CLACKMANNAN and Kincardine are among the "front runners" for new train stations, should the Alloa to Fife railway line be re-opened to passengers.

The Stirling-Alloa line has been the benchmark for success since its reintroduction and repeated calls have been made to extend the line further east towards Dunfermline.

Last week, Transport Scotland chiefs gave the movement a huge boost, despite the failure of a community bid for a feasibility study.

Go Forth Kincardine had a submission to the Local Rail Development Fund rejected this week, but officials said exploratory work was already underway by Network Rail and the national Strategic Transport Projects Review.

They also confirmed that if Talgo builds their proposed factory at the former Longannet site, the Scottish Government will look to electrifying the existing rail line eastwards from Alloa, with stations provided at Kincardine and Clackmannan.

After rejected the Go Forth Kincardine plans, transport chiefs outline their reasoning and provided an update on the situation.

They told the group: "If Talgo is successful in winning the bid for High Speed 2 (HS2) rolling stock in autumn 2019, the Scottish Government has committed to extending electrification from Alloa to Longannet to provide rail access to the site and to facilitate the proofing and testing of trains on the network.

"Subject to programme and available funds, the Scottish Government will also provide stations at Clackmannan and Kincardine."

However, the Spanish train manufacturer Talgo has said this week that their £40million investment in the Longannet site is not "solely reliant" on winning the HS2 contract form the UK Government.

The campaign to re-open the line to passengers have long been backed by the Advertiser with the hopes of stations being built along the line in Clackmannan and Kincardine.

The movement has been spearheaded by Go Forth Kincardine, Alloa Community Council, various groups in Clackmannan with input from the Campaign for Better Transport.

It has also been supported by Green MSP Mark Ruskell, who has called for greater community input as the plan progresses.

The Mid Scotland and Fife representative said: "The case for a full re-opening of Alloa-Dunfermline rail line is stronger than ever and, one way or another, the work to progress the line must now proceed with no delay.

"While I'm disappointed that the application for feasibility funds from the communities has not been awarded, it appears that much of this work can now be progressed through a wider transport projects review and Network Rail.

"However, the community voice must be there every step of the way, especially from Clackmannan and Kincardine who look likely to be front runners for new stations.

"It's also important that a connection through to Dunfermline and Low Valleyfield is not forgotten in the wider planning and feasibility work that will be taking place.

"I have written to the Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson today to clarify the process going forward and the opportunities for communities to be directly involved."