Patrick Harvie, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants Rights visited the site of the Levenmouth Rail Link to meet the team delivering the new line in Fife.
The Minister visited the sites of what will be both new stations and walked along the track-bed to see and discuss the infrastructure, including active travel links, that will be delivered by the project team.
The plans for the Rail Link see the construction of two new stations and the reinstatement of 19 single track kilometres of electrified railway which will reconnect Leven to the national rail network for the first time in more than half a century.
Early progress on the project has seen the first mile of rail to the west of the route at Thornton junction commissioned and is now being utilised to enable the delivery of the second mile of track-work.
Additionally, significant work to repair and refurbish a number of bridges over water-courses and under the railway, along the six-mile railway corridor have now been completed.
It is anticipated that work to strengthen the Leven Rail (Bawbee) bridge on behalf of Fife Council will get underway in Autumn – subject to planning permission for the diversionary route being agreed.
Completion of the branch line in Spring 2024 will see trains call at Cameron Bridge and Leven stations for the first time since 1969.
Mr Harvie said: “This is my first opportunity to visit the site and understand the scale of the task to reinstate the railway and the challenge ahead for the project team.
“Providing low-carbon transport options will make this area more attractive for inward investment and will support growth in tourism, which will both, in turn, support communities and boost the local economy.
“Investment in active travel inks and facilities around the core railway project is part of the Scottish Government’s work to expand the nation's network of cycling and walking routes to connect communities and wider active travel networks already in place locally as we work towards our net-zero ambitions.
“I look forward to seeing the project progress and further opportunities to hear from a wide range of people about its benefits and challenges.”
Martin McKinlay, Network Rail sponsor for the Levenmouth Rail Link, said: “The new line will improve social and economic opportunities for people in the surrounding communities and we are working hard with local partners to maximise the positive impact the project will have right across the area.
“It was great to welcome Mr Harvie on site to show the work already happening, discuss next steps in the delivery phase and to show that the Rail Link is well on its way to becoming a reality.
“It is great being part of a project that that has the potential to be massively positive for the area and to deliver something that will transform the lives of local people and the communities the railway will serve.”
Network Rail is encouraging anyone with any questions about the project to email LevenmouthRailLink@networkrail.co.uk or call their 24-hr helpline on 03457 11 41 41 and more information on the work can be found at www.scotlandsrailway.com/projects.
A video of Mr Harvie speaking on site is also available via the Levenmouth Reconnected YouTube channel.