National backing for rail campaign

Leven Rail Link'Power Station'railway'line'Leven to Thornton
Leven Rail Link'Power Station'railway'line'Leven to Thornton

A national rail campaign group has loaned its voice to the mission to re-establish a rail link for Leven.

Railfuture Scotland, part of the UK’s leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for passengers and freight, has unveiled an action plan with its top proposals to upgrade and modernise the country’s rail network.

Speaking at its recent autumn conference, Railfuture Scotland’s vice-chair Roderick McDougall revealed a list of 50 recommended new stations on the existing network and 23 new short branch lines, including Leven and Windygates.

The group is also calling on the Scottish Government to improve existing lines, increase the number of commuter services, and double the rate of proposed rate of electrification.

In its campaign, Railfuture Scotland estimates that the minimum annual usuage at Levenmouth would be 180,000 people, with 100,000 at Windygates.

Its calls have been cautiously welcomed by the LevenmouthRail Campaign (LMRC) group, which has been working hard over the last 12 months to highlight the need for an established line in the area.

Allen Armstrong said: “LMRC welcomes the presentation of the case for re-establishing rail services to Levenmouth.

“However, the call for the reinstatement of services to 23 locations presently unserved does not do full justice to the pressing priority for Levenmouth among this list.

“The Leven rail link is certainly listed among the first seven which require only reopening existing rail lines whereas many in the longer list face more constraints and costs in terms of reaquiring land. Levenmouth is still by far the largest urban area in Scotland presently unserved.”

Mr Armstrong also noted that the projected usage given by Railfutures was far below the estimates of the 2008 feasibility study, which calculated 349,000 passengers per annum.