THE bid to reopen a passenger railway line towards Kincardine and Dunfermline has received the backing of elected Wee County representatives last week.

A motion from council leader Councillor Ellen Forson at last Thursday's, June 27, full Clacks Council meeting came to support a fresh funding application for a rail study.

The bid was put forward by members of Go Forth Kincardine last month, with the support of Alloa and Clackmannan community councils.

They are seeking money form the Scottish Government's Local Rail Development Fund to support feasibility studies and appraisals.

The motion for support was backed unanimously with various councillors speaking of the potential benefits.

Cllr Forson's paper also paid tribute to the Alloa to Stirling line, which "far exceeded" expectations with more passengers than originally envisaged in the business case.

Around four million journeys were taken between the two stops in more than 10 years since re-opening.

However, she did explain during the meeting that it took 15 years to push that line forward and that electrification would make it more expensive this time around.

The line between Alloa and Dunfermline is much longer than the Alloa-Stirling stretch, meaning a much greater financial outlay would be required.

The motion also noted "the recent statement from the Scottish Government that, in light of the proposals from Talgo to develop the site of the former Longannet Power Station, Transport Scotland is considering how to maximise rail connectivity to the site".

Talgo, a Spanish train manufacturer, has expressed a serious interest in building a factory, but the council leader was mindful the scale of the development could hinge on a contract bid for the HS2 high speed railway in the UK.

Ultimately, the motion was to formally support the bid for rail study funding and all elected representatives gave their backing.

Labour's Kathleen Martin had been involved with the drive to re-open the lines in her Clackmannan community and was "very pleased" to see the motion coming forward.

Colleague Kenny Earle said that passenger trains getting back on track toward the east could "really open up the area".

Conservative leader Bill Mason, who also attended some recent public meetings that garnered interest, also gave his party's support.