Levenmouth rail link to reopen: project updates

mcmad

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2015
Messages
805
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.
The branch isn;t that long, less than 5 miles from memory so comparisons to Borders are not relevant.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Tobbes

Member
Joined
12 Aug 2012
Messages
1,094
If any extension were proposed then heading south west for about a mile to Methil / Fife Energy Park might be the more plausible option.

That's very sensible, given the (late!) loss of the Methil line.
 

Ginaro

Member
Joined
23 Aug 2016
Messages
114
Location
Scotland
If any extension were proposed then heading south west for about a mile to Methil / Fife Energy Park might be the more plausible option.
Even closer to Bayview for the football fans!
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.
1959 map shows it as double track from the main line basically until Leven Links golf course: https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/?fb...oom=18&lat=56.1810&lon=-3.0868&layers=170&b=2

If they keep it single, you'd imagine at the very least there will be double track where the Earlseat coal mine loading siding was and at Cameron Bridge station.
 

tbtc

Veteran Member
Joined
16 Dec 2008
Messages
16,663
Location
Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire
If you had to choose one option for a re-opened line in Scotland then this would probably be in the top one.

For all of the "romance" of some of the highly suggested schemes on here (Dumfries - Stranraer, Perth - Kinnaber, various fanciful things involving the Highlands), this is exactly the kind of short "stub" that we should be focussing on - no waffle about diversionary resilience or tourism in an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty - there are two Stagecoach express coaches per hour from Edinburgh to Levenmouth (the regular Glasgow service only stopped because the buses were too heavy for a weak bridge) - there's clearly a market for public transport (I don't know stats for car ownership but wouldn't be surprised if they were on the low side).

Now stop with the other daydreaming stuff north of the border (like the Wick sleeper) and focus on unremarkable practical simple schemes that will be of bigger benefit.
 

railjock

Member
Joined
30 Jun 2012
Messages
358
Can anyone post a position of the old leven station on an up to date map? Will it have ‘good’ parking?

Is the Cameron Bridge station near a lot of housing or is it more a park and ride station?
 

paul1609

Established Member
Joined
28 Jan 2006
Messages
4,606
Location
Wittersham Kent
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.
How does Levenmouth stack up against Crossrail, EW rail or Portishead?
(As an ex Royal Navy rating I have several pals from that area so am delighted if it goes ahead)
 

Macwomble

Member
Joined
15 Dec 2016
Messages
314
Location
Hamilton West
Can anyone post a position of the old leven station on an up to date map? Will it have ‘good’ parking?

I've worked it out correctly the old station in Leven is (approx) in the red circle. Due to building I reckon the new station would be in the blue box.
2019-08-08 (1).png
 

InOban

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2017
Messages
3,086
Even closer to Bayview for the football fans!

1959 map shows it as double track from the main line basically until Leven Links golf course: https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/?fb...oom=18&lat=56.1810&lon=-3.0868&layers=170&b=2

If they keep it single, you'd imagine at the very least there will be double track where the Earlseat coal mine loading siding was and at Cameron Bridge station.

Having double track at a station increases the cost by an order of magnitude, the cost of a PRM-compliant overbridge and two lifts .... If it needs a loop for use in emergencies, have it elsewhere.
 

Class 170101

Established Member
Joined
1 Mar 2014
Messages
6,647
Having double track at a station increases the cost by an order of magnitude, the cost of a PRM-compliant overbridge and two lifts .... If it needs a loop for use in emergencies, have it elsewhere.

One lift with an island platform. The lift could also be 'attached' to an existing bridge in the same way the PTEs in Yorkshire opned stations in the 1980s and 1990s like Cross Gates.

Secondly why a lift? It could be a ramp albeit I accept they can be rather large and dominate stations as the ramps do at Barnetby but at least they don't fail unlike lifts.
 

Altnabreac

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2013
Messages
2,385
Location
Salt & Vinegar
I've worked it out correctly the old station in Leven is (approx) in the red circle. Due to building I reckon the new station would be in the blue box.
View attachment 66930

The assumption has tended to be that the station location would be a bit further south than that, somewhere around Sainsbury’s / Swimming Pool or possibly even just north of Bayview. Will need to see what the latest study proposes but I’d think it’s likely to be more down that direction.
 

AndrewE

On Moderation
Joined
9 Nov 2015
Messages
3,704
Having double track at a station increases the cost by an order of magnitude, the cost of a PRM-compliant overbridge and two lifts ....
Not if it's the terminus...
If it needs a loop for use in emergencies, have it elsewhere.
A loop on a 5-mile line? That's luxury for you!
 

Altnabreac

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2013
Messages
2,385
Location
Salt & Vinegar
True, but the extra mile to Methil would preclude that, but could have a significant regeneration impact on the BCR.

Having been the person who suggested the extension I should perhaps make a couple of things clear:
  • It isn't proposed in any of the current plans or business cases
  • It would need an expensive bridge to access Bayview / FRIC / Methil Docks making it an expensive extension on a cost per mile basis.
I suspect a compromise position is more likely to be locating the station somewhere just on the south side of the river Leven just to the north of Bayview, giving easy access to both Methil and Leven.
 

Altnabreac

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2013
Messages
2,385
Location
Salt & Vinegar
An interesting extra possibility mentioned in the Railway Gazette article:
https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/news/uk/single-view/view/levenmouth-reopening-moves-forward.html

According to the study, the provision of a train stabling facility could facilitate improved rail services for the wider Fife region and reduce the need for empty running back to Edinburgh. A depot in the area could also generate local employment opportunities.

Again the currently derelict land on the south side of the River Leven adjacent to Bayview looks to be an ideal location for a depot / stabling point. Would potentially take some pressure off Haymarket.
 

iain-j

Member
Joined
2 Jul 2015
Messages
76
Location
Musselburgh
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.
I was always curious myself what service Glenrothes with Thornton would see if the Levenmouth link was reopened. I wonder if there has been any thought of re-siting the Glenrothes With Thornton station to the site of the old Thornton station, allowing services on both parts of the Fife Circle to terminate at Levenmouth instead while still keeping the same level of services calling at Glenrothes?
 

InOban

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2017
Messages
3,086
An interesting extra possibility mentioned in the Railway Gazette article:
https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/news/uk/single-view/view/levenmouth-reopening-moves-forward.html



Again the currently derelict land on the south side of the River Leven adjacent to Bayview looks to be an ideal location for a depot / stabling point. Would potentially take some pressure off Haymarket.

This sounds a really interesting idea. Could even be more valuable to the community than the actual train service.
 

Class83

Member
Joined
8 Jun 2012
Messages
411
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.

Extending the current Cowdenbeath terminating services would allow 1tph without needing any additional capacity across the Forth Bridge or at Haymarket/Waverley. More than that would involve splitting the Fife Circle as it is hourly each way with the Dundee stopper providing the extra via Kirkcaldy and the Cowdenbeath terminator the extra via Dunfermline.
 

LMRC

New Member
Joined
11 Aug 2019
Messages
4
A few observations from one of the Levenmouth activists delighted 5 and a half years of relentless campaigning has succeeded. The case was very strong -largest urban area in Scotland unconnected, mothballed line, high deprivation but there is absolutely no guarantee a compelling case leads to a positive decision. Major transport studies and previous campaigns, most recently 2008 did not break through. The fact no new rail enhancements had been approved since 2006 must have created opportunity.

This was a community-driven effort which mobilised support from elected reps (all parties), Council but also rail industry experts, working to keep the case live at all levels from local upwards. Despite some negativity/apathy and thousands of thankless hours in meetings (some with as few as 4), talks, representations, petition gathering, unending media input and a lot more, it is gratifying to reach this stage. We were adamant about how strong an argument it presented, but keeping pressure for progress on the twin tracks - political/local mobilisation and the technical/bureaucratic. Hope for others here, where the case is strong.

A few points here. The freight aspect is still uncertain. Diageo (main operations are here and Europe’s largest distillery at Cameron Bridge) could have had the mothballed line reopened in12 months but have never engaged, though their logistics contractir Malcolm (with a Rail Division) are keen. There is the idea of a multimodal freight terminal at Cameron Bridge but Diageo will need to get onboard soon.

The idea of a Fife rail depot was made by experts. Thornton is probably the front runner but we’d love it here for additional economic impact. Relocating Thornton station to a junction would be lovely, facilitating change for northward trips - but very unlikely

When the Leven branch reopens, we expect direct rail services to Edinburgh - likely journey time 70 minutes. The site of the station is behind Leven Swimming Pool next to Bawbee Bridge - very close to the bus station.

The Minister’s announcement stressed improvements to the supporting travel network (bus linesman active travel paths) and the need to maximise economic benefits a Levenmouth Blueprint ( like the Borders but from the start. All this means the Rail Campaign (LMRC) needs to keep active and involved to keep this on track.
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
17,864
A few observations from one of the Levenmouth activists delighted 5 and a half years of relentless campaigning has succeeded. The case was very strong -largest urban area in Scotland unconnected, mothballed line, high deprivation but there is absolutely no guarantee a compelling case leads to a positive decision. Major transport studies and previous campaigns, most recently 2008 did not break through. The fact no new rail enhancements had been approved since 2006 must have created opportunity.

This was a community-driven effort which mobilised support from elected reps (all parties), Council but also rail industry experts, working to keep the case live at all levels from local upwards. Despite some negativity/apathy and thousands of thankless hours in meetings (some with as few as 4), talks, representations, petition gathering, unending media input and a lot more, it is gratifying to reach this stage. We were adamant about how strong an argument it presented, but keeping pressure for progress on the twin tracks - political/local mobilisation and the technical/bureaucratic. Hope for others here, where the case is strong.

A few points here. The freight aspect is still uncertain. Diageo (main operations are here and Europe’s largest distillery at Cameron Bridge) could have had the mothballed line reopened in12 months but have never engaged, though their logistics contractir Malcolm (with a Rail Division) are keen. There is the idea of a multimodal freight terminal at Cameron Bridge but Diageo will need to get onboard soon.

The idea of a Fife rail depot was made by experts. Thornton is probably the front runner but we’d love it here for additional economic impact. Relocating Thornton station to a junction would be lovely, facilitating change for northward trips - but very unlikely

When the Leven branch reopens, we expect direct rail services to Edinburgh - likely journey time 70 minutes. The site of the station is behind Leven Swimming Pool next to Bawbee Bridge - very close to the bus station.

The Minister’s announcement stressed improvements to the supporting travel network (bus linesman active travel paths) and the need to maximise economic benefits a Levenmouth Blueprint ( like the Borders but from the start. All this means the Rail Campaign (LMRC) needs to keep active and involved to keep this on track.

Congratulations, it shows what can be done with a properly assessed case, and a good one too!

If I were you I would prepare a ‘sensitivity’ on the case for the possibility of an increase in construction costs. If the economic case still works with costs 50% higher, then it’s in good shape.
 

Tobbes

Member
Joined
12 Aug 2012
Messages
1,094
A few observations from one of the Levenmouth activists delighted 5 and a half years of relentless campaigning has succeeded. The case was very strong -largest urban area in Scotland unconnected, mothballed line, high deprivation but there is absolutely no guarantee a compelling case leads to a positive decision. Major transport studies and previous campaigns, most recently 2008 did not break through. The fact no new rail enhancements had been approved since 2006 must have created opportunity.

This was a community-driven effort which mobilised support from elected reps (all parties), Council but also rail industry experts, working to keep the case live at all levels from local upwards. Despite some negativity/apathy and thousands of thankless hours in meetings (some with as few as 4), talks, representations, petition gathering, unending media input and a lot more, it is gratifying to reach this stage. We were adamant about how strong an argument it presented, but keeping pressure for progress on the twin tracks - political/local mobilisation and the technical/bureaucratic. Hope for others here, where the case is strong.

A few points here. The freight aspect is still uncertain. Diageo (main operations are here and Europe’s largest distillery at Cameron Bridge) could have had the mothballed line reopened in12 months but have never engaged, though their logistics contractir Malcolm (with a Rail Division) are keen. There is the idea of a multimodal freight terminal at Cameron Bridge but Diageo will need to get onboard soon.

The idea of a Fife rail depot was made by experts. Thornton is probably the front runner but we’d love it here for additional economic impact. Relocating Thornton station to a junction would be lovely, facilitating change for northward trips - but very unlikely

When the Leven branch reopens, we expect direct rail services to Edinburgh - likely journey time 70 minutes. The site of the station is behind Leven Swimming Pool next to Bawbee Bridge - very close to the bus station.

The Minister’s announcement stressed improvements to the supporting travel network (bus linesman active travel paths) and the need to maximise economic benefits a Levenmouth Blueprint ( like the Borders but from the start. All this means the Rail Campaign (LMRC) needs to keep active and involved to keep this on track.

Very many congratulations for such a long and hard campaign!
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
53,206
Location
Yorkshire
This thread is to discuss the actual reopening of the Levenmouth line.

If anyone wishes to post any speculative ideas please create a new thread in the Speculative Ideas section (or use an existing one, if there is one).

If you see something that looks off topic, please report it using the report button. See it, report it, sorted! ;) Please do not continue off topic discussion in the wrong thread; instead create a new thread if you wish to continue the off topic discussion. Thanks :)
 

railjock

Member
Joined
30 Jun 2012
Messages
358
Extending the current Cowdenbeath terminating services would allow 1tph without needing any additional capacity across the Forth Bridge or at Haymarket/Waverley. More than that would involve splitting the Fife Circle as it is hourly each way with the Dundee stopper providing the extra via Kirkcaldy and the Cowdenbeath terminator the extra via Dunfermline.
I imagine that trains going via Dunfermline to Edinburgh would take longer than the anticipated 70 minutes journey time
 

Photohunter71

Member
Joined
17 Jan 2012
Messages
571
Location
In a flat beside Niddrie West junction
I would suggest in regard to the freight aspect, yes Diageo needs to be involved,however With the Multimodal freight terminal at Cameron Bridge a proposed idea, what would also help to strengthen its case would be the transportation of biomass to Glenrothes via rail, and then onto road.You see numerous hgv's travelling around on the A92 with the biomass for Glenrothes, why not use rail to Cameron Bridge then road to Glenrothes. I would have suggested that maybe Thornton would be a great multimodal freight depot, but if Cameron Bridge fits the bill, then there's no counterpoint from me. It is to be given the warmest of welcomes and I applaud those who campaigned tirelessly for the line. The first steps have been taken, but it needs to keep going until the project has come to fruition.
I wonder just how much of what is currently on the trackbed is still viable? Will I be witnessing quite a few engineers trains to the new line with track,sleepers and ballast? I keep my fingers crossed that when the first train rolls in, the interest is there and will settle at a sustainable level.
 

deltic08

On Moderation
Joined
26 Aug 2013
Messages
2,499
Location
Ripon
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.
What happened to your estimate of £300m/mile?
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
17,864
What happened to your estimate of £300m/mile?

Where have I ever said £300m a mile?

Edit:
I have stated £30m/mile (and more) for new twin track railways. I stand by that.

Levenmouth will of course not be new, and unlikely to be twin track for any significant length (my assumption). It will be built almost entirely on NR land, with no need for any primary consents except (I assume) for the station buildings. Together this takes at least 2 years off the programme and an 8 figure sum off the bill. Given that it has had heavy freight trains operating on it this century, one hopes that the formation and all the (very few) structures will still be in reasonably good shape.

This is similar in concept to the Ebbw Vale reopening, or Portishead.
 
Last edited:

Top