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LMRC - LevenMouth Rail Campaign

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Area: Scotland
Interests: Rail

LevenMouth Rail Campaign is a campaign by local residents in a deprived and neglected corner of Fife to reinstate direct rail services. Levenmouth is the largest urban concentration in Scotland not directly served by rail despite the presence of an intact trackbed and mothballed line between Thornton (on the main East Coast Line) and Leven, a distance of four miles.

Contact: Allen Armstrong
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Tel: 01592 713078

Latest news

December 2018: Read the December newsletter.

October 2018: Read the latest newsletter.

March 2018: All the latest developments can be found in the March newsletter.

February 2018: The next round of survey work to be carried out on the Levenmouth rail link is being led, encouragingly, by Transport Scotland in conjunction with Fife Council. Find out more in our latest newsletter.

January 2018: Happy 2018 - let's make it a breakthrough year! Here is our January newsletter.

December 2017: Season's Greetings to all supporters and well-wishers - let's make 2018 historic! Here is our December newsletter.

November 2017: The rescue operation to prevent Bifab falling into administration is welcome relief for Levenmouth, and around 500 jobs in Methil. Regenerating the Levenmouth economy is taking time, and what is conspicuously holding back the area's economic prospects are poor, missing transport links. Find out more in our latest newsletter.

October 2017: Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has committed Transport Scotland to take responsibility for arranging a GRIP 4 study - an essential detailed feasibility study necessary prior to substantive investment. Find out more in the October newsletter

September 2017: The Scottish Parliament held a debate on Levenmouth Rail. A motion supporting the re-opening of the Levenmouth line achieved cross-party support. Find out more in the September newsletter

August 2017: A full year's timetable of LMRC Action Meetings has been set. Find it in the August newsletter

March 2017: Due to larger numbers attending, regular monthly public meetings of LMRC have been moved to a larger venue. Find out more in the latest newsletter.

March 2017: The first meeting was held of the LMRC Support Group, comprising all MSPs for the region, and Fife Council leadership with LMRC representatives. This will complement the work of the local Action Committee and seek to exercise influence at national level, in the Scottish Parliament, with Transport Scotland and others. The Support Group has unanimous cross-party support and will seek to co-ordinate interventions. Find out more in the latest newsletter

Mid-January 2017: A first meeting of the LMRC Support Group is due to take place, comprising MSPs, Leader/Deputy Leader of Fife Council and the Councillor responsible for Transport. Its role is to co-ordinate and strengthen national level efforts to ensure the Levenmouth rail case gets a fair hearing. The local active Campaign Group will continue as usual. Find out more in LMRC's latest newsletter.

January 2017: The Campaign to reinstate rail services to Levenmouth has completed another effective year. The Levenmouth catchment of over 45,000 is far and away the most populous community in Scotland with no rail service, despite the existence of a  five-mile mothballed line - fully intact - owned by Network Rail, and the easy extension of existing Fife Circle services direct to Edinburgh. LMRC needs a real push from all involved to make tangible progress, perhaps even breakthrough, in 2017. Find out about last year's achievements and this year's plans in our January newsletter

December 2016: Season's Greetings to all our members, supporters and well-wishers! Here is our December newsletter.

November 2016: Four delegates from LMRC met Minister for Transport & the Islands, Humza Yousaf and officials, in early October at Holyrood. We outlined the case, which is compelling from any perspective (population, regeneration, business opportunity, environmental. equality) and stressed how relatively straightforward reinstatement would prove for any government wishing to achieve and demonstrate progress. Find out more in our newsletter.

October 2016: The latest newsletter from LMRC reports back from the group's conference, which marks a new phase of the campaign.

On Friday 23 September from 1:30-3:30pm the Campaign is hosting a Mini-Conference on 'The case for re-instating rail services to Levenmouth' (buffet lunch from 1.30pm). The conference aims to bring together relevant stakeholders from industry, local government, the Scottish Parliament, rail experts, tourism and the general public to analyse the case and explore ways forward to reconnect the Levenmouth conurbation. It will take place at the Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, Ajax Way, Methil KY8 3RS.

September 2016: Not all Levenmouth residents are aware the rail campaign is promoting the reopening of Cameron Bridge station as well as Leven - ideally placed to serve Windygates, Kennoway, Methilhill but also Castle Fleurie area of Leven, and probably Buckhaven and E Wemyss. Hourly services to/from Leven and Cameron Bridge brings Edinburgh within a one-hour journey time. Find out more in the campaign's latest newsletter.

August 2016: Following recent meetings between Fife Council and Transport Scotland, we have now received, with help from our MSPs, a provisional timetable for the next formal steps for having the Leven line reinstatement considered. This is now rather tight in terms of next steps so we need to step up campaigning. Find out more in the latest newsletter.

July 2016: "We are concerned that the recent Brexit vote and its repercussions may throw a distracting spanner in the decision-making works...  We can only hope the assurance by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that regular government business will continue as usual proves correct." Find out more in the latest newsletter from LMRC.

June 2016: The number of signatures collected on petitions has now passed the 9,000 mark and we're hopeful our presence at the summer gala season will take this to the 10,000 target within the next month or two. Find out more in the latest newsletter from LMRC.

May 2016: "Once the new Scottish Government is established, LMRC will be pressing for a clearer commitment to recognising the crucial impact the line’s reopening will have on the area’s regeneration and seeking an early meeting with the Transport Minister." Find out more in the latest newsletter.

April 2016: A leading rail expert in Scotland confirms that, in terms of potential new rail openings, the Leven line is well ahead of the rest. Find out more in LMRC's latest newsletter.

March 2016: In the run-up to the Scottish Parliament elections, LMRC suggests: "In any dealings with prospective candidates and parties, we would urge anyone across Levenmouth & the East Neuk to raise the issue of the rail link. No other single measure would have a greater positive impact on this area. It offers a simple litmus test as to whether any party or candidate will do something meaningful for our neglected community." For this and much more, read LMRC's latest newsletter.

February 2016: The Action Committee meeting previously scheduled for 24 February has been moved back to Wednesday 2 March from 6.30pm at Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, Methil Docks.  

Transform Scotland is organising Platforms with each of the political parties contesting the upcoming Holyrood elections. These offer the opportunity to raise the case of the Leven rail-link so we would support any LMRC member interested in attending. 

Two LMRC members attended the Platform for Labour held some weeks ago, and the schedule for other meetings are as follows:

  • Liberal Democrats, 23 February 2016 , Raeburn Room, Old College, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
  • Greens, 9 March 2016, Royal College Physicians & Surgeons, 232-242 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5RJ
  • SNP, 15 March 2016, Business Centre, City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ

February 2016: The latest news from LMRC can be found in the February newsletter.

January 2016: Network Rail is conducting a consultation over its Route Study which presently makes no reference to the Leven rail link. We urge all supporters to submit a short note to the consultation recommending Leven be reconnected. Find out more in the January newsletter.

November 2015: The next LMRC Action Committee meeting will be on Monday 23 November from 6.30pm at FRICS, Methil Docks. Ken Gourlay, Fife Council Head of Assets, Transportation & Environment will come along to answer questions. With the STAG Part 2 Report due to be finalised there is plenty to discuss on this and next steps.

November 2015: The STAG Part 2 report should be produced (in draft form) in a matter of days. The findings and conclusions will be vital in taking the case for Leven rail reinstatement forward. As we move from the technical to the political phase, we need to amplify our voice so that Levenmouth is not left out in the cold for another 46 years and bypassed by the rail revolution taking place across Scotland. Find out more in the November newsletter.

October 2015: Fife Council has arranged the next stage of public consultation on the Levenmouth Sustainable Transport Study. It's VITAL that local residents get along and express their views. Find out how in LMRC's October newsletter.

September 2015: As the Borders line is reopened, we offer many congratulations to our Borders counterparts on their magnificent achievement after a very long and challenging campaign. Could the Levenmouth line be next? Find out more in our newsletter.

August 2015: LMRC's August newsletter is out now.

July 2015: The iconic Forth Bridge has been awarded World Heritage status this month: potentially a huge boost to Fife tourism - and for LMRC? Find out more in the group's mid-July newsletter

July 2015: The long-awaited STAG Appraisal is underway looking at the feasibility and viability of rail services in the context of wider transport needs. Find out more in LMRC's July Campaign Update.

June 2015: LMRC has now collected more than 5,000 petition signatures! Find out all the latest news in the June Campaign Update. The next LMRC Action Committee is scheduled for Wednesday 24 June, from 6.30pm at FRICS.

LMRC Stand at Kennoway CarnivalJune 2015: LMRC is taking to the streets and parks this summer to spread the message and mobilise support (see pic, right). Find out about this and more in the group's latest newsletter.

May 2015: Here is the latest newsletter from LMRC. Already it's being overtaken by events. LMRC understands that the STAG Appraisal formally commences on Monday 11 May (with a scheduled reporting date set for 2 August). In addition, resources have been kindly approved by Fife Council to support the Campaign's engagement of communication expertise to gear up our efforts.

A joint event with Fife Chamber of Commerce and Fife Council on the Business Case for the Rail Link is scheduled for Wednesday 27 May 4-6pm at FRICS (with the next full Action Committee meeting to follow at 6:30pm - same venue).

April 2015: The April newsletter from LMRC covers the question of freight trains on a restored Thornton-Leven link.

March 2015: If you support direct rail services for Levenmouth, here's a colourful poster you can print off and display.

February 2015: Here is the latest newsletter from the LevenMouth Rail Campaign.

February 2015: LevenMouth Rail Campaign has produced this, its first newsletter, as well as this leaflet with Fife Council.

January 2015: Here's our programme of talks and meetings for February to April. Please print and display this notice to raise awareness if you can - thank you.

January 2015: The next open meeting of the LMRC will be held on Wednesday 4 February at 6:30pm - all are welcome! Come along to Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, Methil Docks.

December 2014: LMRC now has over 1,000 friends on Facebook! Find them here.

November 2014: LMRC has now joined Transform Scotland. As a group of committed local residents, LMRC is delighted to be joining Transform to stay abreast of and engage with sustainable transport issues and campaigns across Scotland. We have already benefitted from their expertise, experience and connections. We are determined to overcome this area's artificial isolation in every sense  and this is one vital step along this path.

October 2014: This month marks the 45th anniversary of the closure of passenger services between Leven and Thornton, in October 1969. LMRC welcomes anyone committed to reversing this historic injustice. 

September 2014: An LMRC Action Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 17 September at Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, at Methil Docks, from 6:30pm.

September 2014: At the latest meeting of the Levenmouth Rail Campaign, representatives from Fife Council briefed the Campaign on further progress. Following positive talks held on the Thornton-Leven rail link with the Transport Minister, the green light to proceed with the Feasibility Study update was received. Based on the Feasibility Study, further technical studies may be required but the overall intention of Fife Council is to have a 'shovel-ready' project in place and ready to go for 2017 or at latest the next Network Rail Plan period commencing 2019. Since the Leven rail reinstatement must compete against a range of other transport projects nationally, mobilising scarce public funds will present the next big challenge. 

August 2014: Great to note front page (and inner) coverage for the campaign in the Courier.

August 2014: "It's high time Levenmouth was reconnected to the nation" - this letter was published in the Courier.

August 2014: This month sees the 160th anniversary of a rail link first opening from Leven to Thornton; there's an article all about it in the East Fife Mail. The line was closed as part of the Beeching cuts in 1969; we are campaigning for it to be reopened.

July 2014: LMRC has been quoted in this excellent article in the Scotsman: "The prize is a safe, civilised and sustainable transport link to one of Scotland's more neglected corners".

17 June 2014: The LMRC has agreed a constitution. Approximately 700 signatures have been collected on a petition to reinstate full rail services to Levenmouth. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 2 July from 6.30pm at Fife Renewables Innovation Centre - all very welcome.

29 May 2014: At a meeting of the LevenMouth Rail Campaign, Fife Council confirmed its commitment (including a £2 million contribution) to the rail reinstatement. The next campaign meeting is Thursday 12 June from 7pm at Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, Methil Docks.

11 April 2014: Plans for the next steps in the ongoing campaign to reconnect Levenmouth to the national rail network were drawn up at the group's latest meeting. MSP David Torrance reported back on his recent meeting held with Transport Minister Keith Brown and Transport Scotland. 

There seems to be willingness at the highest level to consider the case for inclusion in Control Period 6[1] (2019-2024) but the immediate practical next step is to seek to update the Feasibility Study conducted in 2008. This would require financial support from Fife Council for this consultancy exercise and the MSPs have approached the Council on this.

LMRC has noted real interest among some key actors, such as the regional transport partnership  SESTran, in including the Thornton-Leven rail link in their discussions with Transport Scotland.  To strengthen the case however they need strong local backing. 

LMRC formed a Steering Group and will meet soon to draw up further plans.

29 March 2014: There was a significant turnout of local residents at the inaugural meeting of the LevenMouth Rail Campaign. Strong support was expressed for rail reinstatement. Among interesting points to emerge were the fact that current rail services from Edinburgh terminating at Glenrothes with Thornton Station already have built in to their timetable the necessary time required for the onward return trip to Leven - hence no major issue with timetabling is foreseen. Network Rail sources also confirmed the trackbed is generally in good condition.

26 March 2014: David Torrance, MSP for the Kirkcaldy Constituency, has written to the Chief Executive of Transport Scotland about the line. Read the letter here

March 2014: Our newly-formed campaign has so far been writing to Network Rail, Transport Scotland and the Minister for Transport as well as local newspapers, lobbying our MSP and meeting local councillors.

The campaign has featured in the East Fife Mail News

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