New train line

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23 Jan 2015 12:53 AM by westport Star rating in London & Co.Mayo Ire.... 509 forum posts Send private message

Below are details of the new train line from Fuengirola to Marbella and Estepona. If it took 8 years to get our road finished and 10 years to start work on the Paseo, I esitimate this one to take about 100 years. Maybe our great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren will get to use it.

~~Rail route to Marbella and Estepona to be decided by April, says Pastor
The construction plans for the most viable route for the new line could start to be drawn up at the end of this year
16.01.15 - 11:26 -
The Spanish Minister for Development, Ana Pastor, arrived at Malaga Airport on Tuesday laden down with promises regarding the unfinished infrastructure projects in the province.
The most waited for announcement refers to the extension of the local Cercanías train service as far as Marbella and Estepona.
A year and a half after starting, engineering consultancy Ineco is about to conclude its study of the railway which will be presented to the public before April.
The engineers have taken into account three possible routes to run the trains from the current last stop of the line in the centre of Fuengirola to both Marbella and Estepona, according to sources from the Development Ministry.
Although no details have been released at this stage, it is clear that the densely-populated area leaves few options. The new railway will use existing roads such as the N-340, the A-7 or the AP-7.
It is not yet known whether the line will be underground (something the Junta considers too expensive), overground or a combination of both.
What is also unknown at this stage is whether private investment is to be considered for what is expected to be a lucrative service, given that Marbella has 150,000 inhabitants and Estepona has a further 70,000 and the proposed extension will connect these people with Malaga airport.
The decision on the most suitable route will be determined by “technical and budgetary” issues and these are to be publicly discussed at a date that fits in with this year’s general elections. Then follows a public consultation period which has a minimum length of six months. Only after that will the Ministry of Development put the construction plans of the train line out to tender, something which is predicted to take place before the end of 2015.
Ana Pastor has said that she considers this project “very important” and appeared committed to ensuring it happens.
Other projects
The Minister also discussed other pending and proposed schemes during her visit to Malaga.
One that she stressed needs to be prioritised is a direct high-speed or AVE train connection between Malaga and Seville which would cut journey times from its current hour and 55 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes or an hour and a half according to the stops made.
“They are both important cities and need this transport connection,” Pastor said.
With regard to the AVE service between Malaga and Granada which is in its final stages of construction but still has three unfinished stretches, Pastor revealed that “if there is no technical hitch it will be completed in 2015”.


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26 Jan 2015 9:32 PM by calv Star rating. 89 forum posts Send private message

Yes, I´d give up on that one Westport


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30 Jan 2015 11:34 PM by westport Star rating in London & Co.Mayo Ire.... 509 forum posts Send private message

Latest on the new train line.

Looks like some people could be losing their holiday homes to CPO’s if this goes ahead.

Trains that eventually go to Marbella and Estepona will have to offer a journey time similar to that of a car, the stops will need to be in town centres and Malaga airport must become a communications hub if the proposed new railway is to be efficient and useful
30.01.15 - 11:15 -
The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Susana Díaz, and the minister of Public Works, Ana Pastor, have been in Malaga recently. Both have agreed on the need to push forward as soon as possible with the project for Marbella and Estepona to be connected by rail, but they each have different proposals: the president of the region wants a new railway line to be built and has applied for funding from the EU’s Juncker Plan for the project, while the minister announced that her plan to extend the existing suburban railway line will be presented by April at the latest.
Despite differing ideas about how the project should be carried out, there is general agreement that the western Costa does need a railway service, and one with the characteristics to make it efficient and useful for local people and tourists alike. Independent engineers and town planning experts, as well as technicians from the Adif and Renfe railway companies who were consulted by Diario SUR all agree that this project needs to fulfil three basic priorities, because without them there would be no sense in an investment of this magnitude: the train must offer a journey time which is similar to that of a car; the stops must be in the town centres and the airport has to operate as the main point of reference.
Journey time
The length of the journey is a key element in making the new service competitive, because otherwise people will not be persuaded to use the train instead of a private vehicle, and that is the enemy that has to be beaten. All the experts agree on this point, although with differences about what they would consider ‘an optimum time’ and how to achieve it.
Town planner Ángel Asenjo considers that in order for the train to replace car journeys the duration should be about 35 - 40 minutes and he therefore proposes that a new railway line be created from the airport to Marbella. “There is no sense in extending the line from Fuengirola unless it is widened. Buildings would have to be compulsorily purchased and if there is no way of doing that then a new line is needed,” he says.
Specialists at the railway companies point out that at present the journey time from central Malaga to Fuengirola is exactly 46 minutes. They say that as long as a series of technical criteria and expropriation can be fulfilled, by extending the suburban (Cercanías) line it would be possible for a train to reach Marbella in that time, or slightly longer.
Whether it is a completely new route or an extension of the existing one, there are points on which the experts agree entirely. One is that it is imperative that the line has a double track. They point out that only two thirds of the suburban C-1 line were able to be widened because of problems of space. This is the only way it would be possible to guarantee the journey time and the frequency of trains. The lines also have to be international gauge to allow them to connect with the High Speed Cordoba-Malaga line, so that in the future it would be possible to run a direct service between Madrid and Marbella.
As well as journey time and frequency of service, price is a key factor in competitiveness against private vehicles. Bearing in mind the current ticket prices on the Cercanías line, the experts estimate a cost of about five euros for a one-way ticket from Malaga to Marbella. The cost to Fuengirola at present is 3.60 euros, and with a discount for 10 journeys (a season ticket which is valid for one month) the cost is 25.05 euros. There is also a monthly season ticket for unlimited travel (100.15 euros). In the case of Marbella, unlimited travel for a month would have to cost about 120 euros.
Urban route
This is another factor on which there is full agreement: the stations would have to be in the town centres and convenient for travellers. “The coastal train, in order to be efficient, profitable and viable, has to pass through all the urban districts; there is no sense in a route through places that are not densely populated,” says Ángel Asenjo. In his opinion, the new railway must service the population of the most important districts so he considers it essential for the route to run beside the old N-340 highway. He also wants a central station to be located in La Ermita area of Marbella, and says there has to be a stop in San Pedro Alcántara.
The railway company technicians agree that the stations need to be in the town centres and urban districts, where the population density is highest, to attract more passengers. “There is no sense in putting them outside the towns because people aren’t going to get in their cars or take a taxi to go to the station,” says one.
At the same time, these experts say a limited number of new stops should be created along the route to make it easy for people to travel to the larger towns from outside. In the case of passengers travelling to Marbella, as well as a stop in the town centre there could be others in La Cala de Mijas, Calahonda, the Costa del Sol hospital and San Pedro Alcántara (where a significant part of the local population lives). Not many more than those, though, to make the services that go to the principal town fast and efficient.
The airport as the epicentre
Connections with Malaga airport should be another key factor in the project, not only to provide a fast link with towns on the Costa del Sol but also to connect with the high speed service to major cities elsewhere in Andalucía. By connecting the new railway to the airport, this would become the central hub for international communications and the region.
The station at the airport (not the ones in Malaga city) would play a vital role in the new railway service, especially in peak season. In fact, when it was built, it was prepared to receive the AVE at some point in the future. This part of the project is also essential so that daily services could be created between Madrid and Marbella.
Juncker Plan
Because of its strategic possibilities and as a way to attract travellers, this project could be ideal for funding under the EU’s Juncker Plan. However, not in the form it has been understood until now, with funding solely from European funds, because this is also an opportunity to attract private investment from railway operators who are interested in building and running a new line, with high expectations of profitability in the medium term.
This is roughly the plan for the train service the Costa del Sol needs. From now on, as with the AVE, local people will now have to make their voices heard about what form the new train service should take.

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