Córdoba–Málaga high-speed rail line

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Map showing high speed services already in operation, under construction, planned or in study (December 2011). Also shows upgraded lines.
Nuevo Acceso Ferroviario a Andalucía
0 km Madrid-Atocha
Madrid–Barcelona line
Madrid–Seville line
345.2 Córdoba-Central
Río Guadalquivir
Beginning of Córdoba-Málaga line
Madrid–Seville line continues to Seville
5.8 Río Guadalquivir
7.7 La Marota
8.8 La Marota
11.6 Guadalmazar
25.6 Carretera Nacional N-IV
34.6 Santaella
37.8 Arroyo del Salado
43.5 Río Cabra
50.2 Ingeniero
54.9 Río Genil
61.4 Puente Genil-Herrera
75.3 Río Yeguas
89.2 Autovía A-92
93.1 Sierra Humilladero Tunnel
96.6 Antequera-Santa Ana
97.7 Santa Ana gauge-changer
100.4 River Guadalhorce
106.6 Gobantes Tunnel
110.8 Abdalajís Tunnel
118.4 Arroyo Piedras
121.4 Alora
122.5 Arroyo Espinazo
123.4 Arroyo Jevar
125.0 Alora
126.5 El Espartal Tunnel
128.2 Tevilla Tunnel
130.4 Gibralmora Tunnel
133.3 Cártama Tunnel
135.4 Viaduct
149.5 Los Prados
152.8 Tunnel in Málaga
154.5 Málaga-María Zambrano

The Córdoba–Málaga high-speed rail line is a standard gauge railway line of 155 km in length (the total distance between Córdoba and Málaga on the line is 170 km[1]), inaugurated on 24 December 2007. Designed for speeds of 300 km/h (186 mph) and compatibility with neighbouring countries' rail systems, it connects the cities of Málaga and Córdoba in Andalusia, Spain. This is part of the rail-route MadridMálaga and is connected to Madrid–Seville high-speed rail line. The line also has stops at Puente Genil and Antequera that are served by the AVANT service. At the time the service opened, RENFE was running 22 trains daily between Madrid and Málaga.


The high speed line from Córdoba to Málaga, which can be considered part of New Rail Access to Andalusia, is integrated into the PEIT (Strategic Infrastructure Plan of the Ministry of Development, 2005-2020) with an estimated investment of €2.1 billion[citation needed]. Construction and operation were entrusted to Adif.


The stations along the line are Córdoba Central, Puente Genil-Herrera, Antequera-Santa Ana and Málaga-María Zambrano.

The line runs along a double track section in the few kilometres after Córdoba Central and later becomes quadruple track. Eventually, just outside a town called Los Mochos (a few kilometres east-north-east of Almodóvar del Río), the Seville and Málaga branches become separate.[2][citation needed] The line takes a different route to the existing slower single-track line, but starts to run parallel to it between the towns of Doñana and Santa Rosalia Maqueda,[3] running alongside it for the rest of the journey to Málaga-María Zambrano station.

The line runs through precipitous terrain in the Sierra Nevada and several viaducts and tunnels were necessary to complete the connections, including the Guadalhorce viaduct (574m), the Abdalajís Tunnel (the 3rd longest in Spain after the Guadarrama and Pajares tunnels at 8970m in the Cordillera Bética), the Arroyo de las Piedras viaduct (1208m long and 93.4m high, making it the highest viaduct along the line), the Arroyo del Espinazo and Jévar viaducts (the longest viaduct along the line when the two are considered together) and the Álora, Espartal, Tevilla, Gibralmora and Cártama tunnels that exist in a long chain.[4] The precipitous terrain is one possible reason why the Córdoba-Seville section was opened in 1992, but the Córdoba-Málaga section wasn't opened until December 1997.[citation needed]

The AVANT services transport passengers directly from Seville to Málaga and vice versa, with intermediate stops at Puente Genil-Herrera and Antequera-Santa Ana stations between Córdoba and Málaga. The AVE service (using the AVE Class 102) offers Madrid-Málaga journey times of 2 hours and 30 minutes with direct services. The average speed of 205 km/h for this journey is not particularly high (the fastest Madrid-Barcelona journey is 2 hours and 38 minutes over 621 km, giving an average speed of 236 km/h): - trains are restricted to 200 km/h in the Sierra Morena (here, the curvature drops as low as 2300m,[5] meaning the maximum safe speed without tilting technology is approximately 226 km/h, as a curvature of at least 1800m is needed for 200 km/h and 7200m for 400 km/h [1]). The trains also slow down to 160 km/h for the Abdalajís and Gobantes tunnels, even though the tunnel radii are high enough to support 300 km/h.[6]

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