Malaga's María Zambrano train station / MIGUE FERNÁNDEZ

There are not enough AVE high-speed trains to go around, admits Renfe rail boss

Speaking on the Costa del Sol, the company's president, Isaías Táboas, said a shortage of drivers is not the only problem affecting the Madrid - Malaga route

IGNACIO LILLO

When the president of the Renfe train operating company, Isaías Táboas, officially opened the remodelled La Nogalera station in Torremolinos, he was obliged to face complaints over the lack of AVE high-speed services between Madrid and Malaga city, which is making travel difficult for many and ticket prices expensive.

The mayor of Torremolinos, Margarita del Cid, who also heads the Costa del Sol Tourist Board, was the first to raise the issue, and then it came up again during questions from journalists.

Until now, Renfe had blamed a lack of drivers, but Táboas admitted that there was an additional problem: there aren’t enough trains to return the service to the level it was before the pandemic.

He did say that from 15 July there will be one more service a day, bringing the total to 11 (there were 13 or 14 a day in 2019) and that when he looked at the number of trains there were three summers ago, the level of services to Malaga now is better than many other tourist cities, and that from 15th it will be the same as Valencia and higher than Barcelona and Zaragoza.

He also said that “we have exactly the same number of high speed trains as in 2019,” but during this time more cities have been added to the high speed network. “Until the new trains arrive, we have to redistribute them and that does mean that some cities have one or two fewer this summer,” he said. “Everyone in Spain has the right to be able to access a high-speed rail service”.