Cairngorm Mountain Scotland (CMS) will welcome the return of Scotland’s mountain railway to full operation tomorrow, 26 January.
Following significant engineering works and testing, the UK Department of Transport (DfT) has issued safety certificates enabling CMS to bring the railway back into service.
The 2km line will now run a regular service taking snowsports enthusiasts to the top of the slopes of Cairngorm Mountain in around five minutes. The reinstatement of the railway comes alongside other major improvement works including new ‘magic carpet’ conveyor belts for the beginner slopes, car park improvements, and the refurbishment of the Ptarmigan building.
The Cairngorm Mountain Railway is Scotland’s only funicular railway and is the highest in the UK, reaching over 1,065m above sea level. The reinstatement works involved a complex engineering project to strengthen the viaduct and install a new control system, all within the strict environmental requirements of a unique mountain environment.
Susan Smith, CEO of CMS, said: “The Cairngorm Mountain team is thrilled to be welcoming snowsports enthusiasts onto the funicular railway once more. The improvements across the resort have brought major changes to the visitor experience and we are so pleased to see the railway transport people to the upper slopes.”
Owned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and operated by the Cairngorm Mountain team, the resort is one of Scotland’s iconic locations and the railway makes the mountain environment accessible not only for snowsports enthusiasts but to visitors of all ages and abilities in every season of the year.
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“It’s wonderful to see the mountain railway back in action again. This will make a huge improvement to the customer experience at Cairngorm and strengthen the appeal of the wider area to attract visitors throughout the year,” added Dave Macleod, head of property and infrastructure at HIE.
“Reinstating the funicular has been uniquely challenging, not only in engineering terms but also for the care that had to be taken to protect the environment during these works while also contending with some of the most severe and changeable weather that Scotland has to offer.”
The Cairngorm Mountain Railway service stopped running in September 2018 due to safety concerns.