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Cairngorm funicular expected to return to service during September

Published: 06/09/2023

The funicular railway at Cairngorm Mountain, near Aviemore, could be back in service before the end of this month [September 2023].

The popular 2km ride between the Cairngorm base station and the UK’s highest restaurant was withdrawn on Friday 25 August to enable a series of snagging works to be carried out.

This followed an inspection showing that some of the ‘scarf joint assemblies’ that link the beams at the top of the piers did not meet the required tension.

According to Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which owns Cairngorm Estate, work to increase the tension of these assemblies is progressing well.

Further inspection work has been completed and a series of trials using specialist equipment proved successful. Testing will be done continually as the tensioning work progresses.

The funicular had been relaunched in January this year, following a two-year programme of works to strengthen the viaduct that supports the railway track.

A 12-month snagging and inspection programme has been running since the relaunch, as is usual practice with complex engineering projects.

A spokesperson for HIE said: “Every effort is being made to complete these works quickly so that the funicular can be brought back into safe use as early as possible.

“Our current expectation is that the job can be completed and the train back in service again before the end of September. The timescale will be kept under close review and we’ll take every opportunity to move at pace, while maintaining safety as the top priority.”

In the meantime, Cairngorm Mountain remains open, with access available to a wide range of family-friendly activities and facilities in the heart of the national park. These include the newest addition of a mountain bike park, fun tubing slides for all ages, café walking trails, a mountain garden, and camera obscura.

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