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Passengers packed inside a Cercanías commuter line train on the Costa del Sol. Migue Fernández
These are the sections of the C1 Costa del Sol line that could be converted from single to double track to get more trains running
Rail travel

These are the sections of the C1 Costa del Sol line that could be converted from single to double track to get more trains running

Of the 31 kilometre route that runs between Malaga city and Fuengirola, around a third remains single track which creates a bottleneck that prevents a more frequent service from operating

Ignacio Lillo

Malaga

Monday, 29 January 2024, 16:44

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Spain's state rail infrastructure company, Adif, is currently studying where, exactly, on the C1 Costa del Sol railway line between Fuengirola can be converted from single-track sections to double, in an effort to get more trains running.

It follows the Spanish government's recent commitment to improve rail services along the line such as reducing the wait time between C1 trains from 20 minutes to 15, and help ease the overcrowding and regular breakdowns that the popular service continues to experience.

Technicians are studying the sections of track in María Zambrano-Centro Alameda (Málaga city); Torremolinos-El Pinillo and Benalmádena-Campo de Golf area to consider whether a second track could be laid, to help relieve some of the current bottlenecks. These are the areas that still have single track sections.

Of the 31 kilometres of the total route from Malaga city to Fuengirola, some 19.9 kilometres have double track (around two thirds).

It initially seems plausible that it could be possible to double the capacity of the line between Plaza Mayor and Malaga Airport, a distance of about 3.5 kilometres, and in the Benalmádena area. However, on the section between the María Zambrano and Centro Alameda stations in Malaga city, an improvement of this type is not considered possible in the short term; and others also face great difficulties, due to their proximity to homes and existing infrastructure.

To reach the milestone announced by the minister of improving the frequency of circulation, from the current 20 minutes to 15, it would be necessary to have between seven and eight more kilometres of double tracks. That is: at least between 27 and 28 of the total 31 kilometres, according to the technical sources cited.

Additionally, the number of Civia train units operating on the line would also need to be increased.

The technical feasibility study will take several months, so any improvements identified will not happen any time soon.

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