Redundant Leven track to support heritage railways.: Leven Track lift 2

Thursday 7 Oct 2021

Redundant Leven track to support heritage railways.

Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland

The Levenmouth rail link project has now completed work to remove the old disused track and redundant infrastructure from the former branch line.

Completing the removal of redundant and life expired railway equipment is an important step forward for the project and is the most significant work completed to date.  Removing the disused track and excavating the old ballast will also help create a clear area for when the construction of the new lines will begin early in 2022.

As part of the project’s commitment to minimise its carbon footprint and increase its environmental sustainability, 100% of the removed track will be re-used, recycled or repurposed on` the project.

The redundant equipment was itemised and offered to a range of Heritage railways. Groups such as Leven Heritage, Shed 47 Dunfermline Caledonia Heritage society and Boness Heritage railway all received significant quantities of track and sleepers, which will benefit their respective projects going forward.

Joe Mulvenna, Network Rail project manager for the Levenmouth Rail link said; “This is the most significant phase of preparatory work so far on the project and we are literally clearing the way for the start of construction early next year.

“While clearing the old track breaks a link with the past, its important that we can re-use and recycle the redundant assets for use on heritage railways and some can be repurposed for the new line.

“It’s great to see local groups benefit from what was a redundant asset and to know the old Levenmouth railway will again serve passengers on the heritage railways, including locally in Fife.”

Next steps for the project will be to sink a significant number of trial boreholes all along the 5-mile route.  As well as testing the ground, it will also sample for contamination.  This will further inform the design development and construction methodology as the project prepares to go on site early in 2022.

Notes to Editors

Notes to editors

Track works

Removal of the track was undertaken from west to east and involved a team of 10-12 people using an excavator and trailer. 

The work was be delivered from a compound within the Fife heritage railway site and the line was accessed for this activity from here and at Double Dykes.

Before this work started, we carried out all necessary environmental and ecological surveys to identify any protected species or nesting birds in the area. Appropriate methods of working were in place. Our aim has been, and will continue to be, to proactively identify safeguarded species, roosts and habitats of value.


Summary of Project: 

The project is currently considering a number of options which include:

  • 19 single track kilometres of new / reinstated railway. (This means a double track railway running the full length).
  • Two new modern accessible stations
  • Provision for efficient electrification of the line in the future
  • Work with partners to optimise travel / interchange options connecting stations

The project is also continuing to develop options for connection to the Heritage Railway and to support future freight aspirations.

Current Status:   

The project is currently onsite, designing and developing a delivery programme. 

  • Station designs will be complete and planning applications made in Autumn 2021
  • It is anticipated that main construction works will begin early in 2022

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