The UK’s Network Rail has commenced the construction of the Levenmouth Rail Link after receiving Transport Scotland’s approval for the $154.11m (£116.6m) project.

As a result, Levenmouth will be able to relaunch passenger services for the first time in over five decades.  

Under this project, the old trackbed will be removed, along with other route preparation activities that will take place before the reinstatement of a double-track railway and passenger services to Leven.

The utilisation of the current double trackbed is expected to facilitate cost-effective delivery of capacity for commuter, charter, and freight service growth.

Initially, diesel-operated services will run on the line before moving on to electric operation at the earliest chance.

Electrification under the Scottish Government’s decarbonisation action plan is said to support the ‘earliest possible’ and cost-effective move to electric services.

As part of the project, two new fully accessible stations will be established at Cameron Bridge and Leven.

Furthermore, the programme will look into potential opportunities for freight and tourist/charter train operations.

Transport Scotland rail director Bill Reeve said: “The Levenmouth Rail Link demonstrates our ambition not just for improving and investing in Scotland’s Railway, but also our commitment to communities as new rail links bring many additional benefits such as connectivity to the wider economic area to allow new journeys for work, education and leisure.

“Our experience from the highly successful Borders Railway project makes clear the maximum benefits of the railway investment are realised where they are delivered as a package of improved transport measures and underpinned with community initiatives and projects. That is exactly what we are doing at Levenmouth as we work towards our decarbonisation and net-zero targets. It will give people the opportunity to travel to and from Levenmouth more sustainably and by including active travel links, we can encourage greener end-to-end journeys.”

Last month, Network Rail began a £70m overhaul to transform the route between Newport and Ebbw Vale.