In a meeting with local MSPs David Torrance and Jenny Gilruth, Network Rail confirmed it hopes to start construction of the line in late 2021 and provided details on the options for the proposed stations.
Network Rail also explained that it is working well with Fife Council and that plans are being made for community consultations, such as virtual ‘town hall’ meetings, with Covid-19 restrictions preventing physical gatherings.
The MSPs were due to meet with officials on a site visit earlier this year, which had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Instead Gerry McQuade, programme manager, Graeme Stewart, senior sponsor, and Owen Campbell, communications manager, from Network Rail updated Ms Gilruth and Mr Torrance in an online virtual meeting.
Tomorrow (Thursday), Network Rail will brief local councillors on the Levenmouth Liaison Committee.
Ms Gilruth said: “The Scottish Government’s investment to reopen Leven‘s rail link will deliver real and lasting transformational change for the people of Levenmouth.
“When I welcomed the Transport Secretary’s announcement last July, I said that the people of Levenmouth will now expect action - so I am pleased to learn from Network Rail that real progress is being made.
“The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak has had a significant impact on our way of life in Scotland, but I am pleased to learn that Network Rail and other delivery partners have been able to keep momentum behind this important project.
“I will continue to watch closely to ensure Leven is re-connected to rail as soon as possible”.
Mr Torrance added: “I would like to thank Network Rail for this update about the progress of the reinstatement of the Levenmouth rail line.
“It was interesting to hear more regarding the options being considered for potential stations along the line. Whilst each opportunity has undoubtable benefits, they also have associated challenges which must be addressed and carefully measured.
“I very much welcome the reassurances given that there are no delays to the expected timeline, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. It is vital that stakeholders ,and the wider local community, continue to be consulted upon these important decisions so it was great to hear that work is underway to ensure this engagement continues through these difficult time, including events such as virtual ‘town hall’ meetings.
“The reinstatement of this line is vital for Levenmouth and I am extremely pleased to hear that the plans remain on track.”
Graeme Stewart of Network Rail’s Levenmouth project team said: “Although at a very early stage of development, it was great to meet and brief the local MSPs on the potential sites for the new stations on the reinstated line.
“To date, we have been working on developing a range of options which will define what the project looks like and how it is delivered and as part of this, we will meet with and listen to local groups and organisations in the area.
“The development and delivery of work on the project will be in discreet phases with the first visible work; removal of vegetation to enable site and geological investigation SI/GI set to begin as soon as Government restrictions are eased and all pre-work surveys are complete.”