DUNFERMLINE and West Fife is set to be "at the heart of the future rail industry in Scotland" with plans for a centre at Longannet.

The Scottish Government have outlined their intentions for a Rail Research Hub to be established that will create jobs and build for cleaner future with less carbon use.

Local MP Douglas Chapman has welcome the news revealed in Transport Scotland's Rail Services Decarbonisation Action Plan.

He said: "This is fantastic news as not only does this plan move us faster to a Net Zero future, but in terms of the Rail Research Hub, this initiative puts Dunfermline and West Fife at the heart of the future rail industry in Scotland.

"For our constituency that means jobs and training opportunities for budding engineers and experienced technicians alike and paints a bright picture for our economy at a time when there’s not a huge amount of good news going around.

“I am also delighted to see the West Fife railway recognised as a proper passenger, electrified rail line in an official document and I hope that this exciting project would link the West Fife villages into the Fife Circle, the main East Coast line and, in the other direction, through to Alloa, Stirling and Glasgow.

“As we have begun to accept over the past few years, the level of success of the train manufacturer TALGO in winning train contracts will either speed up or delay the process.

"I am planning for success and remain optimistic that the proposed TALGO investment in West Fife will win the day and act as a catalyst for these ambitious, but deliverable, plans.”

The report states that the hub at Longannet will build on the country's existing strengths and plans towards decarbonisation.

A spokesperson said: "We intend to establish an international rail cluster in Scotland to unlock supply chain opportunities from this action plan.

"We want Scotland to be a leader in the innovation and manufacture of net-zero rail products, services and solutions, including integration of circular economy principles into efficient design, supply, maintenance and end-of life use within the rail sector.

"The cluster, which we aim to establish at Longannet, will be built around existing strengths in rail in Scotland and will seek to enhance the innovation and supply chain in the decarbonisation of our rolling stock and wider network."

Spanish firm TALGO are set to build a train manufacturing plant at Longannet with 1,000 direct jobs to be created.

They told the Press back in March that its timescale for building the site is out of their hands and will depend on securing a tender and when their client would then wish to proceed.

Talgo is currently on the shortlist to provide trains for the HS2 railway project, a contract worth £2.7 billion.

It is one of a number of projects around the world that Talgo are pursuing currently.

Once a bid has been accepted, work will begin on building their Longannet train plant.