Rail link could open in a year

The rail line could open to freight within 12 months
The rail line could open to freight within 12 months

The rail link between Levenmouth and Thornton could re-open in as little as 12 months - but only if a freight operator requested it.

That was the response from transport minister Derek Mackay during parliamentary questions last week.

Mr Mackay, responding to questions from the Scottish Green Party, confirmed that Network Rail would be obligated to pay for and reopen the Levenmouth rail line within a year if a freight operator requested it.

Network Rail still controls the five mile stretch between Thornton and Levenmouth, and it was only mothballed in 2001.

The news has been cautiously welcomed by Levenmouth Rail Campaign members.

Allen Armstrong, secretary, said: “If the line was to re-open for freight then it would strengthen the case for passenger rail.

“Network Rail would be required to restore the line to at a minimum standard, and while I understand the standard for freight is lower than for passenger, this could still be very significant, and could reduce the overall cost too.”

LMRC has already had earlier discussions with Malcolm Logistics, which controls operations for Diageo, and Allen said this is something the might consider re-visiting, after the company showed interest in potential transfering 60 per cent of its road freight to rail.

The news comes as campaigners wait to hear details of the all-important STAG feasibility report, due in the next week.