Levenmouth Rail Link project in Scotland

Scottish Levenmouth Rail Link project hits halfway point

The completed double-track section on Levenmouth. 2023, Network Rail

After 12 months, the work to reinstate the connection of Leven, Scotland, to the Scottish network – and with that to the UK-wide railway network – hit the halfway point. Over the past year, 4.8 kilometres of the 9.65 kilometres planned have been reinstated. The project is slated for completion in Spring 2024.

Work to reinstate the Levenmouth Rail Link, which seeks to restore Leven’s connection to the network for the first time in more than 50 years, has thus far entailed installing more than 22 kilometres of rail, 18.000 sleepers and the laying of 37,000 tonnes of new stone ballast. The first 4.8 kilometres from Thornton Junction are now complete. Once complete, the line will also be fully electrified.

Other activities include repairs to existing bridges, the construction of two new stations at Cameron Bridge and Leven, fencing, the re-profiling of embankments, drainage and cabling works. Among the major upcoming activities is the work in the Leven Bridge, scheduled for May.

“While the track is now in place for the first three miles, there is still significant heavy engineering work ongoing on those sections, such as piling and signalling and we would again encourage local people to stay away from the track for their safety, and for the safety of those operating the equipment”, Joe Mulvenna, Network Rail’s project manager for the Levenmouth Rail Link, said.

“Huge impact” of the line reopening

People in the area had been campaigning for the reopening of the line for many years, Patrick Harvie MSP, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, said. He hopes the line will result in “huge positive economic, social and cultural value” for the area. A recent as last month, there was a spat regarding lack of rail expansion in North East Scotland.

“The social and political implications of the project are well documented in Scotland”, said Simon Walton, the UK editor of RailFreight.com. “Although the line is relatively short, it offers a direct connection for a number of communities that could easily be described as cut off from the mainstream of economic growth. Add to that the fact that the transport secretary in the Scottish government represents the area, and you can easily see the significance of the project. It is almost as high profile as the Borders Railway, the much longer project, which opened in 2015 and attracted royal attention and worldwide media coverage. I have no doubt that as much fan fare as possible will be made for this project, and we may even see King Charles follow in his mother’s footsteps, here in Fife.”

Rail in the Levenmouth area traces its history to 1854. The line in question slipped into gradual disuse from 1966 onwards, with passenger services coming to a halt in 1969. As a result, some 33.000 people were left without a direct rail link for the past decades. The line in its original formation carried on around the Fife coast, reaching the famous golfing resort of St Andrews, and on to a junction with the main line to Dundee. There is a vigorous campaign to have that St Andrews section of the line reinstated too.

Levenmouth Rail Link map
A map by the Levenmouth Rail Campaign, one of the groups advocating for the reopening of the line.

Further reading:

Author: Nick Augusteijn

Chief Editor, RailTech.com

1 comment op “Scottish Levenmouth Rail Link project hits halfway point”

bönström bönström|19.03.23|04:31

Neither resilient, nor redundant – in no respect robust – vulnerable and even worse not upgradable, current railway standard is paving for disturbing and frequent “optimal maintenance” – but sub optimal – and due for a shift…
(No longer, not even core clients afford luxury of not bothering about “JIT”…)
Rapid shifts, now is the current sustainable. (All other modes, those robust, upgrade for added load and lower costs, etc.)
Quality pays and at transports, now more than ever!

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