The Levenmouth rail link project will restore the railway line between Thornton Junction and Leven in Fife, Scotland. It will reconnect Leven to the mainline rail network to restore passenger services to the town.
The project will link the Levenmouth area to Fife, Edinburgh, and the wider rail network through new services. The Scottish Government will further improve connectivity in the area by improving bus, pedestrian, and cycling connections.
Network Rail is responsible for the design and construction of the Levenmouth rail link. The estimated construction and preparation costs of the project are approximately £70m ($85.07m).
The main construction work of the project is expected to start in 2022 while the line is scheduled to be operational by 2024.
Levenmouth rail link project background
The detailed design phase of the Levenmouth line was announced by the Scottish Government in August 2019. Public consultation for the project was completed in January 2021 while the project plans were unveiled in June 2021.
Planning approval and permits are expected in late 2021.
Levenmouth rail link project details
The project will include 19km of double-track railway, partly new and partly restored. The track along the route will be electrified. Two new modern train stations will be built at Cameron Bridge and Leven as part of the project. The Cameron Bridge station will be located to the east of the A915 road while Leven station will be built behind the leisure centre at Leven.
Leven station will be accessible from the north via an improved footpath behind the leisure centre. It will have a drop-off point for passengers, a bus stop, and a car parking area with 90 slots. Additional parking will be created optionally on the east side of the river. The station will also feature bike storage spaces and charging stations for electrical vehicles.
The rail link will enable the operation of two trains an hour to Edinburgh, one via Dunfermline and another via Kirkcaldy. It will explore the possibility of optimising travel and interchange options between stations.
The old tracks along the route are being removed and either reused or recycled. The redundant equipment was offered to a range of heritage railways, while some of the assets will be reused in the construction of the new railway line.
The track works for the removal of the old disused track and redundant infrastructure from the former branch line were started in July 2021. The disused track removal and old ballast excavation will facilitate the construction of new lines in early 2022.
The line will be electrified with overhead wires, although initial services will include battery-operated electric units.
Construction works are being implemented without impacting the leisure activities of the community.
Benefits of Levenmouth rail link project
The railway link and other improved transportation connections will provide Leven with a direct railway link to Edinburgh, which is expected to enhance the local economy.
The electrification of the line is expected to shorten travel time. The project is expected to enable passengers to reach Edinburgh from Levenmouth in approximately 75 minutes. Further, it will provide improved access to education, cultural, and employment centres.