Malaga airport to Marbella in 22 minutes at a cost of €2.7 billion

New coastal train proposal Photo: Wikimedia CC / Hombre1896

A lot has happened since the beginning of the millennium when Chaves, then president of the Junta de Andalucia, presented his project for the coastal train to businessmen, bankers and developers. Twenty years later, it is back to square one and a new plan is presented to bring the railway to Marbella, the only Spanish city with more than 100,000 inhabitants that still does not have its own train connection.

This time it is not the Andalucian Regional Government that is pushing a solution, but the City Council of Malaga in collaboration with the Provincial Council, which has presented a new study that would make a train linking the capital with Marbella feasible at a cost of between €2.5 billion and €2.7 billion.

The study is not for a Cercanías train nor would it be a high-speed train, but a high-performance one, as the mayor has been proposing. The plan, signed by the consultancy firm ARCS, proposes vehicles that will run at 160 km/hour, instead of the 250 km/hour trains that have been requested until now. Thus, the journey between Marbella and the airport could be covered in 22 minutes if the train went straight through or 55 minutes with intermediate stops.

First phase: 9 stations

This study would only be the first phase of a future network that would reach Nerja to the east and at least Estepona, if not Gibraltar, to the west. Nine stations are proposed, Malaga/Costa del Sol Airport, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Las Lagunas, Mijas, Las Chapas, Hospital Costa del Sol and Marbella.

The line could run along two routes, according to José Alba, founder of the ARCS consultancy. “It could run along the A-7 line or it could be done by means of a tunnel,” he explained, hence the difference in cost of some €200 million. “The important thing is that it passes through the population centres, there is the possibility of doing it through the interior, cheaper, but then it would not benefit the majority of the population”.

This is where the report by Analistas Económicos de Andalucia, which depends on Unicaja, which financed the study, comes in. They calculate that in five years, the cost would be amortised as the new railway would make a profit of €600 million a year.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.


    • John Parkinson

      06 January 2024 • 12:00

      Do not ask the U.K. for any advice or the 2.7 million euros will soon increase to 127 million euros as evidenced by the HS2 fiasco

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