SEVILLA to ZAFRA and MERIDA and CASARES TRAIN ROUTE
By Fiona Flores Watson
Time: 4hr 40mins
Frequency: one train daily figurativelly classed a R EXPRESS
Stops: Seville Santa Justa, Los Rosales, Tocina, Villanenueva del Rio y Minas, Pedroso, Cazalla-Constantina, Guadalcanal, Fuente del Arco, Llerena, Zafra, Zafra Feria, Los Santos de Maimona, Villa Franca de los Barros, Almendralejo, Calamonte, Merida, Cacares.
The line heads north out of Seville, stopping first at La Rinconada, then Brenes, Cantillana (the town is actually across the river Guadalquivir from the station) and Los Rosales, a junction where the line branches north to Zafra (the line which continues straight goes on to Cordoba). The next stop heading north is Tocina, after which the line crosses the Guadalquivir.
The train then calls at Villanueva del Rio y Minas station, formerly an important mining town, climbing up into the Sierra Norte, the central part of the Sierra Morena mountain range. El Pedroso is the next stop, followed shortly afterwards by Fabrica del Pedroso, and then Cazalla-Constantina, which is located halfway between the two towns, with Cazalla de la Sierra, with its grand mansions and converted monastery-hotel-arts centre, to the west and Constantina to the south-east. The station itself is isolated, though near a road, and shortly after the line turns north-west to the pretty hilltown of Alanis, though the town itself is a few kilometres to the north-east from the station.
The next stop, the northernmost town of the Sierra Norte, is Guadalcanal, the last station in Andalucia before the train crosses the border into the neighbouring community of Extremadura. The first town when you arrive in Merida province is Fuente del Arco, after which the train continues north-east, climbing down from the Sierra Morena, to Llerena and then Zafra, at which point the line heads north, stopping at Los Santos de Maimona, Almendralejo and Calamonte, before reaching its final destination, the historic Roman town of Merida and on the the historic town of Caceres.