CAF Urbos 2 in Malaga in 2007
|Native name||Tranvía de Vélez-Málaga|
|Transit type||Tram, light rail|
|Began operation||11 October 2006|
|Ended operation||4 June 2012|
The Vélez-Málaga Tram (Spanish: Tranvía de Vélez-Málaga) was operating between October 2006 and June 2012 connecting the Spanish town Vélez-Málaga with the coastal town Torre del Mar. It is the first modern low-floor tramway system service that has been taken out of service.
Construction began in 2003, with the service opening on 11 October 2006.
The tram line was not connected through to the city center of Vélez-Málaga – passengers had to switch in the outskirts to a bus line. At the same time, the direct bus service from Torre del Mar to the city center of Vélez-Málaga was kept. As a consequence the ridership fell from 890,000 passengers in 2007 to 676,000 in 2011.
Construction on an extension of 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) (from the northern terminus, Parque Jurado Lorca station, to Esplanada de la Estaciónto in the Vélez-Málaga city center) began during 2008, but upon its completion the tram operator took its chance to ask for a higher support from the city treasury for the operational costs of the system. The city officials declined, and so the extension was never put into service – and with the elections in 2011 the Partido Popular came into power which chose to decline paying for the costs of the tramway system.
Closure of the system was achieved on 4 June 2012 with an initially temporary shutdown of the tram line. The line has not operated since June 2012.
There are plans to reactivate the line during 2017.
Services on the line were operated by three Urbos 2 trams. These were transferred to the light rail network in Sydney, Australia, entering service in March 2014. Following the introduction of new Urbos 3 trams in Sydney, they were withdrawn from service in July 2015 and intended to be returned to Spain later that year.
For the reopening of the line in 2017 the Vélez-Málaga town hall considers buying smaller models.
- "El primer tranvía moderno andaluz entra en servicio en Vélez-Málaga". El País (in Spanish). 12 October 2006.
- "Velez-Malaga tram sank into oblivion". EuroweeklyNews. EuroweeklyOnline. 16 September 2014. Archived from the original on 29 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Chloe Glover (2016-12-11). "Closed Axarquia tramline set to re-open at last". Olive Press News (expat mag).
- Cabezas, Eugenio (9 July 2013). "El tranvía de Vélez inicia su viaje a Sidney". SUR.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 September 2014.
- "LRV's of the Sydney Light Rail Inner West Extension". Engineers Australia. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- "Junta de Andalucía confirms 40 per cent funding for tram repairs". Sur in English. 2016-12-12.