Malaga's busy local train service / ÑITO SALAS

Renfe hires more train drivers and pledges to improve local services along the Costa del Sol

The hiring of four new staff will make it possible to reinstate 14 trains and return to the usual 20-minute frequencies for most of the day

IGNACIO LILLO

Four new drivers hired by Spain's national rail operator Renfe should allow commuters to see the Cercanías local service return to almost normal since cuts in November impacted the frequencies of trains, particularly on the Costa del Sol’s C1 line.

From 1 February it is expected that 14 trains out of the 32 on the C1 line that were cancelled will resume normal service with a roughly 20-minute wait between each train, as opposed to the 40-minute wait commuters have recently endured.

“From 1 February, seven services have been incorporated in each direction on C1 line and with this 85 per cent of services will be restored,” said Pedro Fernández, the national government's delegate in Andalucía, on 25 January.

In a recent interview with SUR, José Ángel Ferrero, manager of Renfe's public service in Andalucía said hiring new drivers and staff was essential.

The Cercanías service in Malaga lost a total of 34 trains per day in November 2021 and could only operate at 75 per cent of its usual timetable.

Faced with the impossibility of accelerating the training processes for the train drivers that would be necessary to maintain the 136 daily trains on the C-1 and C-2 lines in Malaga, Renfe chose to cancel 32 departures between Malaga and Fuengirola, 16 in each direction, and two on the Álora line, one in each direction. Currently, 76 trains circulate on the C1 line and 26 on the C-2.