Key rail freight route from Spanish port to northern Europe gets green light to continue running past famous flamingo lagoon
During a major upgrade to the Bobadilla-Algeciras line two alternative routes had been considered to take it further away from the Fuente de Piedra nature reserve
Wednesday, 16 August 2023
The major modernisation project of the Algeciras-Bobadilla line to carry more freight from the port on the south coast of Spain to northern Europe has been given the go-ahead to continue running the route through the environmentally sensitive area by the Fuente de Piedra lagoon which is an important nesting site for flamingos.
The Junta's delegate of Sustainability, Environment and Blue Economy in Malaga has said that trains will be able to continue using the current route. The announcement will be made official in the coming days with the publication of the environmental assessment, although it is understood the Andalusian government will request some additional measures to protect fauna in the area.
The Sustainability delegate, José Antonio Víquez, said that his department is finalising the environmental assessment. He said that two alternative routes near the Fuente de Piedra lagoon were considered but there was “a problem of space, time and investment" and so the current line of the track will remain.
The railway line runs through several areas listed for bird conservation in Malaga province in addition to the Fuente de Piedra lagoon. There, the additional measures should favour both the nesting and the arrival of flamingos, whenever there is water in the lagoon Víquez said.
The northern part of the railway route is located inside a protected area of the Lagunas de Fuente de Piedra, Gosque and Campillos, which is also an important site for the reproduction and wintering of waterfowl, being the only regular breeding area for pink flamingo in Spain, and with a significant population of common bustard (83 wintering individuals). The area by the Setenil railway station is an important area for breeding birds of prey, such as the Bonelli’s eagle and the booted eagle.