Fife charity adds train with heritage status to sit next to new Leven rail link

A Fife charity is set to safeguard a piece of railway history after an agreement was reached with Network Rail.
Volunteers at  Fife Heritage Railway take delivery of the train (Pic: Submitted)Volunteers at  Fife Heritage Railway take delivery of the train (Pic: Submitted)
Volunteers at Fife Heritage Railway take delivery of the train (Pic: Submitted)

Leven-based Fife Heritage Railway recently received a Class 313 test train after it was taken out of service by the rail operator.

It had been used to support testing and validation for projects on the railway and to support the deployment of digital signalling using the European Train Control System (ETCS).

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Earlier this year, the Rail Heritage Designation Advisory Board gave the train special ‘heritage status’ to protect it for future generations because its seats – the originals from when it was built – have remained intact and are of historical interest.

The plan is to site the test train on a parallel track to the new Levenmouth Rail Link, currently under construction and due for completion in Spring 2024.

This will be within the heritage railway’s compound at Kirkland Yard, where it will be displayed for maximum effect to both visitors and passengers travelling on the new line in and out of Leven.

The train will be kept in its current bright yellow livery so will be eye-catching and is sure to be a great attraction.

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David Thomas, senior portfolio manager at Network Rail, said: “We’re pleased that the train, which has been a crucial part of our research, development, testing and validation process, is being given a new lease of life by Fife Heritage Railway. The work the charity does is so important in protecting items of unique or historical significance, and we couldn’t be happier that the test train falls into that category.

Jim Rankin, a trustee at Fife Heritage Railway welcomed the opportunity.

He said: “We are very grateful to Network Rail for the transfer of this Class 313 test train, which will give us a wonderful opportunity to preserve a unique slice of railway infrastructure normally unseen by the public. We are delighted to be entrusted with the train, which has added something very special to our collection.”

Several ideas are being considered for the long-term use of the train, including as a means of education about what goes on behind the scenes to keep the railway running.

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