PLANS for a long-awaited Malaga-Marbella train line have been proposed by local engineers.
The Platform for Malaga Infrastructure, a group of engineers dedicated to improving the province’s infrastructure, has presented a report with plans for the train line.
The proposal for a third ‘cercanias’ line would stop in Churriana, Alhaurin el Grande, Alhaurin de la Torre, Coin, Ojen, Marbella and San Pedro Alcantara.
Jesus Martin, one of the engineers behind the plans, said the proposal was a response to Malaga’s lack of rail travel in comparison to similar cities like Bilbao, Valencia and Alicante.
He also recognised the large numbers of people that live in towns outside the capital with little transport connections.
The report cited the difficulty of construction due to the rocky terrain along the coast and the lack of construction space.
It also criticised the inability of current cercanias lines (C1 and C2) to meet demand, with passengers often waiting in long queues and overcrowded trains.
The plans are not proposing an extension of the C1 cercanias to Fuengirola, but a completely new line.
Currently, the journey to Fuengirola takes 45 minutes.
If the line was extended to Marbella, it would take around the same time as driving from Malaga.
However, if the new Malaga-Marbella line was constructed, the journey would only take 40 minutes.
Aside from the main line, there will also be an alternate tram route from Coin to Marbella, passing through Monda and Ojen.
According to the planners, places that will benefit most from the plans will be prioritised in this order: Marbella, San Pedro, Alhaurin de la Torre, Las Lagunas (Mijas), Coin and Alhaurin el Grande.
They also highlighted two ‘essential’ locations to include: el Hospital Costa del Sol and Marbella bus station.
The Platform advised taking tourism into account, as well as considering high speed options.
In an interview with Viva Malaga, Martin highlighted the plans were ‘long term’, ‘high cost’ solutions with the top two options costing up to €2.6 billion.
The options, with the least investment but highest social impact, could benefit up to 300,000 people.
However, the plans could take up to 10 years to complete, according to Martin’s ‘conservative guess’.
Now, the plans will be sent to various associations in order to gain social support and signatures backing the proposal.
It is hoped that this will put pressure on the Junta, local councils and the Ministry of Transport to seriously consider the plans.
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