Passengers wait for the train to open its doors. / SALVADOR SALAS

Missed trains

We're not even asking for a train line to Marbella, but at least allow current one to thrive

IGNACIO LILLO

We're not all that bad at jumping on bandwagons on the Costa del Sol; at least we haven't been left behind in the fields of technology, culture or tourism. However when it comes to missing trains we are number one in the world. Now, we're not even demanding that the local train line - or indeed anything that runs on rails - be extended as far as Marbella. The post-Covid recovery funds from the EU seemed a unique opportunity, one of those trains that only passes by once. Of course we missed it. But at least leave us with the trains we already had on the lines from Malaga to Fuengirola and Álora. Just as in the myth of Icarus, we've wanted to fly so high, aspire to so much, that the Sun of the Moncloa has scorched our wings, and at the same time reminded us of the little importance we have in Spain.

You wouldn't leave the people of Madrid and Barcelona, not even those of Seville, Valencia and Bilbao, with reduced train services for months on end. The story would be on the national news more than the volcano in La Palma. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his minister for Transport would drive the trains themselves if necessary.

But nobody cares about the Costa del Sol; after all, only 'guiris' use those trains - they must think - and so it doesn't matter to them if they get to the beach a bit later than planned. It's as if here there were no commuters who use the trains to get to work, or students who need to get to class... This is outrageous, and despite this madness, no one is resigning here; as we know in Spain, to resign might as well be a Russian name.

What is most difficult to understand is that such a blasé and insulting attitude towards thousands of Costa residents of middle and working classes comes precisely from a government that claims to be left-wing, and, even worse, green. All very left-wing, but here if you don't own a car then you have to wait for the next train and that's all there is to it. All very green, but the most sustainable means of transport, the only one capable of winning the battle against private vehicles, is always at the tail end of investment.

Forgive us, honourable Members of Parliament, for wanting, or rather dreaming, of going to Marbella one day by train, something that seems impossible, but in reality isn't. And forgive us for going on and on about this, and about the high-speed train to Granada and the 'bypass' on the Seville line and about so much more railway infrastructure we think we need.

But at least give us back the local Cercanías trains that you've taken away, so that we can stop looking like fools once and for all.