Positive Rail Viability Study

Thursday, September 5, 2019
By Martin Myall

MOT Port Rail Connection 01The University of Granada has carried out a technical study and concluded that a Motril-to-Granada train connection is possible. Not only that but it’s also economically viable.

The study compared the cost of building it and its economic viability with similar rail infrastructure in Spain and found that it could well work.

The line, the study says, would link the two most important cities in the Province of Granada, providing a social nexus as it would articulate the rest of the province.

This information is an advance on the study, whose full content won’t be made public until mid month, yet what has already been divulged completely demolishes the excuses used by different administrations over the years to label the project as impractical.

We’re talking about a high-capacity line with trains running at 140 KPH, covering the distance between the port and the capital in between 40 to 50 minutes.

That might sound odd, when compared with the autovia, time wise, but you have to take into account that a rail line would have to take a longer route in order to lose altitude gradually; in other words 850-odd metres down to only a few metres above sea level. The city is actually in a basin and lower than that but the highest point between Motril and Granada is the Suspiro del Moro Pass.

This difference in height between the two terminuses has long been the excuse to ignore such an idea but the fact is that the existing rail connection (AVE) between Málaga and Antequera has an even greater height difference.

Another thing that puts yet another nail in the coffin of administrative stalling is the fact that the environmental impact is not a problem.

The Head of the Puerto de Motril, José García Fuentes, couldn’t be happier with these findings but emphasises that administrative cooperation from the Central Government is essential.

And who is going to be in that particular driving seat in Madrid is far from clear as it looks like we’re heading for another General Election in November. The present cabinet is still running on the previous administration’s budget from 2017 so there are no funds to earmark for such a project.

Concluding, Motril is the only port in Spain that does not have a rail connection and the chance of including it within the Mediterranean rail corridor has already been shelved. Connecting Motril to Granada and thus to the national rail network would make good this communication deficit.

Editorial comment: over the last 30-odd years Spain has become used to putting its hand out for EU funding when it comes to communication infrastructure, amongst other things, so much so that the idea of public-private funding, or even solely private funding is never considered.

If Motril wants a rail connection, then the Granada industrial-comercial sector should seriously consider putting up most of the funds itself, because waiting for a Central Government to budget for it is becoming more and more unlikely given that the EU gravy train has stopped running.

(News: Motril, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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