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Cairngorm funicular: finishing touches being applied to reinstatement project

Published: 29/05/2023

Workers from Balfour Beatty are returning to Cairngorm Mountain this week (Monday 29 May) to carry out finishing touches on the funicular reinstatement project.

The popular mountain railway came back into service in January, following a programme of engineering works to strengthen the 1.7km viaduct that carries trains from the base station to the tunnel below the top station, as well as installation of a new control system.

When the engineering works completed last November there were some minor items that could not be finalised due to the onset of the winter weather.

These include:  final painting to some of the steelwork, tidying up mortar grouting and a small number of finishing items. None of these issues has affected the safe operation of the railway.

The funicular will continue to operate while the works are carried out over the next six to eight weeks, although it is planned to suspend the service for one day on Tuesday 13 June.

James Palmer, construction project manager with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which owns Cairngorm Estate, said:  “Reinstatement of the Cairngorm funicular railway was one of the most complex and challenging civil engineering projects to be undertaken anywhere in Scotland in recent years.

“Over the next few weeks, contractors will take care of a small number of outstanding issues that and couldn’t be tackled during winter and are mostly cosmetic in nature.

”The upcoming works have been carefully designed to minimise disruption to the funicular service. If it does become necessary to suspend operations any longer than the one day that's planned, we’ll ensure it’s for as short a period as possible and Cairngorm Mountain Scotland Ltd will notify customers.

“We’ve already been back to remove scaffolding from alongside the track in April, and a programme of environmental restoration will continue this year and possibly beyond.”

Elsewhere at Cairngorm, work to create new family-friendly mountain biking trails is well underway, and due to open to the public in the summer.

Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Ltd also recently gained planning permission to extend the viewing platform at the Ptarmigan restaurant which is part of the top station of the funicular.

Author

HIE Communications