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Progress on £70m Levenmouth Rail Link with delivery of 16,000 sleepers

Levenmouth rail link
Levenmouth Rail Campaign chairman Eugene Clarke at the site of the new railway.

Some 16,000 sleepers have arrived in Fife ahead of major work to create the new Levenmouth Rail Link.

Network Rail has taken delivery of the concrete sleepers, which are being stored in Thornton Yard, to the west of the branch line.

Work on the £70 million project will begin early next year, with the railway due to open in late 2023.

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

Network Rail took delivery of 16,000 sleepers in Fife for use on the Levenmouth rail link.

As well as reinstating 12 miles of track, the Levenmouth project will create two new stations at Leven town centre and Cameron Bridge.

There will be two trains an hour into Edinburgh, with one each way via Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline.

Joe Mulvenna, Network Rail project manager, said: “Often, space is at a premium around our work sites but the proximity of Thornton Yard has given us the opportunity to start to assemble materials we will need during the build.

“It is a real positive that this former railway site is playing a role in supporting the work to reconnect Leven back on to the mainline network.”

He added: “Although we are very much still in a planning and development phase, the arrival of the sleepers to site is another tangible sign of the progress we are making on the project.”

Last year Network Rail asked the public where the new railway stations should be.

The four possible station sites.

While the Cameron Bridge site will go next to the Windygates roundabout, officials are still sifting through the responses before deciding on a town centre location.

The choices are: next to the railway heritage centre, close to the old Balfour’s site, behind Sainsbury’s or beside the leisure centre.

Bat boxes

Meanwhile, Network Rail has worked with the Forth Rivers Trust to put up bat boxes along the length of the new Levenmouth Rail Link.

The work is part of the new Leven Connectivity Programme and followed the removal of trees to make way for the new line.

The boxes were placed along the bank of the River Leven near Methil, following advice from a bat specialist.

They were attached to mature trees to offer a safe refuge for species such as the common pipistrelle and the brown long-eared bat.

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