Leven compound set up 3

NR is establishing worksites along the route, including this compound at Leven.

UK: Network Rail has begun construction works for the Levenmouth Rail Link scheme to reopen the 6·5 km branch from Thornton Junction to Leven which has been out of use since 2001.

Cleaarance work has been underway along the route for some time. The next phase will see the removal of the old trackbed and the laying of two new tracks, plus the construction of two new stations at Cameron Bridge and Leven. Reopening is planned for 2024. The £116·6m scheme is being supported with £5m from Fife Council and £5m from Transport Scotland.

The reopening project was approved in 2019 at an estimated cost of £70m, but the scope has since been expanded to include electrification, the development of active travel routes and an exploration of opportunities for freight and charter trains.

Services will initially be diesel-worked, but the line is to be electrified from the outset to enable the ‘earliest possible’ switch to electric traction.

‘The Levenmouth Rail Link demonstrates our ambition not just for improving and investing in Scotland’s Railway, but also our commitment to communities as new rail links bring many additional benefits such as connectivity to the wider economic area to allow new journeys for work, education and leisure’, said Bill Reeve, Director of Rail at Transport Scotland, on March 4. ‘Our experience from the highly successful Borders Railway project makes clear the maximum benefits of the railway investment are realised where they are delivered as a package of improved transport measures and underpinned with community initiatives and projects.’