Friday, 5 January 2024, 12:48
Connecting Malaga city and Marbella by train is an old aspiration that has notched up as many false dawns as different railway formats proposed for it. On Thursday this week, Malaga city hall hosted the presentation of a study written by veteran engineer José Alba and attended by the city's mayor, Francisco de la Torre, and the president of the Diputación provincial authority, Francis Salado. Their aim was to kick start a new project against the background of so many unfulfilled promises over the years.
The latest Malaga city plan would have trains running at up to 160 kilometres per hour that combined high performance with Cercanías short-distance capability. The line would be entirely new from the airport to Marbella and would therefore coexist with the current C1 suburban service to Fuengirola. It would have fewer stops linked with bus services and with parking areas.
The aim would be for cut-and-cover tunnelling most of the way not far from the route of the existing A-7 coastal road and a deeper tunnel near El Faro on Mijas Costa. A non-stop journey from Malaga Airport to Marbella would take 22 minutes. Adding in stops on the way, it would take 55 minutes.
The aim of the study, promoted by the council, is to stimulate discussion on getting a plan approved, steps for which can take up to eight years. "The report proves it is a profitable project and it could be opened to public-private partnership," said Malaga's mayor Francisco de la Torre.
The line would cost 2.7 billion euros to build and early forecasts are that it could see 46 million journeys a year. "Except for Madrid or Barcelona, no Spanish city offers a similar scenario," said study author José Alba.
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