Rail will stop the ‘neglect’

David Spaven
David Spaven

A leading Scottish supporter of rail transport is vigorously waving the flag for the reconnection of the Levenmouth rail link.

David Spaven, who has addressed previous meetings of the LevenMouth Rail Campaign, said the re-establishment of the connection would improve one of the more “neglected Corners of Scotland.

The rail line near Levenmouth

The rail line near Levenmouth

Writing in a national newspaper, Mr Spaven, Scottish representative of the Rail Freight Group, said Government ambition for railways was modest, compared to the mammoth investments schceduled for the road network.

“Perhaps the most pressing case – and certainly the most achievable – is the six-mile branch line from Thornton to Levenmouth,” he said.

“Together, the contiguous communities of Buckhaven, Leven and Methil – with a population of more than 24,000 – represent the largest conurbation in Scotland with no rail service.”

The prospects for passenger and freight trains should be good, he added.

“The first mile of the branch line was re-opened for open-cast coal traffic 18 months ago and the rest of the rail corridor, previously serving Methil Docks and Diageo at Cameronbridge, remains entirely in the ownership of Network Rail, with most of the track in place.

“Over recent years, plans have been developed to reconnect Diageo to the rail network, taking thousands of lorries off Fife roads – and there are other rail freight prospects in the area, including the Fife Energy Park in Methil. Passenger trains would slash public transport journey times to Kirkcaldy, and the centre of Edinburgh would be just over an hour away.

“Putting Leven back on the railway map – thereby opening up important new employment and educational opportunities – will depend on partnership between the public and private sectors, and between freight and passenger interests,” added Mr Spaven.

“The prize is a safe, civilised and sustainable transport link to one of Scotland’s more neglected corners.”