Posted 29th May 2024 | 6 Comments

Celebrations as Levenmouth Link opens

The restored Levenmouth Link in Fife was formally opened today by First Minister John Swinney.

The line to Cameron Bridge and Leven has been reopened at a cost of more than £116 million. Today’s ceremony at Leven station was attended by more than 300 guests, who saw the First Minister unveil a plaque.

They then travelled up the line to Cameron Bridge for a reception of welcome.

Mr Swinney said: ‘Many people have long waited for the return of rail service to Levenmouth and I am delighted to be part of the open celebrations.

‘The local volunteers from the Levenmouth Rail Campaign group should be immensely proud of this historic achievement of reinstating rail connections for the community.

‘This rail link exemplifies the Scottish Government’s commitment to investing in our public services, growing our economy, taking climate action and investing in key areas that will help eradicate child poverty. By improving access to leisure, economic, employment and educational opportunities, alongside improving the connectivity to and from the area for residents, visitors and businesses, this rail link will help transform the lives of families and young people in the area.’

Levenmouth Rail Campaign chair Dr Allen Armstrong was one of the guests. He said: ‘All campaigns and their contexts differ but ten years is a very short time-span in the life of any rail campaign.

‘The fact that disadvantaged Levenmouth – in decline for over five decades since mining, docks and railways closed and where social capital and civic engagement is not that strong – was able to mount an intensive community-led campaign which played such an important role in achieving its main objective, well-supported by Council and elected representatives, has been a source of both surprise and pride. 

‘Levenmouth is back on the map and regeneration prospects aided by other project in the pipeline are brighter now.’

Today’s ceremony marks the start of celebrations in Fife that include a Council garden party tomorrow and a community day on Saturday.

Passenger services will start running on Sunday when the summer timetable comes into force.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Andrew Gwilt, Rayleigh Essex

    It’s been a long time since Levenmouth last had a railway line before it closed many years ago. But now it’s nice to see it reopened along with Cameron Bridge and Leven.

  • John B, London

    A 5 mile reinstated line at 120m is better value than many road projects. The 5-mile Bexhill-Hastings link road came in at the same amount with a 3-year construction time, while the rebuilding of junction 10 of the M25 is costed at over 300m.

  • Chris Jones-Bridger, Buckley Flintshire

    Scotland is certainly the poster child in the UK for reinstatements & a progressive stance to electrification. The Scottish devolution settlement allowing a separate allocation to the HLOS has certainly contributed to this state of affairs. However while there is much to learn from this perhaps removing the rose tinted spectacles may allow commentators to see that projects such as the Oakhampton & Ashington lines are being delivered south of the border with similar results.

    The great challenge remains making rail's case against a sceptical Treasury. Despite the evidence of those successfully delivered projects scheme promoters face an uphill battle against outdated cost/benefit rules. This results in time consuming consultation & projects reevaluation too often leading to sub optimal projects being green lighted. Just look at the limitations imposed of successful projects like the Borders Line & Ebbw Vale to justify the investments going ahead. More recently look at the shortly to open Oxford to Bletchley route authorised without corresponding electrification.

    Also ever since privatisation there has been an escalation in delivery costs that too often has been accepted rather than challenged. As industry referee where has ORR been in all this?

  • Bill Struther, Edinburgh

    5 miles of reinstated railway at 120m, that is 14m per mile - are we seriously saying that’s good! Come on we could do a lot better and quicker - it’s an absolute travesty to say this is money well, spent whilst we have the worst record in history for health, education, crime etc etc.

  • John B, London

    Scotland showing the rest of Britain how it is done. From a feasibility study in 2008 to the start of works in 2020. 5 miles of new track at a cost of 116m. Labour should roll out the STAG method in the rest of the country; this would kick start projects like SELRAP and Portishead.

    The failings of GRIP were well-demonstrated with the Borders Railway and the erroneous BCR of just 0.5:1, now disproven by the substantial patronage of the line.

  • king arthur, buckley

    Absolutely sensational stuff. And it just begs the question, why can't this be done elsewhere?

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