THE £70 million investment for the Levenmouth rail link has boosted proposals to reopen the Dunfermline to Alloa track for passengers.

And Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Mark Ruskell said the announcement should be the first in a wave of new lines and stations in Scotland.

Go Forth Kincardine currently have an application with the Local Rail Development Fund to carry out a feasibility study into reopening the West Fife rail route, which would allow services to run direct from Dunfermline to Glasgow, via Kincardine, Alloa and Stirling.

Mr Ruskell was "delighted" that Levenmouth will be reconnected to the network and said: "The community campaign has been central to getting government backing and it will be a real boost to campaigners in Kincardine and West Fife to know that strong community campaigns can change things.

"The feasibility study for Levenmouth found that rail, above buses or other transport changes, would have the most impact in getting people out of their cars and onto public transport, and the same will be true for West Fife too.

"Reopening the Dunfermline to Alloa line could also complete a key rail freight route.

"The Diageo distillery at Cameronbridge currently ship their products by road on hundreds of lorries a week to sites at Stirling and Grangemouth – imagine if we could take these off the road and transport it by rail via Kincardine instead?"

He added: "The announcement on Levenmouth is the first commitment to lay new track in Scotland since 2006. We simply can’t wait another 13 years for the next one – Transport Scotland needs to fund this study for Dunfermline to Alloa so we can get the ball rolling now.”

While there are no scheduled passenger services between Alloa and Dunfermline, the line remains open and is currently used by chartered passenger trains.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: "We are fully committed to increasing public and sustainable transport options across the country and we announced the reopening of the Levenmouth rail link following an extensive evidence-gathering and appraisal process.

“The £2 million Scottish Government Local Rail Development Fund provides funding to develop community-led options to improve local rail connections. Successful applicants receive funding to help with appraisal costs.

“An application has been made to the fund relating to the Dunfermline to Alloa train link which will be considered in the coming months.”

Fife Council's Ken Gourlay, head of assets, transportation and environment, said: "The council is keen to work with partners regarding the potential opportunities of opening this route."

Last month, Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman said the proposed £40 million investment for the Talgo train manufacturing plant, which would bring 1,000 jobs to Longannet, strengthens the case for the reopening of the line.

He said: "Talgo winning a major contract and starting production also brings other opportunities, such as opening up the Dunfermline to Alloa line, which would give easier access to rail travel for thousands of West Fifers."

Network Rail has been commissioned by Transport Scotland to develop proposals to electrify the line between Alloa and Longannet, which would improve access and functionality of the Longannet site as well as giving Talgo the opportunity to access the electric rail network for proofing and testing.