St Andrews Rail Link Campaign

St Andrews was connected to the rail system from 1852 until 1969, when it fell a victim to British Rail's indiscriminate cull of branch lines.

StARLink campaign was launched in 1989 with a view to reconnecting the town to the rail system in the interests of convenience for travellers, the alleviation of traffic congestion and reduction of car-generated pollution.

Since that time it has steadily built up support both in and outwith St Andrews, lobbied politicians at all levels and raised money for campaigning.

Some Prominent Supporters

and what they say:

‘It would be so pleasant to return again to the old grey town [St Andrews] by train, as I did countless times when I was an undergraduate at the University there,’ - Rt. Hon. Sir George Reid, former MP, MSP & Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament (September 2015)

‘Following the success of the revived Borders Railway, I send renewed greetings to the campaign to re-open the line to St Andrews.’ -
Lord Steel of Aikwood, former MP, MSP & Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament (September 2015)

‘There's a consensus that St Andrews should never have left the rail network in 1969. The permanent population is not large, at around 17000, but it's a university town on the outer edge of Edinburgh commuter territory, and home to major golf tournaments, factors that add considerably to the case for reinstatement.’ - David Henshaw, The Great Railway Conspiracy (3rd ed.)

How valuable the link to St Andrews would have been today ... given the growth in demand which has led to the need to spend billions on Scotland’s roads.’ - Lord Faulkner of Worcester (November 2014)

‘I support calls for a feasibility study into restoring the St Andrews railway.’ - Rt. Hon. Alex Salmond MSP MP, former First Minister (November 1992)

‘As a recognised tourist attraction the town deserves the best possible transport links, On environmental grounds greater emphasis should be placed on rail travel. A rail ticket marked London to St Andrews would surely tempt many foreign travellers.’ –
Chancellor Rt. Hon. Sir Menzies Campbell, University of St Andrews, former MP

‘I have long supported the idea of restoring a rail link to St Andrews. The Open was a good illustration of the necessity for such a link. It would constitute a considerable improvement on the rail/bus interchange and the clogged roads that golf fans, tourists and local residents have to put up with at the moment.’ –
Iain Smith, former MSP

‘St Andrews is getting overwhelmed by the cars of visitors, students and locals. A railway line would improve the situation and allow passengers to bypass the traffic jams that happen at big events.’ –
Railfuture Scotland

‘[Closing] the line from Leuchars to St Andrews [was] a monstrous abolition.’ –
the late Professor David Daiches

‘St Andrews suffers from bad transport links ... it has never been the same since the railway went.’ –
John Purvis, former MEP

‘St Andrews is not the easiest place to get into, with no main motorway nor rail links coming directly into town. Stuck out at the eastern edge of the Kingdom of Fife it is at the back-of-beyond in global communications terms. –
article in Scotrail's Outlook magazine

‘It would be tremendous if by the time the Open Championship next returns to St Andrews, we were able to announce the confirmation that "The Home of Golf" will once again have a direct rail link.’ –
Patrick Laughlin, Manager, St Andrews Partnership

‘I would love to see a train service to St Andrews.’ - Principal Louise Richardson, University of St Andrews

'Why is it that such a huge tourist resort and centre of learning [St Andrews] has only a bus service through to Leuchars junction?' - Professor Christopher Harvie, former MSP

‘There are a number of ‘missing links’ in the public transport system – notably the lack of a direct rail link into St Andrews ... the lack of a main rail link may encourage higher use of private transport means.’ - St Andrews & East Fife Local Plan Environmental Statement, Fife Council