Temporary closure of Cairngorm funicular

The Cairngorm funicular railway has stopped operating as a safety precaution while specialist engineers carry out detailed investigations into concerns raised in a recent inspection.

The concerns relate to sliding bearings that enable movement of the track support structure. More information can be found in our news release.


1. When did the concerns about the funicular track come to light?
A report on the 2018 routine annual inspection, carried out by ADAC, of the Cairngorm Funicular was delivered to CML in July 2018.  Following this report CML requested ADAC to undertake an additional more detailed report specifically on the ‘Ancon bearings’.  These sliding bearings enable movement of the track support structure. This additional report was carried out on 28th August and copied to HIE on 3 September. Restrictions to funicular service were introduced on 5 September and on 10 September, HIE and CML appointed specialist contractor COWI, to carry out the detailed investigation, which is now underway.
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2. What action has been taken and how long will the service remain closed?
Upon receiving the report, CML made the decision to restrict service on the funicular on 5th September, following recommendations by engineers to do so until the identified concerns have been fully investigated and any necessary remedial work carried out.

HIE and CML jointly commissioned specialist engineers, COWI, who were appointed on 10th September, to carry out a detailed structural assessment of the area concerned. This investigation is likely to take several weeks, with an initial report expected in early December (schedule attached).

Once COWI has thoroughly investigated the structures, we should be able to assess when the funicular can re-open.
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3. What impact will this have on the start of the tourist season?

Safety is of paramount importance and CML has therefore taken the decision to suspend the funicular service while these investigations are being carried out, and until such time as the contractors, CML and HIE are reassured the structure is fit for purpose.
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4. What impact will the closure of the funicular have on skiing at Cairngorm?
Visitors to Cairngorm will still be able to access skiing and snow sports by using the ten surface lifts in operation. As the lifts rely on good snowfall to operate, however, it is worth bearing this in mind when planning your visit to Cairngorm Mountain for skiing.

Sadly, the funicular is the only method of transport to the Ptarmigan building, which means visitors to the mountain will be unable to use the facilities and visit the Ptarmigan while the structural investigations are ongoing.  The Day Lodge will continue to provide refreshments and toilet facilities during the Ptarmigan closure.
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5. Will season and day passes be reduced in price due to the reduced facilities?
Queries around season tickets, early-bird tickets, a reduced-price ticket, or itison vouchers purchased for the funicular railway, must be directed to the resort operators, CairnGorm Mountain Limited who can be contacted via their website, by phoning +44 (0)1479 861261 or emailing info@cairngormmountain.co.uk.
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6. Will the Ptarmigan Restaurant have to be closed?
Unfortunately, the Ptarmigan Restaurant will be closed, however the Storehouse Café at the Day Lodge will be open as normal.
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7. Will Cairngorm actually open for the season this year?
Cairngorm Mountain remains open for snow sports this year and will be accessible using the ski tows when conditions allow. When the current investigation works are completed, we will be able to give an indication as to when the funicular will re-open. 
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8. What alternative facilities will be put in place for schools, community groups and Scotland's performance athletes?
Queries on snow sports facilities at Cairngorm Mountain should be directed to operators CairnGorm Mountain Limited who can be contacted via their website, by phoning +44 (0)1479 861261 or emailing info@cairngormmountain.co.uk
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