By Camila O'Reilly • 15 January 2020 • 10:39
ABANDONED: The tram was closed down in June 2012
THE TRAM LINE in Velez-Malaga could be finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The infrastructure that cost approximately €45 million is a sore point for many local residents.
The tram was the first of its kind in Andalucia, but after a dispute between the operator Travelsa and the Town Hall, it became the first modern tramway system to be taken out of service. Just six years after its inauguration, the line has not been in operation. Since the tram closed down in June 2012, there has been plans to reactivate the service and extend it along the coast.
Now, seven years later, the Town Hall has budgeted €2 million for the repair work of the city’s infamous tram. In 2019, the local government team tried -to no avail- to find a company who would take on the job.
The tram line is over six kilometres and includes video surveillance systems, traffic lights, electrical infrastructure and a control and communications centre, among other things. All of this infrastructure has been abandoned for seven years without any maintenance. So much so, that the extent of the damage is unknown.
However, unlike in 2019, the New Year seems to bring better luck for the tram line. The Mayor, Antonio Moreno, stated that at least two interested companies have contacted the Town Hall. He added that they not only wanted to repair the infrastructure, but also manage the service.
It is worth noting that -while in service- the tram experienced an unusually large number of accidents. Although none serious, local police registered 30 incidents in the first year of operations. In 2009, one tram did not stop at the terminus but instead continued along the unopened extension track, barrelling through unsuspecting parked cars.
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