THE drive to re-open passenger railway lines between Alloa and Dunfermline is set to receive a fresh boost in the coming months.

A public meeting, looking to gauge public support while giving a chance to put forward ideas, is being planned in time to inform applications to the Local Rail Development Fund, due in June.

Work is currently being undertaken by the office of Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell, representative for Mid-Scotland and Fife.

The case to open up the lines, which freight trains used to run on to haul coal to Longannet, was recently strengthened by revelations that manufacturing company Talgo is highly likely to erect a train factory at the former power station.

This would create up to 1,000 positions with hopes that Wee County residents could have access to these jobs by clean and affordable means.

The Campaign for Better Transport in February highlighted how locals would benefit from improved access to places like Edinburgh while the move could also support the growth of tourism in the area with an estimated £126-£234million needed to repurpose a 14mile freight line.

Clacks man Chick Hosie, who is working for the MSP to gauge the level of public support, highlighted the many benefits the revamped line could bring.

He said: "It's a great opportunity to link Alloa in with Fife and Edinburgh, bringing in employment opportunities, opportunities for businesses, educational opportunities and greater mobility for people generally."

For the Scottish Greens, whose MSP Ruskell has been campaigning on the issue for around two years, it is also about the environmental impact by taking cars off the road and encouraging people to use mass transport to reduce their own carbon footprint, added Chick.

Plans are to hold a public meeting with stakeholders including Transport Scotland, local representatives, members of the public and more both in Alloa and in Kincardine by early June as applications for the Local Rail Development Fund are due by the end of that month.

This fund enables local communities to appraise and bring forward proposals tackling connectivity issues.

People interested in helping out with the campaign, or looking to hear more, can email or call 07930 893 345.