‘Old Chestnuts’, such as golf courses, marinas, sewage plants, rail links and other items regularly rear their heads, particularly if an election is looming. Some of these have been endlessly resurrected for decades, if not longer.
A rail service east of Málaga has been one of these projects and, naturally, seems no nearer to being a reality than cheap flights to the moon. However, there once actually was a coastal rail line eastwards from Málaga.
In 1905, a company called Ferrocarriles Suburbanos de Malaga was established, financed using Belgian capital, and with the purpose of building and operating a suburban railway service in Màlaga. The railway line from the city of Málaga to Torre del Mar opened on January 23, 1908 and, six months later, the line was extended to Vélez-Málaga, further enhancing connectivity in the region.
By 1921, the train had reached Periana, and the following year, it extended to Ventas de Zafarraya in Granada province. There were plans to extend the line to Almeria, but these never came to fruition.
Unfortunately, services came and went and then on April 22nd 1968, the railway ceased all operations.
There are several old railway station buildings, and even tunnels, still standing, such as in Torre del Mar, Benajarafe and further down the coast in Fuengirola.
The current Torre del Mar bus station (pictured above) is located in the building that was used as the train station back in the day. It dates from 1904 and, although the building is not declared as historic, it has an interestingly eclectic decoration, with neo-mudejar style brickwork for the edges of the doors, openings and corners. It has overhanging eaves and gabled roofs with green glass tiles.