THE campaign to bring passenger services back to the Alloa-Fife railway line is continuing at pace, with further calls for a station to be built in Clackmannan.

Green MSP Mark Ruskell has been speaking with residents in the Wee County and Kincardine and feels there is strong support for seeing the freight line opened as a commuter route.

He held a public meeting at Alloa Town Hall on Monday evening, where the "long-standing aspirations" to re-link Clacks with West Fife were discussed.

Spanish train manufacturers Talgo, which could develop a 1,000-job factory at the site of the former coal-fired Longannet Power Station, have also "breathed new life into the campaign", according to Mr Ruskell.

Linking the Wee County to Dunfermline and Fife via rail would bring a wealth of employment, educational and leisure opportunities, according to the dozens of people who attended Monday's meeting

It is hoped that freight lines, which were kept alive by coal waggons feeding the former power station, could be repurposed to run passenger service and provide a more direct route to Edinburgh, including the city's airport.

Mr Ruskell said: "There have been long-standing aspirations for re-opening a rail link between Fife and Clackmannanshire, but the future of the site at Longannet has always thwarted progress.

"The exciting proposals from Talgo, however, has breathed new life into the campaign.

"There's now a clear demand for the railway line to be used by the train manufacturer, but we need to make sure that the hope for a passenger service, too, isn't sidelined."

Several Clackmannan residents at the meeting – one of whom branded the town's bus services "pathetic" – highlighted how those in the town who do not drive have their employment prospects "severely curtailed".

However, there are hopes that the now disused freight lines could be put to good use and address general transport issues.

Another Clackmannan resident explained that with the current freight line already coming through town "with no benefit" to locals, a train station there would be desirable if the railway is upgraded for passenger use.

They said they "wouldn't want a passenger line with no benefit".

One person at the meeting highlighted that Clackmannanshire's "problem is access to the east", which always involves "some level of complexity", but a rail link could help alleviate the issue.

Another went on to suggest that expanding the rail network to the east could help develop "direct access to mainland Europe" if it connects ferry services on the coast.

Wider issues raised highlighted the difficulty in accessing stations and platforms for those with mobility problems.

The town hall heard that if new services are ever developed, they need to be reliable, one member of the public saying: "The current service [Alloa to Stirling train] is unreliable – 10 years on, it's still an issue."

Train manufacturers Talgo also sent representatives to the meeting.

They expressed a wish to be "good neighbours" and revealed the company would look to establish a UK supply chain with raw materials going in one end of the factory and locomotives rolling out at the other.

The town hall heard how trains built by the company would have to be tested and this could lead to the electrification of some of the freight line – further boosting the prospect that one day passenger services could run past Longannet toward Culross and Cairneyhill.

When pressed by a local resident, one representative said the company would not run "big, thousand tonne trains in the middle of the night" to bring material in.

It was highlighted, however, that Talgo is only looking to use a part of the vast Longannet site and that there is a possibility some suppliers could be based on the rest of the land around the factory.