Fife Circle Line

A commuter railway line which serves South-Central Fife. The Fife Circle makes use of the East Coast Main Line between Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy, serving Edinburgh Waverley, Haymarket, South Gyle, Edinburgh Gateway and Dalmeny, then crossing the Forth Bridge to North Queensferry, Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay, Aberdour, Burntisland, Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy. The line then completes its circle between Thornton Junction and Inverkeithing Junction, serving Glenrothes with Thornton, Cardenden, Lochgelly, Dunfermline Queen Margaret, Dunfermline Town and Rosyth. The section between Edinburgh Waverley and Inverkeithing Junction is 13⅔ miles / 22 km, while the loop measures 35½ miles / 57 km. ScotRail-operated trains travel around the double-track loop in both directions every fifteen minutes. A branch from Charlestown Junction in Dunfermline connects along the north shore of the Firth of Forth to Alloa and Stirling and a further branch from Thornton Junction serves Leven.

The lines which form the Fife Circle began as the Edinburgh & Northern Railway in 1847, with the branch from Thornton Junction to Dunfermline opening two years later. The Edinburgh & Northern Company was taken over by the North British Railway in 1862. The Dunfermline & Queensferry Railway opened in 1877, with railway carriages conveyed across the Firth of Forth by ferry until the Forth Bridge opened in 1890. Between 1969 and 1989, the eastern end of the loop was only used by goods services, which continues to be the case for the branches in 2019.

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