New bid to relaunch rail link

How a  Leven Railway Station platform sign might look?
How a Leven Railway Station platform sign might look?

A new campaign has been launched in Levenmouth in a bid to reinstate the rail link between the area and the rest of Fife.

Levenmouth Rail Campaign (LMRC) has been set up by action group the Campaign to lead Environmental Action Regeneration (CLEAR).

And now it hopes to get the support of other groups, residents and councillors.

The four mile stretch between Thornton Rail Station and Levenmouth was last used by commuters in 1969, but was utilised for Methil Power Station until 2001.

Part of the line is still in use at Earlseat, but the rest has been mothballed.

A strong campaign to bring the line back into use took place in 2008, only for plans to be dashed under the 2009 Strategic Transport Projects Review.

Now the local group is hoping to revive the campaign.

Allen Armstrong, secretary at CLEAR, said: “In 2008, there was a feasibility study carried out by SEStran and it said that it would be quite feasible – the rail bed and some of the line is in tact.

“Unlike many other lines, it hasn’t been dug up or built over. It is still maintained by Network Rail.”

Allen noted that Levenmouth was one of the largest urban areas in Scotland not served by a rail link.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that an area of this size and population doesn’t have a rail link. It’s a slap in the face and I think we’ve got a raw deal.

Bob Taylor, chairman, added: “I worked in Alloa and when the connection there was put in place, it was a lifeline for local people. It would be exactly the same here and would be well used.

“Rail is key to economic development and it would definitely improve this area.”

David Torrance MSP has been in contact with the group about the line.

He said: “Creating a rail link would offer huge potential for companies like Diageo and within Fife Energy Park. I have been working closely with CLEAR and Tricia Marwick to examine how we can take this issue forward.

‘‘We have arranged to meet with Keith Brown, Minister for Transport and Veterans, next month to discuss the feasibility of reinstating a Levenmouth rail link connected to the Thornton junction.

‘‘This is something we are putting a great deal of effort into to potentially reach a favourable outcome.”

Allen added: “We would like to get events in place and a steering group.

‘‘We want to mobilise local people to take hold of this issue and to even make it their own.

“We don’t expect immediate results but without pressure it might never happen.”