Is a link between Granada and Motril viable and even if it is, are there funds to do it? These are questions surrounding the latest reports.
This idea has been kicking around since the late 1800s and was taken up again by the Junta in 2006 but this idea is a ‘train that has never left the station’ to date.
This time, however, it is the Port of Motril that is pushing the idea with the cooperation of the University of Granada, which has carried out a technical-viability report. With all political parties and the regional, provincial and municipal administrations behind it, the report concludes that it could be up and running in 2028… but who is going to pay for it?
The route covers 72 kilometres with a running time of 37 minutes between the provincial capital and Motril.
The report is so thorough that it could almost stand in for a construction project, taking into account environmental impact and clearly demonstrating that orologically (the study of mountains and their formation) speaking there would be no problems; i.e., the terrain conditions. This last point is very important because Central Governments under different political administrations had ruled out the project as physically unviable because of the terrain type and difference in altitude at both ends.
Above all there is traffic demand, both in passengers and freight, so much so that the reports calculates that in its first year in operation (2028) it could move 380,000 passengers, which would double in 25 years.
As far as environment impact goes, a functioning rail link would be very positive as far as pollution goes; what can be hauled by one train in comparison with a fleet of lorries, or carried in one passenger train compared with scores of cars and buses, can only be positive for the environment.
The train link would be a normal one, as opposed to a high-speed link, but even so with an average speed of 118kph the trip by train would be faster than travelling by bus or car. In fact, in parts of the route the train would be travelling at 140kph and not go slower than 75kph, except when entering stations, obviously.
A lot of the route would go via tunnels; 36 kilometres of the entire route will traverse tunnels with the longest one (18km) beginning in Vélez de Benaudalla and coming out near Alhendín.
The Port hopes that financing can be found from the EU as part of the covid-recovery funds.
Finally, such a rail line would not only benefit the Province of Granada, but also be very positive for companies in the Province of Jaén, giving direct access to the port and thus, North Africa.
Editorial comment: These Covid-Recovery Funds from Europe are for the small and medium businesses that have been knocked off their feet by the pandemic – it is not for huge construction projects. Yes, a rail link would be hugely beneficial for the Costa Tropical, but there will be no Costa Tropical if the funds do not reach the rightful benefactors intended.
(News: Granada, Andalucia)