First test train runs in milestone for £116m Leven Rail Link

The first test trains have run on the new £116m Leven Rail Link ahead of its formal launch this summer.
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The empty trains will become a familiar sight on the five-mile track ahead of the official opening, expected to be at the start of June. The first one departed the new Leven station on Monday morning - a two-carriage service to Glenrothes with Thornton which marked the start of driver training., and this will see a significant number of trains on the track in coming weeks as drivers develop their knowledge of the new section between Thornton Junction and Leven.

Gerry McQuade, capital delivery director for Scotland’s Railway, said: “The commissioning of the signalling system is the last piece of the jigsaw which delivers a fully operational railway ready for driver training. The project team will now focus on completing both of the new stations on the line and enhancing the active travel links – walking and cycling routes - that will connect the communities to the new railway.”

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The six-mile link will see new stations in Leven and Cameron Bridge, and will open up new social and economic opportunities for the local community. The system on the Levenmouth branch is controlled from Network Rail’s Edinburgh signalling centre.

The first test train at the new Leven station (Pic: Network Rail)The first test train at the new Leven station (Pic: Network Rail)
The first test train at the new Leven station (Pic: Network Rail)

Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Transport said: “This is a key milestone in reconnecting Levenmouth with the rail network, delivering benefits and opportunities to the people of Leven and Fife. It is also clear evidence of our commitment to investing in Scotland’s Railway as we seek to attract more people onto public transport.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the project thus far and look forward to seeing the completion of the stations and active travel links. The imminent start of driver training is another major step towards the railway opening and I aim to visit in the coming weeks to see this progress.”

David Lister, ScotRail safety, engineering and sustainability director, added: “With the new signalling system now commissioned, ScotRail will begin a programme of driver training enabling our trains to run safely onto the wider network. This investment marks one of the final steps towards opening the Levenmouth line, which will deliver new and improved services for our customers across Fife and East Scotland.”