Levenmouth Rail Link's first rails are laid as work progresses on new 19km branch line

It was a milestone moment for the Levenmouth Rail Link when the first new rails were laid on the project which will reconnect the area to the mainline passenger network for the first time in more than half a century.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 18th March 2022, 10:34 am
Updated Friday, 18th March 2022, 10:34 am

Extensive preparatory activity around Thornton Junction to the west of the route has led to an early opportunity to put down the first new sections of rail on the project that will eventually see 19km of double track installed to create the branch line.

Existing track sections within the first mile of the rail corridor were utilised to deliver the new ballast, sleepers and rails, and the old track was then lifted and the track-bed quickly re-formed.

Specialist plant positioned the concrete sleepers in batches of seven covering 72 metres per hour and creating the early chance to put down the first of the new rails.

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The first new rails are now in place as work progresses on the Levenmouth Rail Link.

Seven pairs of continuously welded rail sections in 240 metre lengths were positioned on the sleepers before being clipped into place to form the first mile of what will be the new Levenmouth branch line.

Bill Reeve, Transport Scotland's director of rail, said: “Laying the first rails on the new rail link is a tremendous milestone for this exciting project and great news for the local community.

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“The Levenmouth Rail Link will provide sustainable connectivity for the communities of Leven, Methil, Cameron Bridge and the wider area, and will attract people to visit, live, work and invest in those communities.

The branch line will see 19km of track laid, connecting Levenmouth with the wider rail network.

“This scheme will re-open the disused rail line between Thornton junction and Leven, providing convenient and comfortable services through Fife to Edinburgh, Dunfermline and the wider rail network.”

Joe Mulvenna, Levenmouth Rail Link project manager, added: “Even at this early point in the work, laying the first rails feels like a symbolic event.

“Utilising much of the existing track bed and extensive preparatory work has enabled the project to get quickly out of the blocks. We can already see the project taking shape, but obviously there is still a long way to go.

“With the first rails down along the first mile, the focus will turn to other aspects of the programme, particularly work on some the structures, but it is great the project has got off to such a great start.”

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