I will be travelling to Barcelona and would like to visit friends in Malaga. I would prefer not having to buy a split ticket for two cities but would not mind using rail service. I have been having problems finding information from Spanish websites because I neither read not speak the language well enough to use them.
There are couple direct trains per day from Barcelona to Malaga, high-speed AVE in the morning/evening (both taking a bit less than 6 hours) and slower Alaris train (12 hours) with many stops. Though unless you purchase your train ticket in advance, the price can be rather expensive, like 120 euro for standard full fare ticket about 5 years ago
Yes, you can go by train but I think it is more convenient to fly as Málaga is not that close (1000 km).
I think you can save a lot of money and time flying. Take a look here:
If you still prefer using the train take a look here that is the only company in Spain for trains: www.renfe.es about 5 years ago