Levenmouth rail link to reopen: project updates

LMRC

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“Levenmouth Rail Link to reopen” is the usual phrasing used by both campaigners and local government. Seems reasonable that this refers to reopening of a rail link to the conurbation of Levenmouth.

You could complain about anyone talking about reopening Levenmouth Station but I’ve never seen any reference to a "Levenmouth Station reopening” either in this thread or indeed anywhere else.
By way of further information, Levenmouth is the local administrative area (one of six across Fife) and the Levenmouth conurbation comprises a number of almost contiguous settlements (Leven, Methil, Methilhill, Buckhaven, Windygates, Kennoway) as well as the Wemyss villages and the Largo/Lundin Links area.

The two stations on the line being reopened will not be located at their previous sites when the line closed for passenger traffic in 1969. The only option for the Cameron Bridge site is about 3-400m from the old station (due to enhanced safety regulations related to the major distillery there) and the old Leven station is now built over (and in any case was about 400 metres along the line heading towards the East Neuk
 
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Tobbes

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By way of further information, Levenmouth is the local administrative area (one of six across Fife) and the Levenmouth conurbation comprises a number of almost contiguous settlements (Leven, Methil, Methilhill, Buckhaven, Windygates, Kennoway) as well as the Wemyss villages and the Largo/Lundin Links area.

The two stations on the line being reopened will not be located at their previous sites when the line closed for passenger traffic in 1969. The only option for the Cameron Bridge site is about 3-400m from the old station (due to enhanced safety regulations related to the major distillery there) and the old Leven station is now built over (and in any case was about 400 metres along the line heading towards the East Neuk

Thanks - and congratulations on the campaign's success to date. Which of the station options in Leven does the campaign support?
 

waverley47

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Options 3/4 seems to be the preferred options, but it's splitting hairs between them. 1 is a bit too far out of town for walking.

I think we'll probably end up with 3 as there is less work to do, but that is just a prediction.

Any advance on completion date for this. I'm guessing December 2022 timetable change.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Link to consultation website:


Having a look at this. Looking at the maps (and without any local area knowledge), it strikes me that the proposed Cameron Bridge station has no access from the nearest housing - the area around Poplar Road, just the other side of the River Leven. Wouldn't a footbridge over the river and a footpath/cyclepath from the station towards either Poplar Road or Ashgrove make the station massively more useful? As proposed without that, the station seems useful only only as a park-and-ride.
 

waverley47

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Having a look at this. Looking at the maps (and without any local area knowledge), it strikes me that the proposed Cameron Bridge station has no access from the nearest housing - the area around Poplar Road, just the other side of the River Leven. Wouldn't a footbridge over the river and a footpath/cyclepath from the station towards either Poplar Road or Ashgrove make the station massively more useful? As proposed without that, the station seems useful only only as a park-and-ride.

This is outside the scope of any scheme. The plan is literally just to get the trains running.

It would be nice to have, but that's a Fife council problem, or more likely a Scottish Government funding situation.
 

och aye

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NR starting to ramp up the preparatory works:


Network Rail is advising people who are using the disused Leven railway corridor to ‘be aware’ as activity increases ahead of work to reinstate the line.


In the years since the line closed, the area has been used by local people for walking, running, fishing and nature watching as it is flat, vehicle-free and offered good views of, and access to, the river, even though the line has always been classed as operational railway.


However, with the preparatory work well underway ahead of the reconstruction of the railway, Network Rail is urging caution and are asking people to be extra careful if they continue to use the area due to the increasing number of vehicles and site activity.
 

lachlan

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Do we think there will be any work done at the junction between the Leven line and the Dundee-Edinburgh? As it stands trains heading from Kirkcaldy and Thornton to Leven will have to cross the ECML to continue to Leven. A flyover from Thornton to the Leven line could eliminate this crossing but I guess it would be a lot of expense for one or two trains per hour. There's also trees, houses, and a golf course in the way.

If the configuration stayed as it is now would the junction become a significant bottleneck?
 

lachlan

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Well it might be fettled up a bit. But not a flyover!




No, not at all.
Thanks for this, I presumed it wasn't significant as I couldn't find any discussion on it!
Isn't it just going to be an extension of an existing service? So no actual extra trains as such.
Previous posts suggest a service terminating at Cowdenbeath could be extended to serve Leven, which would mean an extra crossing of the mainline. However looking at the National Rail app I can't see this service at all, perhaps it was suspended due to the virus?
 

snowball

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If or when money becomes available for a new flyover in Scotland it will doubtless be used somewhere like Winchburgh, not for a reopened branch line.
 

Journeyman

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If or when money becomes available for a new flyover in Scotland it will doubtless be used somewhere like Winchburgh, not for a reopened branch line.
As a Winchburgh resident, can we have a station first?
 

alf

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Please have some respect please gentlemen.
This new service is crossing the EC Main Line!
Flyovers have been built across far lesser routes.
 

fgwrich

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If or when money becomes available for a new flyover in Scotland it will doubtless be used somewhere like Winchburgh, not for a reopened branch line.
Given the topography, I would have thought a dive under / bridge would be more appropriate to the area anyway. The Leven line has quite a gradient to reach the Mainline, and there would be enough space on the other side to rise up to the junction / triangle at Glenrothes.
 

Altnabreac

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If or when money becomes available for a new flyover in Scotland it will doubtless be used somewhere like Winchburgh, not for a reopened branch line.

I suspect when Almond Chord does happen it will have a flyover at the junction with the Fife lines but not at the Winchburgh end because it will be an 8/2 split with only 2tph using the current line.

As a Winchburgh resident, can we have a station first?

I understand good progress is being made. WDL seem quite hopeful now that it will all be signed off soon.
 

lachlan

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I suspect when Almond Chord does happen it will have a flyover at the junction with the Fife lines but not at the Winchburgh end because it will be an 8/2 split with only 2tph using the current line.



I understand good progress is being made. WDL seem quite hopeful now that it will all be signed off soon.
I responded to a consultation on the motorway junction saying the station should be built first, but I haven't heard anything recently. That's good to hear progress on the station is being made.

Hopefully if and when the chord does get built a new station at Kirkliston is included too.
 

waverley47

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What is the likely demand to be like for the stations that will be built?

This is commercially sensitive, and even then the feasibility studies aren't published (commissioned by the government for governments eyes only)

We did a study in 2013 that showed it was feasible, and I'll try dig out the BCR we came up with, but no levels of demand forecast are likely to ever be published. We'll only get an announcement that the line has smashed all estimates in a couple of years (feasibility studies usually have to find a positive BCR with a 'minimum growth' expectation to be accepted, which this one did)

Edit: can't find the BCR but I can find a brief calculation I did about six years ago before the most recent study. Came to an estimate of about 120k pax at a minimum, which seems to be a bit on the conservative side
 
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och aye

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Update from Network Rail on the project along with a video of the delivery of 16,000 sleepers:




Network Rail has taken delivery of sixteen thousand sleepers that will form part of the new Levenmouth Rail link.


The sleepers have been delivered to and are being stored in Thornton Yard, to the west of the branch line, ahead of major work to deliver the project from early 2022.


The sleepers were delivered over a four-week period with a proportion of the former shunting yard being given over to storing the components while the old rails are lifted and cleared and the new railway formation is created.


As well as reinstating 19 single track kilometres of railway, the Levenmouth project will create new stations at Leven and Cameron Bridge and offer two trains an hour into Edinburgh with one each way via Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy respectively.
 

waverley47

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Well there we go I guess, although that does raise questions about the serving of Glenrothes station though. By taking the 1tph each way that does the circle and diverting it to Levenmouth, suddenly Glenrothes loses their direct 1tph to Kirkcaldy and the coast.

I guess the Cowdenbeath terminators will be extended, but still not great for Glenrothes. I guess those journeys from Glenrothes to the coast are very much a minority, and not much of a hardship to deal with.

Either that or the plan is to stuff another tph into Waverley to serve Levenmouth?
 

adrock1976

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Well there we go I guess, although that does raise questions about the serving of Glenrothes station though. By taking the 1tph each way that does the circle and diverting it to Levenmouth, suddenly Glenrothes loses their direct 1tph to Kirkcaldy and the coast.

I guess the Cowdenbeath terminators will be extended, but still not great for Glenrothes. I guess those journeys from Glenrothes to the coast are very much a minority, and not much of a hardship to deal with.

Either that or the plan is to stuff another tph into Waverley to serve Levenmouth?

I have suggested previously a long time ago to break the loop, with both Leven trains running via Dunfermline, and the via Kirkcaldy trains to start/terminate at Glenrothes with Thornton. There would have been no overall loss of frequency and Cowdenbeath - Glenrothes section would be doubled in frequency.

However, this would mean that there would be no loop trains, although in practice, the loop trains were broken to start and terminate at Glenrothes with a new headcode. Although it would mean that it would not be possible to have a direct journey on the train between Rosyth/Dunfermline/Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy, the shortest route (and more frequent than every 60 minutes) is by the Stagecoach bus network.
 

waverley47

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I have suggested previously a long time ago to break the loop, with both Leven trains running via Dunfermline, and the via Kirkcaldy trains to start/terminate at Glenrothes with Thornton. There would have been no overall loss of frequency and Cowdenbeath - Glenrothes section would be doubled in frequency.

However, this would mean that there would be no loop trains, although in practice, the loop trains were broken to start and terminate at Glenrothes with a new headcode. Although it would mean that it would not be possible to have a direct journey on the train between Rosyth/Dunfermline/Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy, the shortest route (and more frequent than every 60 minutes) is by the Stagecoach bus network.

But then:

1. you lose journeys from Levenmouth to the Coast, which will be quicker on a train, and is a new traffic flow with an unknown quantity.

2. You have four crossing moves at Thornton north junction every hour

3. While admittedly 1tph from Dunfermline to Kirkcaldy doesn't really offer passengers much, there are so many more intermediate journeys that are faster by train, and you'd lose them with a change at Thornton.
 

lachlan

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Well there we go I guess, although that does raise questions about the serving of Glenrothes station though. By taking the 1tph each way that does the circle and diverting it to Levenmouth, suddenly Glenrothes loses their direct 1tph to Kirkcaldy and the coast.

I guess the Cowdenbeath terminators will be extended, but still not great for Glenrothes. I guess those journeys from Glenrothes to the coast are very much a minority, and not much of a hardship to deal with.

Either that or the plan is to stuff another tph into Waverley to serve Levenmouth?
I was under the impression there was a service that terminated at Kirkcaldy that would be extended to Leven, along with the Cowdenbeath service you mentioned. This would deliver the 2tph with no loss in connectivity at Glenrothes.
 

waverley47

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I was under the impression there was a service that terminated at Kirkcaldy that would be extended to Leven, along with the Cowdenbeath service you mentioned. This would deliver the 2tph with no loss in connectivity at Glenrothes.

The Kirkcaldy terminator is no longer a thing, it's been extended to Arbroath since the May 2019 timetable chamge.
 

lachlan

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The Kirkcaldy terminator is no longer a thing, it's been extended to Arbroath since the May 2019 timetable chamge.
Ah okay, thanks.

Regarding the proposal to send all Fife Circle trains via Leven, if I'm not mistaken removing the service between the inner circle and Kirkcaldy would result in journeys from the inner circle to the north requiring two changes (at Glenrothes, then Kirkcaldy). I hope this wouldn't happen.
 

russellsam

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The Kirkcaldy terminator is no longer a thing, it's been extended to Arbroath since the May 2019 timetable chamge.
After checking Real-time trains, it appears as if the former Kirkcaldy terminator has been extended to Glenrothes , with the Arbroath terminator being an extension of the Dundee semi fast. Therefore the Cowdenbeath and Glenrothes via. Kirkcaldy terminators can be sent to Leven, leaving the hourly Fife circle services untouched. Hope this makes sense.
First post so please be gentle with me!
 

lachlan

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After checking Real-time trains, it appears as if the former Kirkcaldy terminator has been extended to Glenrothes , with the Arbroath terminator being an extension of the Dundee semi fast. Therefore the Cowdenbeath and Glenrothes via. Kirkcaldy terminators can be sent to Leven, leaving the hourly Fife circle services untouched. Hope this makes sense.
First post so please be gentle with me!
I think you're right. So Glenrothes with Thornton loses an hourly service to Kirkcaldy, but gains the hourly Leven service and an extra service to Edinburgh via the Fife Circle.
 

waverley47

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After checking Real-time trains, it appears as if the former Kirkcaldy terminator has been extended to Glenrothes , with the Arbroath terminator being an extension of the Dundee semi fast. Therefore the Cowdenbeath and Glenrothes via. Kirkcaldy terminators can be sent to Leven, leaving the hourly Fife circle services untouched. Hope this makes sense.
First post so please be gentle with me!

Indeed you are right, I had those two mixed up.

So Glenrothes will be losing 1tph round the coast, but gaining 1tph via Dunfermline, which seems a reasonable assessment of use.

Leven gets 1tph each way which is good, but with a double track branch line it seems a little underwhelming.
 

russellsam

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Indeed you are right, I had those two mixed up.

So Glenrothes will be losing 1tph round the coast, but gaining 1tph via Dunfermline, which seems a reasonable assessment of use.

Leven gets 1tph each way which is good, but with a double track branch line it seems a little underwhelming.
Remember that the line has been specced for potential freight flows from the Diageo distillery at Cameron bridge. Whether these will actually happen, who knows?
 

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