next few days and, according to one expert, the journey time could be less than half an hour.

The new train terminal is located two kilometres from the historic city centre on the Cordoba road, and is close to the headquarters of the Dcoop cooperative, the La Salle-Virlecha educational centre, the headquarters of ADIPA (Antequera Association for the Mentally Handicapped) and the Finca Eslava hotel-restaurant. The previous service was suspended in April 2015 and its restoration has been welcomed by commuters and leisure travellers.

The new Antequera-Ciudad train station. / ANTONIO J. GUERRERO

For the time being, the high-speed tracks will be used, but the line also has conventional gauge tracks, so that, in addition to Avant services, new connections and frequencies can be used with medium-distance trains and the same Civia model as that used on the local Cercanías lines. Therefore a future local line operation or 'proximity service', halfway between medium-distance and Cercanías is possible, as will soon begin on the Malaga-Caminito del Rey line.

The new station will also have high-speed and Avant connecting services to Granada and Seville.