27 March 2008

Opening date for Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine rail link announced

The Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine rail link is on track to open on 19 May reintroducing passenger services to Alloa for the first time in nearly 40 years.

Subject to final legal and safety approvals, full operations will commence after a period of driver training.

The official opening ceremony will take place on Thursday 15 May with project promoter Clackmannanshire Council holding a celebratory fayre for the community on Saturday 17 May before passenger services begin on Monday 19 May.

Stewart Stevenson, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change said:

"I am delighted that the official opening of this railway will take place on 19 May. Last May, when I came into office, this project had many potential problems relating to cost and timescale. This Government vowed to deal with these issues and we have managed to ensure that this railway achieved best value for money and opened at the earliest opportunity to the benefit of commuters.

"The project is one the largest of its kind undertaken in Scotland in recent years and it will bring substantial benefits both to residents of Clackmannanshire and businesses using the freight facilities. I would like to thank local residents for their patience and cooperation through the construction of the railway."

It is expected the full commissioning of the railway will be completed by the 31 March.

The Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine rail link is one of the most important railway infrastructure projects Scotland has seen in decades and has reopened approximately 13 miles (21km) of existing, disused and abandoned railway line between Stirling Station and Longannet Power Station in Kincardine.

Council leader Janet Cadenhead said:

"The Council has pursued its dream of bringing rail back to the county for two decades and I am delighted that our dream will become a reality within a matter of weeks. I'm excited that the day I can jump on a train at Alloa, for business and pleasure, is nearly here.

"In recent times Clackmannanshire has seen a tremendous resurgence in economic activity and this major development can only add to our regeneration, connecting people with jobs, education and new opportunities and opening Clackmannanshire up to the world.

"The travelling public of Clackmannanshire will soon be offered a new choice on their doorstep that they’ve been denied for 40 years, which should also have a positive knock-on environmental impact."

A new station has been built in Alloa allowing direct hourly passenger services between Alloa, Stirling and Glasgow Queen Street and onward services from Stirling to Edinburgh. Reconnecting the area to the rail network will open up education and employment opportunities for the residents with the increased accessibility encouraging inward investment and economic growth.

The line will also provide a more efficient freight route to carry coal from the West of Scotland to Longannet Power Station and potentially provide freight services to other customers along the line. This new route will allow freight trains to be diverted from the existing, longer route via the Forth Bridge, and thus release capacity for improved passenger services.

For more information on the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine rail link visit or email

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