The taskforce vying to soften the impact of Longannet’s closure is to investigate restoring a rail service in Fife after an 85-year hiatus.
The Forth Circle loop would be revived under plans to bring back the Dunfermline to Alloa passenger line boosting links between Fife and Edinburgh.
Scottish Power used the line to transport coal to the power station until 2008 and it has not been used for passengers on any significant scale since 1930.
A masterplan is being drawn up by Longannet Taskforce to mitigate the closure of the power station in March for employees, supply chain workers and the wider community.
Part of that drive is to come up with a transport blueprint for the area, which includes reviving the Forth-side passenger service.
A petition started by Martin Keatings, who lives in Cairneyhill, calling for the service to be brought back has gathered more than 630 signatures.
It will go before Holyrood’s public petition committee next week.
Steve Grimmond, chief executive of Fife Council, said it supports projects that increase travel options Fife’s residents and support local businesses and tourism.
“Fife Council would be seeking further discussions with Transport Scotland once the appraisal and economic justification of all transport options generated by the appraisal (including potentially a rail link) have been examined,” he said in a written statement to the committee.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said they are open to proposals for affordable rail links where there are clear benefits and a strong business case and have already invested £5 billion in Scotland’s railways to 2019.
“The proposed reopening of the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine line through to Dunfermline for passenger services does not feature in the current investment programme, however it is currently being considered as part of the wider, strategic transportation assessment and appraisal being carried out for the Longannet Taskforce,” he added.
The third meeting of the Longannet Taskforce is due to take place on February 29.
Photo by George McLuskie