THE RE-OPENING of a rail line between Alloa and Longannet could be a step closer under new plans.

Network Rail have submitted a request for an Environmental Impact Assessment for a proposed railway station and ancillary development at land to the south of Broomknowe, Kincardine.

This could mean hopes for a long-awaited link between Dunfermline and Alloa could be on track.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are currently looking at a range of options for enhancing the line between Alloa and Longannet.”

Back in September last year, Network Rail announced that they were to start the "next phase" of development work between Alloa and Longannet which could see the reinstatement of passenger services between Clackmannanshire and Fife.

They said that engineers would be carrying out survey work and site and geological investigations to gain information for the project, which could enhance and electrify the former freight line and see the introduction of three new stations at Clackmannan, Kincardine and Longannet.

In line with the Scottish Government’s rail decarbonisation agenda, the line would also be electrified with the ambition to introduce a half-hourly passenger service between Alloa and Longannet.

Work was to include surveying, drilling boreholes, sampling ballast and extracting core samples to assess the condition of the ground under the railway.

At that time, Graeme Stewart, Network Rail’s sponsor for the development work on the new West of Fife enhancement proposals, said: “While it is still at a very early phase, there are ambitious plans to expand the railway and develop transport options that improve connectivity between towns in Clackmannanshire and Fife.

“Our site and geological investigations will help inform the design and development of an enhancement project which we will submit for review to Transport Scotland.

“As well as the potential for better connectivity on faster, greener, electric trains, this scale of investment to improve our transport infrastructure will deliver economic advantage, expansion of communities, better access to employment and education opportunities and expanded social and leisure options for people all across the area.”