History of Zurgena Railway Station

The British company The Great Southern of Spain Railway Company Ltd (GSSR) was charged with building a railway from Murcia to Granada on 7th March 1885 by means of a concession. Construction met many problems, not only due to the geotechnically difficult terrain but also to bureaucracy and legal issues. The construction of the line reached Zurgena on 30th July 1892 whereby there was a party and banquet in the new station.


zurgena history 07The Great Southern of Spain Railway also carried passengers as can be seen in this photograph. Presumably, the station manager was a bit of a gardener from the number of pot plants visible on the platform.

Precious few photographs remain of the station in those days. Those that have been found can be seen here.

Zurgena station was very important to The GSSR as a stopping and maintenance point for the iron ore trains that came down from Serón, Los Canos, El Tesorero and Tíjola. Many of these trains had to stay overrnight in the station to leave for El Hornillo first thing in the morning as triple headers due to the incline to Almajalejo, 41 metres over 6km. The station had the capability for minor repairs to locomotives and rolling stock, and it had accommodation for the crews.

The line closed on 31st December 1984 and the track was removed during the 1990s.

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The station was important from the point of view of transporting iron ore from the Los Filabres mountains to the coast at Águilas. The triple headers were three Moguls, two at the front and one at the rear. After the incline to Almajalejo, the rear locomotive would return to Zurgena for the next train. It is hard to see if this is a photograph or a drawing as some of the perspectives seem out of true. We are looking at the station in 1909 from the west. The house in the background still exists. One of the moguls - in this case TIJOLA - in the station, heading in the direction of Baza.
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This photograph is on the wall of Águilas museum and shows the station from the east. In the background can be seen the engine shed which is still in good condition. This photograph, as well as many others, was taken by Don Gaunt in November 1996 before all of the track was covered with gravel (which is now being cleared), and before the station was reformed by the Escuela Taller. Another photograph from 1996 showing the condition of the buildings before renovation. This one is of the engine shed.
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A train crossing Rambla Canales bridge. It can be seen from this photograph the difficulties that The GSSR were having financially. One coach, three goods wagons and a guard's van. There is no way that this railway journey was in any way profitable. Zurgena station as it is today. This area will be the main museum building. The original goods area, now used as a meeting hall.