A BRAND-new station which could attract around 70,000 rail passengers a year is being lined up for Halbeath.

Railfuture Scotland has released detailed proposals calling for the opening of 50 new stations across the country as well as a faster electrification programme and an improvement in the signal network to prevent delays, and there are calls for Halbeath to be the first to benefit.

MSP Alex Rowley welcomed the proposals but is urging Fife Council to get moving on taking things forward.

“I am continuing to push both Fife Council and the Scottish Government to further develop more firmed-up proposals for a new rail halt and station for Halbeath,” he said.

“Given the link to the park and ride this would be the most substantial transport hub in the east of Scotland serving Fife and Kinross with bus and rail services from every community.

“There will continue to be a demand on resources to invest in such facilities and that is why I believe that the Halbeath station must be seen as the priority and why Fife Council transportation services needs to get a move on with working this proposal up.

“Part one of such a development would be the halt and station and part two, which will require greater investment but is of equal importance, is a direct rail link between Halbeath and Inverkeithing as well as a direct link into the Port of Rosyth.

"Such an investment would be a great boost for the Fife economy and the wider city region area.” The news of a new station would be another welcome boost for Halbeath after the success of the park and ride, which has now been open for a year and has been averaging 400 cars a day.

Compared to Ferrytoll, which by comparison averaged 250 cars a day during its first year, Halbeath is exceeding expectations and numbers are expected to swell further when the new Queensferry Crossing opens in 2016.

Bob McLellan, head of transportation and environmental services, said, “The location for Halbeath Park and Ride was key to providing more choice to commuters and to give the opportunity in the future for a rail halt onto Fife Circle for passengers, accessing rail services to both local and Edinburgh stations.

“However, Transport Scotland as rail authority would ultimately be responsible for the development and implementation of a new railway halt at Halbeath. We have met with Transport Scotland rail officers to discuss the progress on this project and we will continue to work with them to move this forward and seek appropriate funding.” MSP Murdo Fraser said there was a “tremendous opportunity” for the Scottish Government to invest in the country’s rail network, adding, “The Scottish Government have lacked ambition and vision with our rail network. Without real change it will never be a credible alternative to travelling by car and the Scottish Government would do well to consider these proposals.” Would you use a new train station at Halbeath? Join the debate and vote in our online poll on the homepage.