Trains given green light to use Levenmouth Rail Link

Leven Station

Network Rail has commissioned the signalling system on the new £116m Levenmouth Rail Link - meaning trains can use the line.

The signalling was successfully tested and brought into use over the weekend (January 6/7) and ScotRail will now be able to begin training drivers on the new route.

This will see a significant number of trains on the track in coming weeks as drivers develop their knowledge of the new section of railway between Thornton Junction and Leven Station.

Completion of the signalling and the start of driver training is a major step on the way to reconnecting Leven to the mainline railway with passenger services set to begin this summer.

A Scottish Government funded investment, the Levenmouth Rail Link will deliver six miles of new railway and two new stations – at Leven and Cameron Bridge – to open up new social and economic opportunities for the local community.

Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Transport, said: “This is a key milestone in reconnecting Levenmouth with the rail network, delivering benefits and opportunities to the people of Leven and Fife. It is also clear evidence of our commitment to investing in Scotland’s Railway as we seek to attract more people onto public transport.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the project thus far and look forward to seeing the completion of the stations and active travel links. The imminent start of driver training is another major step towards the railway opening and I aim to visit in the coming weeks to see this progress.”

The first train at Cameron Bridge

Gerry McQuade, capital delivery director for Scotland’s Railway, said: “The commissioning of the signalling system is the last piece of the jigsaw which delivers a fully operational railway ready for driver training.

“The project team will now focus on completing both of the new stations on the line and enhancing the active travel links – walking and cycling routes - that will connect the communities to the new railway.”

Train at Leven

David Lister, ScotRail Safety, Engineering & Sustainability Director, said: “With the new signalling system now commissioned, ScotRail will begin a programme of driver training enabling our trains to run safely onto the wider network.

“This investment marks one of the final steps towards opening the Levenmouth line, which will deliver new and improved services for our customers across Fife and East Scotland.”

Signalling systems allow trains to move around the network, tracking them as they progress along the railway and stopping them safely at stations and junctions.

Specialist engineers have worked for months to design and install the different elements of the new system along the route.

The system on the Levenmouth branch, which is controlled from Network Rail’s Edinburgh signalling centre, includes:

  • 15 Signals (lineside lights to advise drivers when they can move safely)
  • 22 Axle counters (which identify the location of trains on the network)
  • 3 sets of points (movable rails that direct trains at junctions)
  • 21 Location cabinets (that manage power and communications between different signalling elements)