The Malaga-Madrid high-speed rail line was affected at La Sagra, in Toledo. SUR
Heavy rain causes travel chaos in Malaga on the final day of summer holidays

Heavy rain causes travel chaos in Malaga on the final day of summer holidays

The storms on Sunday flooded tracks and hit high-speed train services between the city and Madrid, while some flights at the Costa del Sol's airport also suffered delays

Jesús Hinojosa / Pilar Martínez


Monday, 4 September 2023, 10:50


The heavy rains that swept across Spain on Sunday 3 September also caused travel chaos in Malaga at the weekend, forcing many trains to Madrid to grind to a halt and planes to be grounded at the Costa del Sol airport as a result of the downpours.

In Madrid, the state weather agency Aemet had placed the region on a red alert as a 'dana' (depresión aislada en niveles altos), a 'cold drop' depression at high levels of the atmosphere sat over Spain.

The serious storms hit on the last day of school holidays in the country, and caused a transport nightmare that has also continued to have an impact on some services this Monday morning. The situation was particularly bad on the Madrid - Malaga high-speed railway line. Train operator Renfe and track manager Adif, confirmed the route had been disrupted because the track was flooded "by water and mud" at La Sagra, in the province of Toledo.

Trains initially came to a standstill on Sunday afternoon. One of the two tracks of the line was re-opened at 6pm, and the second track was restored shortly after but just as the train services were returning to normal, a new breakdown happened at 8pm.

As the company reported early this Monday, at 1.40am. Adif technicians reestablished traffic with speed limitations between La Sagra and Yeles (Toledo), on the Madrid-Andalucía high-speed line. However, the first Avant trains linking the southern region with Toledo and Ciudad Real did not run. However, just after 9am, the company reported that traffic on the Madrid-Andalucía line had finally been restored to normal.

Malaga Airport

The heavy rain also caused delays to the arrival and departure of numerous flights on Sunday at Malaga Airport. The flight departing for Melilla at 3.35pm was delayed by two hours and 25 minutes, while a flight to Nice in France was delayed by an hour and a half, similar to an aircraft bound for Madrid at 5pm in the afternoon. There were also delays on flights to London, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Brussels, Paris and Sofia, among others.

European aviation organisation Eurocontrol reported "significant delays" to planned flight operations at Madrid-Barajas airport due to thunderstorms. "A very complicated day for air traffic management in Spain. Thank you for the patience of passengers and thanks to the crews for their collaboration," it said on its social media networks. Enaire, which manages flight operations at Aena airports, had warned on X (Twitter) that "the 'dana' is having a great impact on the network".

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