Levenmouth reopening ceremony (Photo Transport Scotland)

UK: The reinstated Levenmouth railway was official inaugurated by Scotland’s First Minister John Swinney on May 29, ahead of the start of passenger services on June 2.

’By improving access to leisure, economic, employment and educational opportunities, alongside improving the connectivity to and from the area for residents, visitors and businesses, this rail link will help transform the lives of families and young people in the area’, Swinney said after travelling on a special ScotRail train from Edinburgh Waverley.

The freight line between Thornton Junction on the East Coast Main Line and Leven had been out of use since 2001, passenger services having ended in 1969.

Reopening was approved in 2019 at an estimated cost of £70m, but the scope was expanded to include provision for future electrification and the development of active travel routes, taking the cost of £116m which has been funded by the Scottish government.

Main works began in March 2022. The project included laying double track on the 10 km route and building fully accessible stations at Cameron Bridge and Leven.

AtkinsRéalis provided design services for the project, which Dan Rodgers, Strategic Rail Market Director, UK & Ireland, said ‘represents a transformational step forward for our industry as it was the first rail project to follow the Institution of Civil Engineers Project 13 principles, ensuring we focused on outcomes and supported collaboration with digital tools.’

The Levenmouth Rail Campaign had lobbied for the reopening of the line. ’The fact that disadvantaged Levenmouth — in decline for over five decades since mining, docks and railways closed and where social capital and civic engagement is not that strong — was able to mount an intensive community-led campaign which played such an important role in achieving its main objective, well-supported by council and elected representatives, has been a source of both surprise and pride’, said Chair Dr Allen Armstrong.

’Levenmouth is back on the map and regeneration prospects aided by other project in the pipeline are brighter now.’