High-Speed Lines

Cordoba-Malaga line


A way of making Europe.

During the period 2000-2006 co-financing was provided as follows:

  • by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Andalusia Integrated Operational Programme, the works to construct the line, with funding of 953.6 million euros.
  • (Information valid at 31 December 2012)

European Investment Bank (EIB)

Logo of the European Investment Bank (EIB)

The European Investment Bank (EIB) collaborates in the funding of this project. 



Construction of the Cordoba-Malaga High-Speed ​​Line represented the creation of the first high-speed connection between the Mediterranean and Spain’s interior.

The line was planned in 1999, as part of NAFA (New Railway Access to Andalusia) and was put into service in two phases. The first 100 kilometres between Cordoba and Antequera-Santa Ana entered into service on 16 December 2006. At that time two stations, very modern in design, were inaugurated: Puente Genil-Herrera and Antequera-Santa Ana.  On 23 December 2007 the line was completed as far as the new Vialia station of Malaga María Zambrano, an impressive railway and leisure complex located in the city centre, at the same location as the old station.

Construction of the Cordoba-Malaga High-Speed ​​Line represented the creation of the first high-speed connection The line has a total length of 155 kilometres of double track, exclusively for passenger traffic, and is designed for a maximum speed of 350 kilometres per hour. At Almodóvar del Rio (Cordoba) there is junction with the Madrid-Seville line that goes as far as Malaga. The route cuts 25 kilometres off the previous rail distance between these two cities in Andalusia.

Regarding journey times, the fastest service between Madrid and Malaga takes 2 hours and 20 minutes. The benefits brought by this line have also been extended to the Algeciras and Granada rail services.

At the end of May 2013, the number of travellers that have used this infrastructure reached ten million. At the same time, 86% of people travelling between Madrid and Malaga did so by high-speed rail, compared to 14% by air. In 2007, the distribution was 72% by air and 28% by rail.

Malaga Platforms


  • Length: 155 km
  • Double two-way track
  • Width: UIC – 1,435 mm
  • Signalling: ERTMS and LZB and ASFA backup systems
  • Electrification: 25 KV/Alternating current
  • Mobile GSM-R telecommunications


The various stations on the line are outstanding for their functionality in providing the different services, and for their architectural design.

  • Cordoba
  • Puente Genil - Herrera
  • Antequera - Santa Ana
  • Vialia Malaga María Zambrano

There are three new stations that provide service to passengers on the Cordoba-Malaga line:


Malaga station, opened in 2006, occupies an area of ​​51,377 m2, more than five times the area of the old station. It is equipped with 8 tracks, five UIC gauge and three Iberian gauge, under a large metal roof without intermediate pillars.

In addition to railway areas, the railway complex includes shopping and entertainment areas, a four star hotel and parking. Currently, it is the largest intermodal transportation and commercial centre to have been built in the whole of Spain, under the Vialia brand name.

Main hall of Malaga station

Adif’s Vialia centres are integrated service centres, where transport, culture, leisure and shopping come together to help to make people’s lives a little easier. The other Vialia centres are located in Bilbao, Pontevedra, Salamanca and Albacete.

Vialia María Zambrano has been designed so that its interior places no barriers between different services and facilitates mobility between the various activities that they will converge there. Its characteristics are accessibility, transparency, open spaces and glassed areas.

It is a modern space, open to people going about their daily activities, that strengthens Intermodality by interconnecting high-speed and suburban trains, intercity buses and the Malaga metro, once it is in service.


Façade of Puente Genil - Herrera

This cutting edge station, opened in December 2006, has a metal roof resembling a bird taking flight.

It has four tracks and two platforms, over which the passenger building, elevated over the track and platform level, forms a grand walkway with an area of 1,550 square metres.


Façade of Antequera - Santa Ana

 Antequera-Santa Ana station has become the distribution centre for rail traffic in southern Spain thanks to its track gauge changers. It has five UIC gauge and two Iberian gauge tracks.

The passenger building has a total area of 3,500 m2. Architecturally, it stands on a metal base structure in the form of large wings, with their edges embedded in concrete walls, under a corrugated zinc roof in five sections with heights of between 8 and 13 metres.

A second high-speed station will be built in Antequera’s urban area, serving the trains that will run on the high-speed Antequera – Granada line that is under construction.


Arroyo las Piedras Viaduct


The route of the conventional line, from the nineteenth century, followed the natural course of the Guadalhorce River, with bridges and tunnels alongside the steep wall of the Gaitanes de Bobadilla Gorge. The high-speed track runs to the east of this route, reaching Malaga from the plains of Cordoba via the Abdalajís Valley and the Sierra de Huma Mountains, on a route that involved building fifteen viaducts and eight tunnels.


Antequera is the location for the Control and Regulation Centre, the maintenance base and the two gauge changers that permit transition between the rail services of the high-speed line and the various conventional gauge lines.


The arrival of the high-speed service to the city of Malaga involved a new urban layout in which burying the tracks permitted the railway to be integrated into the city. These works demanded a major engineering and town planning effort, as they had to be carried out without interrupting normal railway traffic. The underground corridor comprises two adjacent, parallel tunnels that are 1,932 metres long. One is for two UIC gauge tracks and the other for two Iberian gauge tracks.


Some of these are particularly interesting in terms of size, design or the system used to build them.

The viaduct over the Genil River is the longest on the line, at 1,390 m. Those of Espinazo and Jévar stand just 32 metres apart.

The Arroyo de las Piedras Viaduct, in the municipality Álora, is important for its height and length. It was built to span the change of level encountered on the route as it exits the Abdalajís tunnel. It is the second longest on the entire line, consisting of 19 piers up to 93.5 metres in height, and 20 spans of up to 63.5 metres. Its body is built in a mixture of steel and concrete.

Main viaducts:

  • Guadalquivir River, 880 metres
  • Genil River, 1,390 metres
  • Arroyo del Salado, 924 metres
  • Espinazo, 870 metres
  • Jévar, 837 metres
  • Arroyo de las Piedras, 1,220 metres



In order to cross the Bética mountain range, several tunnels have been built, with a total length 19 kilometres. The main ones are:

  • Gobantes, 1,792 metres
  • Espartal, 2,002 metres
  • Cártama, 2,424 metres
  • Gibralmora, 3,217 metres
  • Abdalajís, twin tube tunnel of 7,280 and 7,300 metres
    The largest in Andalusia until construction of the Sorbas tunnel in Almería


The most important of all the tunnels on the line, in terms of its length (over 7 km) and the difficulty of the terrain it traverses, is the Abdalajís tunnel. Staring from Antequera Santa Ana station’s surrounding area, then to the west of the Guadalhorce Reservoir, it crosses the Guadalhorce Mountains.

Over seven kilometres long, it traverses an area of complex hydrogeology, where the subsoil is a continuous chain of aquifers. Studies made at the design stage recommended the route that was finally adopted, as having the least effect on aquifers, while the alternative route, through El Torcal de Antequera, affected larger aquifers and required longer tunnels to be built.

Tunnelling machine during assembly operations

It is a tunnel with twin tubes, interconnected by a total of 19 evacuation and security galleries located every 350 metres along its length


Drilling began in November 2003 and took 26 months. Two double-shield tunnel boring machines were used for the main excavation. The tunnel boring machine used for the East tube was given the name of La Alcazaba, while that used for the West tunnel was named La Mezquita.


The tunnel required a concrete mass injection treatment and placing of a waterproof ring in the inner lining, in order to improve the seal and permit recovery of the aquifers interfered with.

During works, one of the top priorities was a commitment to the natural environment, which is part of Adif’s Social Responsibility.  The works adhered strictly to the guidelines of the Informative Study and the Environmental Impact Statement. A total of 12.8 million euros were allocated to ensure environmental integration of the works, with measures adopted to protect wildlife, vegetation and the hydrological system, along with others for environmental recovery and landscape integration.

Information Points and Customer Services Desks (PIAC)

Piac image

El PIAC en la Red es un espacio de comunicación y atención permanente al ciudadano, que ofrece información sobre la construcción de las nuevas líneas de alta velocidad.

También ofrece atención personalizada a todas aquellas consultas recibidas a través de los correos electrónicos que se facilitan, ya sean relativas a los procesos constructivos en marcha, a la movilidad, u otros aspectos que afectan a la integración ferroviaria en el entorno urbano, con motivo de la construcción de los accesos ferroviarios a las respectivas ciudades.