Fresh demands for Costa del Sol train: Mayors and experts band together to insist on ‘necessary’ project

THE drumbeat for a Costa del Sol train is growing louder as a gaggle of the costa’s most prominent mayors have banded together to demand action from the government.

Their voices add to the already considerable collection of those from the business and economic sector, trade unions, the tourism sector, schools, the university, mobility experts and cultural and scientific groups.

The Junta de Andalucia, the Diputación de Malaga and various parties in Congress have already called for the train line, creating a virtual cacophony from every walk of malagueño society.

It comes in response to Spanish transport minister Oscar Puente pouring cold water on the prospect of a Costa del Sol train line.

READ MORE: High-speed train connecting Sevilla with Huelva is too expensive and ‘not worth it’, says Spain’s transport minister in huge blow for similar projects in Andalucia – including Cadiz

Rail bosses sacked after new train fleet was too tall for tunnels in northern Spain
The mayors of the Costa del Sol have demanded the government builds a litoral train. Antgarprats image Pixabay

He recently called the proposal ‘complicated and expensive,’ blaming the topography of the Costa del Sol where the line would be built.

He also expressed fears that the train would be ‘slow and uncompetitive’ and that people would still prefer to drive.

But the costa’s mayors universally rejected his arguments and poured scorn on the government’s lack of initiative.

The mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, said that a train line that offers a quick, efficient and frequent service which convinces drivers to leave their cars behind is ‘necessary.’

He cited proposals presented last January in the Malaga town hall of a new train service running at 160 kilometres per hour that combines long-distance with short distance (Cercanías) trains from the airport to Marbella, which would operate alongside the C1 line to Fuengirola.

READ MORE: Train from Malaga to Marbella is a ‘complicated and expensive’ plan, says Spain’s transport minister – these are the main roadblocks that have infuriated Andalucia

Angeles Muñoz, the mayor of Marbella called it ‘incomprehensible’ that Marbella is the only city in Spain with over 150,000 inhabitants that doesn’t have a train connection. 

“The coastal train is essential for our future, not only in terms of connectivity, but also in stimulating economic growth, favouring our position as an attractive destination for investment and business growth,” she said.

“It would be a profitable investment due to the annual passenger forecasts that this transport line expects,” she added, while slamming the government’s ‘neglect and lack of commitment’.

Jose María García Urbano, mayor of Estepona, commented that it is ‘incomprehensible’ that the government is reluctant to invest in the Costa del Sol, ‘one of the areas with the greatest economic dynamism in our country.’ 

Clockwise from top left: Angeles Muñoz, mayor of Marbella; Jose María García Urbano, mayor of Estepona; Francisco de la Torre, mayor of Malaga; Margarita del Cid, mayor of Torremolinos.

“It is incomprehensible that, despite the contribution that the Costa del Sol makes to national GDP, this economic growth is not accompanied by modern and competitive facilities such as a railway line for a territory that receives millions of tourists every year and in which a million people reside for a good part of the year,” he said.

Margarita del Cid, mayor of Torremolinos, said that ‘saying no to this entirely legitimate request is wanting to halt the growth of Malaga.’

“We’ve reached a point of no return: it has to be done,” she added.

Ana Mata, mayor of Mijas, admitted it is a ‘complicated initiative that requires a huge investment.’

“But that shouldn’t be a reason to give up on it because this train would represent a leap to excellence for the coast, similar to the airport expansion or the arrival of the AVE high-speed train in the past.”

On the eastern side of the Costa del Sol, the mayor of Nerja, Jose Alberto Armijo called it an ‘urgent priority’, one which is ‘so important for the economic and tourist development of the Costa del Sol, from Nerja to Manilva.’

Jesus Lupiañez, mayor of Velez-Málaga, added that it should ‘reach the provincial border in Manilva, or even extend to Algeciras in Cadiz, as a very important hub.’

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