Completion of track installation marks a significant milestone on the £116m Scottish Government-funded project which will reconnect Levenmouth, in Fife, to the passenger rail network for the first time in more than 50 years.
The 19 kilometres of track, laid over a number of phases since March 2022, connects Leven to Thornton Junction on the East Coast Mainline.
Since the start of work on the line, the track bed has been dug out with 80,000 tonnes of spoil removed. The ground has been waterproofed and approximately 75,000 tonnes of new stone ballast laid.
Engineers have installed more than 29,000 sleepers and 35km of rail in 165, 215-metre-long sections to complete the new track.
Work to reinstate the six-mile Levenmouth Rail Link includes repairs to existing bridges, and the construction of two new stations at Cameron Bridge and Leven.
Scheduled for completion in 2024, the project will also see preparatory work to enable the future electrification of the line as part of wider ambitions to decarbonise Scotland’s Railway.
Ms Hyslop said: “It is fantastic to be here today to meet the site team and mark the completion of track laying on the project. It demonstrates what can be delivered through the excellent teamwork and determination that has made this possible.
“With work progressing on both Leven and Cameron Bridge stations, it is great to see a real and growing sense of excitement and anticipation building around the project, particularly in the surrounding communities regarding the social and economic benefits that the new line will bring.
“I would like to thank the team on the ground who worked through all weathers to complete the track and continue to work hard to bring this line back to life. On completion, the line will enable low-carbon transport options and make a real contribution to the Government’s net-zero transport ambitions.”
Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway said: “It’s a privilege to be able to welcome the Minister to the site of the new Leven station to mark the completion of track laying on the Levenmouth Rail Link.
“The new line will reconnect local communities to the railway for the first time in over five decades and it is incredible to see the progress the project team has made on the track work over the past year.
“Our focus now turns towards the completion of the new stations on the route ahead of the line entering passenger service next year.
“We are incredibly proud to be delivering this project on behalf of the Scottish Government and helping to unlock the leisure, education and employment opportunities that the new railway will deliver.