In a widely publicised meeting with central government president Mariano Rajoy, president of Andalucía regional government Susana Díaz has won agreement from the highest authority in the land for a €3.9 billion Costa del Sol train line.
The Costa del Sol Corridor passenger train is set to connect the existing Málaga to Fuengirola line with Marbella and Estepona – after years of campaigning by resident and tourist groups, Marbella is still the only Spanish town without a train service. In Costa del
While Díaz eventually envisages a high-speed rail link between Marbella and Madrid, for the time being she´s secured backing to bid for European funding in a smooth, successful manoeuvre taking advantage of Commission president Juncker´s Investment Plan announced last month.
The massive project involves construction of a train line transporting goods from Algeciras Port in Cádiz – Andalucía’s southernmost point – along the Algeciras-Bobadilla stretch of track, connecting Marbella and Estepona with the Costa del Sol Corridor passenger train as well the A-4 highway running from Cádiz to Sevilla – second cheapest of Spain´s eleven toll roads at €6.30 for cars.
The Worldwatch Institute praises Spain as “an up-and-coming rail power, maintaining the largest high-speed rail construction program in Europe”, highlighted along with Germany, Japan and China for “substantial and sustained investments in rail and transit infrastructure, and major commitments to public transportation that offer important lessons for the United States.”
Rajoy also agreed to Díaz´s request to review terms and conditions under the Convergence Fund which would have obliged Andalucía to return €426 million of its 2013 allocation, with other autonomous communities facing the same predicament.
Demonstrating a hugely positive gender reversal role – it´s normally men who ask for train sets at Christmas – Díaz has transformed the current and future fortunes of residents and tourists of all financial means.
Emphasizing the coastal train line´s vital importance for all aspects of the Andalusian economy, offering vast improvements in convenience and travel choices for residents and tourists, as well as raising the region’s profile at international level, Díaz confirmed these are the proposals she will be presenting to the Commission when she meets Juncker in January, “in response to what Andalucía deserves and needs.”
Other local campaigners go further still, claiming the Marbella train line is the most important proposal of all and “an advantage we have due to demand for 100 million journeys per year which will cover Estepona to Marbella in 20 minutes.”
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