Fife and Kinross Railway Letterhead 1855
The Fife and Kinross Railway was authorised by Act of Parliament on 16 July 1855 to build a 14-mile line, to build a branch line from the Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee Railway at Ladybank to Kinross. There was provision for future extension to Tillicoultry, where a connection could be made with the Stirling and Dunfermline Railway line to Alloa. The line was to be single throughout. Authorised capital for the scheme was £70,000.
The proposal had encountered considerable opposition in Parliament, especially from the EP&DR and the Scottish Central Railway, who both feared the expansion of the line into a competing through route. The Act having been secured, a contract for construction was let in the sum of £47,818; the first sod was cut among considerable rejoicing at Auchtermuchty on 14 January 1856. The application was made to Parliament in November 1856 to make a deviation at Milnathort, and a new line from the deviation to the EP&D near South Lumphinnans, and a branch to Kelty colliery. The South Lumphinnans connection would have been a direct duplication of the Kinross-shire Railway route, and the latter was authorised while the F&KR proposed amendment was refused.
As the date of opening drew near, the Directors found that the EP&DR was unwilling to spare a locomotive to work the line, as had been hoped, although they were prepared to hire rolling stock to the little company. The F&KR was approached by R and W Hawthorn, who had acquired the Leith Engine Works, with an offer of a locomotive. The F&KR ordered two 0-4-0 tender engines and part-paid in shares. When delivered the locomotives were named Loch Leven Castle and Falkland Castle. Rolling stock was procured locally, and the EP&DR's offer was not taken up.
The line was opened from Ladybank to Strathmiglo on 6 June 1857, and extended to Milnathort on 9 March 1858 and finally to Hopetown of Kinross on 20 August 1858. The line was single throughout.
The access at Ladybank was by a curve leading southwards on the Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee Railway mainline; it joined that line some distance south of Ladybank station, and passenger trains arriving at Ladybank reversed on the mainline to a bay platform there.
The line was authorised to be extended to meet the Kinross-shire Railway at a joint Kinross station by Act of 28 June 1858. The extension was opened on 20 September 1860, when the original F&KR station was renamed Hopefield.
The working of the F&KR railway was finally taken over by the EP&DR on 5 April 1861; the F&KR was always short of money and it secured absorption by the Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee Railway by an Act of 29 July 1862.