Locals burn effigy of Costa del Sol train during traditional San Juan celebrations

COSTA del Sol locals have burnt an effigy of the long-awaited coastal train to celebrate San Juan. 

A PAGAN festival designed to mark the start of Summer, San Juan is about saying goodbye to the past and moving forward towards the future. 

Despite the various rituals intended to ‘purify’ you of the past: jumping over fire, bathing in the ocean, throwing a list of your regrets into a bonfire, Estepona locals were still holding onto old grievances. 

At 12 midnight, they set alight to various effigies symbolising the past year’s significant events: Alcaraz’s French Open win, Real Madrid’s victory at the Champion’s League and…the Costa del Sol train? 

READ MORE: Fresh hope for Costa del Sol train: Government of Spain to investigate project that would extend  Malaga railway line to Marbella and beyond

A cheeky dig at the central government or a hopeful look towards the future? The Costa del Sol train effigy was unexpected.
Photo: The Olive Press

The effgy, featuring a 19th century train and conductor, read ‘Litoral Costa del Sol 1878’ (Coastal Train Costa del Sol 1878). 

It is thought the date is a reference to when the Malaga-Gibraltar Rail Company got permission to build a Cadiz to Malaga line in 1878. 

However, the permission ran out in 1906 and some 150 years later, no train has appeared.

The train has long been demanded by local politicians and residents alike, who say the line is ‘essential’ for the region’s growth and economy. 

READ MORE: Malaga says Costa del Sol train project is essential for the province to continue growing

Nonetheless Madrid politicians have rejected the idea multiple times, citing the difficult, mountainous terrain and high cost of the project.

It comes as a working group has been formed including the Minister for Transport, Oscar Puente and the Junta de Andalucia, to investigate the viability of the line.

According to recent reports, the project would take around eight years and cost €2,500-2,700 million.  

It would connect the current high speed line between Cordoba and Malaga to Marbella.

The project would also adapt the existing cercancias line, passing through the airport, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola and Mijas. 

According to a recent report by the Junta, the new train line would be ready by 2032 to serve between 34-46 million passengers.

READ MORE: Andalucia President says project is essential for Malaga’s economy as he blasts Madrid for ‘laughing and looking the other way’

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