Revealed: New €2.7bn plan to extend Malaga city’s train network to Marbella – and how long it would take to build

A NEW €2.7bn plan has been revealed for the long-awaited Malaga-Marbella train, but how long will construction take? 

It’s 20 years since a train connection between the capital and Malaga’s coastal towns was first discussed.

Now, plans drawn up by local engineers could see the project come to life.  

The Ayuntamiento de Malaga has collaborated with local councils to produce the new plan. 

It is estimated the project could cost between €2.5-2.7bn. 

According to the Ayuntamiento, the project could take up to eight years to be ready by 2032. 

They estimate four years to process the project’s paperwork, followed by another four years of construction. 

However, they highlight that this timescale is subject to the support of the central Spanish government. 

The plans will be presented to the Spanish Transport Minister for consideration. 

A ‘high performance’ line, it will not be classed as a high-speed or a so-called cercanias train. 

Created by consultancy agency, ARCS, has proposed trains of up to 160 km/ph, compared to the 250 km/ph vehicles included in the original plans. 

At this speed, visitors could travel directly from Malaga Airport to Marbella in just 22 minutes. 

This goes up to 55 minutes with stops in Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Las Lagunas, Mijas, Las Chapas and el Hospital Costa del Sol.

It is said the line could benefit between 34-46 million people, according ‘prudent’ estimates. 

The study is just the first phase of a train that could reach Nerja and Estepona. 

The current plans are some 47 km long and will run alongside the A-7 motorway. 

To reach most nearby towns the train will have to travel via tunnels, adding another €200 million euros onto the cost. 

However, according to a report by the Economic Analysts of Andalucia (Analistas Economicos de Andalucia), the social economic benefit could be €24.5 billion euros in 30 years. 

It is now hoped the report will push politicians to seriously consider the plans. 

According to Salado: “What we need now is political will. There is money, because it is invested in other communities, and technical solutions as well, as we have seen in Asturias”.

Alongside the train plans, connecting buses and extensive parking has also been proposed. 

They are also hoping that the train will connect the area with key cities like Sevilla, Granada and Cordoba. 

They also state that the current cercanias line between the airport and Fuengirola will remain in place, saying there is no possibility of extending the line. 

The plans come after a group of Malaga engineers put forward a plan for a third cercancias line to connect Malaga with nearby towns including San Pedro de Alcantara.


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