A railway in Fife is to re-open, in another reversal of the Beeching-era cuts that decimated Scotland's network.

The Scottish Government said it will spend an estimated £70m bringing trains back to Levenmouth.

As part of Levenmouth Sustainable Transport Study, the proposal of a link with stops in Leven and Cameron Bridge emerged as the preferred option, combined with improved bus services as well as cycling and walking routes.

Research suggested there will be 750,000 passengers getting on or off trains in the area each year by 2037.

It comes 50 years after passenger services were halted on the route on the five-mile route, which was once part of a railway that extended to St Andrews.

The planned re-opening comes after the classic Waverley line from Edinburgh to Galashiels was also re-created. 

READ MORE: Edinburgh Waverley: Multi-million pound station revamp plans revealed

Both the Galashields and St Andrews railways were closed as part of sweeping cuts to Britain's network proposed by Sir Richard Beeching in the 1960s. Some 5000 miles of track was lost.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson confirmed the project will now go forward to the detailed design phase. He also committed an additional £5 million to a Levenmouth Blueprint fund.

Mr Matheson said: "I am extremely pleased that the case has been made for the Levenmouth rail link and I look forward to seeing this project being taken forward to the next stages of design.

"The detailed appraisal work that has been carried out suggests that improved transport links, which give Leven a direct rail link to the capital, will lead to an enhanced local economy, bringing better access to employment and education and the potential for new investment.

"Easier and more sustainable travel options will make it easier for people to reach hospitals, schools and visit other areas of the country as well as giving better access to Levenmouth.

"I would like to acknowledge the hard work of local MSPs, elected members and interest groups who have campaigned for the reopening of this line and I look forward to working with all partners to realise all of the benefits that improved connectivity can bring."

The train journey time from Leven to Edinburgh is expected to take approximately 70 to 75 minutes.

Scottish Lib Dem leader and North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie said: "Grit, charm and bloody-mindedness has won the campaign to bring back the railway to Levenmouth.

"The Levenmouth Rail Campaign, with the staunch support of local people, has persuaded the authorities that there would be a powerful economic, social and environmental benefit with the reopening of the line.

"I'm delighted with this progress. Let's get it built now."