Costa del Sol now accessible at high speed

A new 155-km high-speed train line in southern Spain links the cities of Córdoba and Málaga. It is a key part of the nation’s 2005-2020 Strategic plan for infrastructure and transport (PEIT).

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One of the 35 new viaducts along the Córdoba-Málaga high-speed line. Copyright: Adif One of the 35 new viaducts along the Córdoba-Málaga high-speed line. Copyright: Adif

“Trains run at speeds up to 300 km/hour along the new line and are part of a fast-expanding Spanish railways network.”
Pedro Pablo Merino, press relations, ADIF

The new Andalusian line has been constructed under a project co-funded by the EU. Connecting with the high-speed line from Madrid to Sevilla to Málaga, it is part of a drive to expand Spain’s high-speed rail network by a factor of ten by 2020.

New tunnels and viaducts

Spain today has the largest network of high-speed railways in the world, with track totalling some 2 100 km. Modernisation of its transport infrastructure is guided by the PEIT, one priority being the creation of a high-performance rail network, in line with similar developments across Europe. The goal for 2020 is to build some 12 000 of new high-speed track featuring UIC-gauge (1 435mm) rails.

Thanks to a major project partly funded by the EU, Spain now has a twin high-speed track running between the cities of Córdoba and Málaga. Approved in 1997, the project started in 2001 and work was divided between two main stretches: Córdoba and Antequera, and Antequera and Málaga.

Construction of the line included 30 km of tunnels in total, the longest being the Abdalajís tunnel at over seven km. There are also 35 viaducts along the line, with the Arroyo de las Piedras viaduct as high as a 30-storey building and over 1.2 km long. Trains can also transition from high-speed line to standard Iberian gauge lines thanks to new installations near Antequera Santa Ana station.

Shorter journey times

Around 155 km in total, the new high-speed line opened in December 2007 and is around 25 km shorter than the conventional route. This brings the Costa del Sol closer to other Spanish cities along the Madrid-Córdoba-Sevilla route, and the corresponding connections with high-speed lines between Madrid, Barcelona and the French frontier. In the summer, this new infrastructure allows thousands of extra passengers to be carried quickly (90 minutes faster than by conventional rail) and more safely between the nation’s capital and the Costa del Sol.

The Córdoba-Málaga line is a major new Andalusian rail route. It also connects to what will be the future transverse route from Sevilla to Granada. The two new intermediate stations, Puente Genil-Herrera and Antequera Santa Ana, support the majority of the Andalusian east and improve communications with cities along the Málaga coast.

Draft date

29/09/2010