Supporters of the proposed coastal train that would connect Valencia to Alicante via Gandia, Denia and Benidorm were dealt a huge blow as Madrid pushed the project to the backburner in favour of a new line connecting the Costa del Sol in the south.
It is the third such setback to the fiercely popular ‘Tren de la Costa’ concept in weeks. First a ‘feasibility study’ poured water on the project by concluding it wasn’t profitable enough. Then the government said it would prioritise an interior connection between Valencia and Alicante that would miss out the Marina Alta and Benidorm altogether. This final blow sees the national government, whose blessing is needed to fund the connection, favour a Marbella-Estepona link in Andalucia.
For more than 40 years the Tren de la Costa has been fought for in Madrid by Valencian politicians and residents of the northern Costa Blanca. Compromis deputy Josep Nadal described the decision as a ‘real joke’ and the history of the trainline as a ‘dismal failure of the political class.’
The Tren de la Costa hasn’t been completely abandoned yet but its handling by different executives is considered a betrayal by many in the region. Residents have waited patiently for the genuine investment in public transportation the Costa Blanca desperately needs.