Levenmouth rail link to reopen: project updates

Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Kettledrum

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2010
Messages
760
another re-opening success for Scotland seems to be on the cards - Certainly the scottish government success puts the english/welsh/irish - or rest of the British Parliament to shame.
 

Altnabreac

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2013
Messages
2,385
Location
Salt & Vinegar
Altnabreac's 5 golden rules of a successful rail reopening:
  • Population of 10,000+
  • 60 minutes (75 at a push) journey time of a major employment centre.
  • Extant or mainly unobstructed trackbed
  • Ability to extend an existing service so more terminal capacity is not required.
  • Regeneration Potential of a deprived area
How does Levenmouth do?
  • Population of around 37,000 - definitely meets criteria
  • 70 minute projected journey time to Edinburgh - borderline but I'll give them a point.
  • Trackbed - mainly clear, no level crossings or major structure issues, only tricky bit may be the Levenmouth station site.
  • Service extension - Needs to rejig Fife Circle services but definitely doable.
  • Regeneration Potential - Levenmouth has 22 datazones from the most deprived 20% in Scotland, with 6 in the most deprived 5%. For reference there are only 10 datazones across all of Fife in this category so Levenmouth is more than half of them. Very strong regeneration case here.
So Levenmouth is somewhere between a 4.5 and a 5 on my reopening criteria. It really has been the strongest rail investment case in Scotland for a number of years and I'm delighted to see it come forward.

Particularly pleased that a second station at Cameron Bridge is proposed as I feared that it might get dropped. Excellent news.
 

Tobbes

Member
Joined
12 Aug 2012
Messages
1,094
Altnabreac's 5 golden rules of a successful rail reopening:
  • Population of 10,000+
  • 60 minutes (75 at a push) journey time of a major employment centre.
  • Extant or mainly unobstructed trackbed
  • Ability to extend an existing service so more terminal capacity is not required.
  • Regeneration Potential of a deprived area
How does Levenmouth do?
  • Population of around 37,000 - definitely meets criteria
  • 70 minute projected journey time to Edinburgh - borderline but I'll give them a point.
  • Trackbed - mainly clear, no level crossings or major structure issues, only tricky bit may be the Levenmouth station site.
  • Service extension - Needs to rejig Fife Circle services but definitely doable.
  • Regeneration Potential - Levenmouth has 22 datazones from the most deprived 20% in Scotland, with 6 in the most deprived 5%. For reference there are only 10 datazones across all of Fife in this category so Levenmouth is more than half of them. Very strong regeneration case here.
So Levenmouth is somewhere between a 4.5 and a 5 on my reopening criteria. It really has been the strongest rail investment case in Scotland for a number of years and I'm delighted to see it come forward.

Particularly pleased that a second station at Cameron Bridge is proposed as I feared that it might get dropped. Excellent news.

Excellent news - and full marks, Altnabreac
 

PaxVobiscum

Established Member
Joined
4 Feb 2012
Messages
2,379
Location
Glasgow
Now reported by BBC Scotland:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-49279810

A disused rail line in Fife is to be reopened after being closed for decades.

Detailed designs are to be drawn up for the Levenmouth link, which will connect Leven to the Fife Circle.

It is estimated the project, which also includes improved bus services, cycle and walking facilities, will cost about £70m.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said he hoped the line would be operational within five years.

The line will also feature stops at Leven and Cameron Bridge.

Mr Matheson said: "The detailed appraisal work that has been carried out suggests that improved transport links, which give Leven a direct rail link to the capital, will lead to an enhanced local economy, bringing better access to employment and education and the potential for new investment.

"Easier and more sustainable travel options will make it easier for people to reach hospitals, schools and visit other areas of the country as well as giving better access to Levenmouth."

David Ross, Fife Council co-Leader, said: "We have relentlessly campaigned for this link that is set to increase employment opportunities, as well as improve access to education, health and leisure services."

He added: "The rail network is now set to be taken forward to the next stage of development, and we look forward to seeing detailed designs."

The Levenmouth Transport Study suggests that by 2037 there will be 750,000 passengers annually, boarding or alighting trains in the area.

The train journey time from Leven to Edinburgh will be 70-75 minutes.
 

mcmad

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2015
Messages
805
Is there a copy of the speech to confirm if the reopening itself is confirmed or just moving onto the next step in development?
 

Altnabreac

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2013
Messages
2,385
Location
Salt & Vinegar
Is there a copy of the speech to confirm if the reopening itself is confirmed or just moving onto the next step in development?

You can read the quotes here:
https://www.transport.gov.scot/news/levenmouth-on-track-for-rail-investment/

The pertinent bit is probably this:

“I am extremely pleased that the case has been made for the Levenmouth rail link and I look forward to seeing this project being taken forward to the next stages of design."

That's about as firm a commitment as you're likely to see from a politician at this stage in a project. Pretty clear that its now about designing the scheme rather than the principle of if it will go ahead.

Short of a Conservative victory in the 2021 Holyrood election I can't see any likelihood of it not happening now. Even then it would be a politically difficult scheme to cancel.
 

PHILIPE

Veteran Member
Joined
14 Nov 2011
Messages
12,897
Location
Caerphilly
another re-opening success for Scotland seems to be on the cards - Certainly the scottish government success puts the english/welsh/irish - or rest of the British Parliament to shame.

Haven't we Welsh opened or re-opened the VOG. Ebbw Vale and the Halton Curve (although just operatng the services along rhe line)
 

Tobbes

Member
Joined
12 Aug 2012
Messages
1,094
All very welcome, but if this is about detailed design, when does an opening look possible? I presume that the station will be in Leven, but that any hope of extending further along the old East Fife Railway is a non-starter?
 

Altnabreac

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2013
Messages
2,385
Location
Salt & Vinegar
All very welcome, but if this is about detailed design, when does an opening look possible? I presume that the station will be in Leven, but that any hope of extending further along the old East Fife Railway is a non-starter?

No issues apart from the swimming pool, promenade, A955, car parks, amusement arcade, caravan park, golf course, missing bridges and then houses on the trackbed in Lundin...

And that's to serve a population of less than 2,000 in Lundin / Largo.

There's nowhere in the East Neuk with a population of even 5,000 people, its further from Edinburgh journey time wise, the trackbed is obstructed or gone and there are no regeneration issues in a realtively wealthy area.

At best any extension beyond Leven scores a 1 out of 5 on the reopening rules.
 

Tobbes

Member
Joined
12 Aug 2012
Messages
1,094
No issues apart from the swimming pool, promenade, A955, car parks, amusement arcade, caravan park, golf course, missing bridges and then houses on the trackbed in Lundin...

And that's to serve a population of less than 2,000 in Lundin / Largo.

There's nowhere in the East Neuk with a population of even 5,000 people, its further from Edinburgh journey time wise, the trackbed is obstructed or gone and there are no regeneration issues in a realtively wealthy area.

At best any extension beyond Leven scores a 1 out of 5 on the reopening rules.

Thanks, that's me told.... ;)
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
17,864
Worth noting the costs, £15m/mile for a line with little in the way of major civil engineering required (apparently). And I’ll bet a tenner it will be more than that when the investment decision is taken.
 

cle

Established Member
Joined
17 Nov 2010
Messages
2,581
Will it be a same-unit service shuttling hourly along a single section?
 

47271

Established Member
Joined
28 Apr 2015
Messages
2,967
Worth noting the costs, £15m/mile for a line with little in the way of major civil engineering required (apparently). And I’ll bet a tenner it will be more than that when the investment decision is taken.
If I was to pluck a figure out of the air then I'd say that I bet that it'll have cost £120m by the time they're done in eight years time. Eight years is plucked out of the air as well, but knowing how these things go...

Great news for regeneration of the area though.
 

JonathanH

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
7,341
Is the idea that the units which currently work Edinburgh - Kirkcaldy - Glenrothes with Thornton and don't continue round the Fife Circle, heading back via Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh run to Levenmouth instead?

I assume, given the location of Thornton station, this is just somewhere convenient to reverse off the main line rather than a primary traffic objective and there is no hardship diverting the service to Levenmouth.
 

Ginaro

Member
Joined
23 Aug 2016
Messages
114
Location
Scotland
No issues apart from the swimming pool, promenade, A955, car parks, amusement arcade, caravan park, golf course, missing bridges and then houses on the trackbed in Lundin...

And that's to serve a population of less than 2,000 in Lundin / Largo.

There's nowhere in the East Neuk with a population of even 5,000 people, its further from Edinburgh journey time wise, the trackbed is obstructed or gone and there are no regeneration issues in a realtively wealthy area.

At best any extension beyond Leven scores a 1 out of 5 on the reopening rules.
Just to point out that in this fantasy, if it was extended beyond Leven I'm sure they'd use the old alignment instead of continuing along the prom - so instead you'd only have an industrial estate, plus a residential area (cutting off access to properties roads and knocking down a dozen houses) to go through before you got to the golf course. http://www.RailMapOnline.com/UKIEMap.php?lat=56.31934&lng=-3.07114&zoom=17

The trackbed doesn't have that many obstacles in the way after Lower Largo - houses at Elie station, some caravans, industrial estate at St Monans - until you get to Anstruther where you'd have to detour around an industrial estate and the new school before more houses at Crail.

But I'm sure you'd get much better value for money in terms of connectivity and tourism spending it on high quality cycle paths connecting each town and village along the coast and up to St Andrews.
 
Last edited:

d9009alycidon

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
612
Location
Troon
If the timetabling suggestions are correct, will spell the end of loco hauled Fife Circle, (although I think they are scheduled to go before then)
 

Altnabreac

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2013
Messages
2,385
Location
Salt & Vinegar
Just to point out that in this fantasy, if it was extended beyond Leven I'm sure they'd use the old alignment instead of continuing along the prom - so instead you'd only have an industrial estate, plus a residential area (cutting off access to properties roads and knocking down a dozen houses) to go through before you got to the golf course. http://www.RailMapOnline.com/UKIEMap.php?lat=56.31934&lng=-3.07114&zoom=17

The trackbed doesn't have that many obstacles in the way after Lower Largo - houses at Elie station, some caravans, industrial estate at St Monans - until you get to Anstruther where you'd have to detour around an industrial estate and the new school before more houses at Crail.

But I'm sure you'd get much better value for money in terms of connectivity and tourism spending it on high quality cycle paths connecting each town and village along the coast and up to St Andrews.

Well neither option is feasible but I think a route along the prom would be (marginally) more likely to happen than the old route. Both because it would have less residential demolition and because it would allow extension of the new Leven service.

Using the historic alignment would reduce the Golden Rules reopening score to 0/5...
 

Altnabreac

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2013
Messages
2,385
Location
Salt & Vinegar
If any extension were proposed then heading south west for about a mile to Methil / Fife Energy Park might be the more plausible option.
 

Journeyman

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2014
Messages
5,744
If the timetabling suggestions are correct, will spell the end of loco hauled Fife Circle, (although I think they are scheduled to go before then)

Unless ScotRail have a derogation to keep using the stock, they'll be gone by the end of the year.
 

Altnabreac

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2013
Messages
2,385
Location
Salt & Vinegar
Unless ScotRail have a derogation to keep using the stock, they'll be gone by the end of the year.

Scotrail Franchise Remedial Agreement
12 Extend the contract for hire of two locomotive hauled trains, each with a minimum of 300 seats, to provide capacity on Fife Circle peak services until May 2020, with a further option to extend to Dec 2020, in order to ensure they are available until sufficient HSTs are in service to deliver the planned cascade of class 170s to Fife routes.
https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/44455/remedial-agreement-scotrail-performance.pdf
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
28,286
Location
Yorks
Certainly good news.

No surprises it's in Scotland, rather than the territory held back by that deadbeat shambles in London.
 

alangla

Member
Joined
11 Apr 2018
Messages
1,005
Location
Glasgow
Will it be a same-unit service shuttling hourly along a single section?
Pointless- it needs to be a through service to Edinburgh. After some of the shortcuts taken on SAK and the Borders, hopefully there will be at least passive provision for dual tracking and electrification where possible
 

mcmad

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2015
Messages
805
was the Levenmouth line ever double track throughout? For £70m all you'll get is a long siding, maybe a 2 platform station at Leven tops.
 

61653 HTAFC

Veteran Member
Joined
18 Dec 2012
Messages
12,460
Location
Another planet...
was the Levenmouth line ever double track throughout? For £70m all you'll get is a long siding, maybe a 2 platform station at Leven tops.
No point in having the only 2-track section right at the end of the branch, as that locks you into long (55min+ on an hourly service) turnarounds: with Edinburgh services leaving only once the following unit arrives off the single section into the other platform.
 

Tomos y Tanc

Member
Joined
1 Jul 2019
Messages
439
Haven't we Welsh opened or re-opened the VOG. Ebbw Vale and the Halton Curve (although just operatng the services along rhe line)

We have indeed... and the Maesteg and Aberdare lines if you go a bit further back. On the other hand we lost a far greater proportion of our rail network in the middle years of the last century than did England or Scotland so we're starting from a pretty low base.
 

Top