Córdoba - Málaga line

Main infrastructures - Tunnels and Viaducts

The high-speed track reaches Malaga from the plains of Córdoba via the Abdalajís Valley and the Sierra de Huma Mountains, on a route that involved building fifteen viaducts and eight tunnels.


Some of these are particularly interesting given their 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 of Álora, stands out for its height and length.It was built to span the difference in level encountered on the route at the south exit of the Abdalajís tunnel. It is the second longest viaduct 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.

Highlighted paragraph

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 of 19 kilometres.

The arrival of high speed to the city of Málaga, meant a new urban configuration in which the burying of the tracks allowed the integration of the railway into the provincial capital. The underground corridor comprises two adjacent, parallel tunnels that are 1,932 metres long. One tunnel is for two UIC-gauge tracks and the other for two Iberian-gauge tracks.


Highlighted paragraph

Main tunnels:

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


It is the most important of all the tunnels on the line, given its length (over 7 km) and the difficulty of the terrain. Starting 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, the Abdalajís tunnel passes through 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.

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 the one used for the West tunnel was named La Mezquita.

The tunnel required a concrete mass injection treatment and a waterproof ring in the inner lining, in order to improve the seal and allow the 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 policy. 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 the 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.