Leven Railway

Introduction

This line is closed but track remains, in deteriorated condition, except at the eastern terminus in Leven.

It has been announced (August 2019) that the line will re-open to passengers with a station at Cameron Bridge and Leven (probably near the former Kirkland Yard). Transport Scotland Announcement.

It is hoped that the Cameronbridge Distillery may be served by rail again.

The last use of the line was for
- loading of opencast coal at the Earlseat Loading Pad (opened 2012, brief use)
- coal slurry Methil Power Station (ceased 1990s)
- traffic to the Cameronbridge Distillery (ceased 1990s)
- woodpulp at Methil Dock No 1 (ceased late 1980s)

Cameron Bridge and Leven [2nd] stations closed in 1969. The portion from East Fife Central Junction to Leven [2nd] closed completely in 1969 and the station site was redeveloped.

The Kingdom of Fife Railway Preservation Society have a depot, the Fife Heritage Railway , at the site of the former Kirkland Yard. The Leven and Methil docks were not part of the original line. Originally single track, it was later doubled and was later reduced to a single track. It formed a part of the Fife Coast Railway.






Dates

  /  /1852Leven Railway
Act receives Royal assent.
17/06/1853Leven Railway
Authorised from Thornton Junction to Leven [1st].
03/07/1854Leven Railway
Line opened from Thornton Junction to Leven [1st].
22/07/1861Leven RailwayEast of Fife RailwayLeven and East of Fife Railway
Leven Railway and East of Fife Railway merge to form the Leven and East of Fife Railway.
12/12/1885Leven Railway East of Fife Railway
New Leven [2nd] station opened on the former East of Fife Railway, east of the 1st station. Leven [1st] closes.
14/01/1909Leven Railway
Line doubling begins.
  /  /1965Leven Railway East of Fife Railway
Leven [2nd] becomes a terminus when the line east is closed to passengers.
  /  /1966Leven Railway East of Fife Railway
Line east of Leven [2nd] (excluded) closes completely.
18/07/1966Leven Railway East of Fife Railway
Leven [2nd] to East of Fife Central Junction closed to freight.
06/10/1969Leven Railway East of Fife Railway
Leven [2nd] to Thornton Junction closed to passengers.
06/10/1969Leven Railway East of Fife Railway
Line closed to passengers. Leven [2nd] to East of Fife Central Junction closed completely.
  /12/1972Leven Railway
Thornton Junction to Kirkland Yard singled
  /  /2012Leven Railway
New Earlseat Loading Pad opens for opencast coal.
08/08/2019Leven Railway
Announcement of planned re-opening to passengers to Cameron Bridge and Leven.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Thornton to Leven

Thornton Junction to Leven [1st].

This is a four way junction. To the north the main line runs north to Ladybank and the mothballed branch to Cameron Bridge, (and formerly Leven [2nd] and the Fife Coast railway to St Andrews [2nd]), runs off to the north east. To the south the Dunfermline Branch heads west from the main line which runs south to Burntisland, (the Forth Bridge and [[Edinburgh ...

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GBRf 66733 at the head of the Royal Scotsman in Thornton Down Loop. ...
Bill Roberton 25/04/2016
66733 and 66746 with the Royal Scotsman parked in Thornton Down Loop for afternoon tea. The crumbling bridge in the foreground carried the branch to ...
Bill Roberton 25/04/2016
Looking west at Thornton North Junction at the beginning of the branch to Leven - out of use since the 1990s, but now being mooted for re-commencement ...
David Spaven 01/09/2011

This signal box was on the northern approaches to Thornton North Junction.
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This loading pad opened in 2012 for loading of opencast coal which was extracted, by opencast, at the site of the former Earlseat Colliery, to the south. A loop was laid on the south side of the former Leven Railway railway 2/3 of a mile north east of Thornton North Junction. The site was just south of the former Balgonie Colliery Julian Pit bing.
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The first train out of Earlseat Loading Point on the Methil branch ran on 22 August 2012. There are now two trains a week, on Tuesday and Thursday, to ...
Bill Roberton 11/09/2012

This grain distillery opened in 1824. It was rail served, the Leven Railway having reached Cameron Bridge in 1854.
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This was an island platform station surrounded by the Cameronbridge Distillery, for which there were many sidings.
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26.006 leaves Cameron Bridge with CO2 empties in 1989. The distillery locomotive is waiting in the background. ...
Ewan Crawford //1989
English Electric 0-6-0 D1193 of 1967 shunting CO2 tanks at Cameron Bridge in 1994. Formerly at Seaham Harbour, Co. Durham it would go on loan to the ...
Bill Roberton //1994
View over the former station at Cameron Bridge. Edging on the island platform can be seen in the centre of the frame; the through line to Methil is ...
Bill Roberton 30/08/2016
Close up of Scottish Grain Distillers hopper wagon in the yard at Cameron Bridge in 1983.
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Bill Roberton //1983

This was a four way junction between the 1854 Leven Railway and the 1898 East Fife Central Railway and Kirkland Yard (North British Railway) (around 1910).
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This was the original terminus of the Leven Railway. It was just west of Leven [2nd] which replaced it when the line was extended east by the East of Fife Railway to Kilconquhar.
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The view east to the site of the first Leven station, later the goods yard, in 2008. On the right was the reversing spur used to reach Leven Dock and ...
Ewan Crawford 04/01/2008
View west along the course of the Leven branch in July 2013, now the access road to the KFRPS's Methil site. ...
Bill Roberton 06/07/2013




Muiredge Branch

Cameron Bridge to Muiredge Goods.

This was an island platform station surrounded by the Cameronbridge Distillery, for which there were many sidings.
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More details
26.006 leaves Cameron Bridge with CO2 empties in 1989. The distillery locomotive is waiting in the background. ...
Ewan Crawford //1989
English Electric 0-6-0 D1193 of 1967 shunting CO2 tanks at Cameron Bridge in 1994. Formerly at Seaham Harbour, Co. Durham it would go on loan to the ...
Bill Roberton //1994
View over the former station at Cameron Bridge. Edging on the island platform can be seen in the centre of the frame; the through line to Methil is ...
Bill Roberton 30/08/2016
Close up of Scottish Grain Distillers hopper wagon in the yard at Cameron Bridge in 1983.
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Bill Roberton //1983

This was the terminus of a short goods and mineral branch from Cameron Bridge built by the Leven and East of Fife Railway. The location has a complex history going through a number of different layouts.
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