Network Rail would be forced to pay for and reopen the Levenmouth rail line within a year if a train operator asked them to, The Courier can reveal.
In response to a Parliamentary Question from the Scottish Greens, Transport Minister Derek Mackay confirmed the owners and operators of Britain’s rail infrastructure would have to get trains back on track in Fife if demand was there.
Former Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Mark Ruskell called the news a “game changer” and the move was seen as a boost for campaigners who want passenger services to operate on the route between Glenrothes with Thornton and Leven.
Mr Mackay said: “Should there be a request for its use, Network Rail will be required to reinstate the line at its own cost within a 12-month period.”
Green candidate for the region Mr Ruskell said it was “scandalous” that people in Leven and Methil were being cut off from job opportunities the railway would bring.
He added: “These answers confirm what I have suspected for some time Network Rail have big obligations, not just to maintain the existing mothballed line to Leven but to bring it back into use again at short notice should a freight operator ask for it.”
Network Rail failed to respond to a request for comment.