Get a personalised experience with a MyHIE account

Make your life easier with a MyHIE account. It’ll save you time, help you find and organise content based on your needs and interests.

Cta Man

Cairngorm Mountain - Freedom of Information

Cairngorm Mountain is an environmental and economic asset for Scotland. It plays a key role in underpinning the local tourism industry, which is a vital component of the economy around Aviemore and Strathspey.

Cairngorm Mountain 

In response to public interest, we publish a wide range of information on Cairngorm into a single resource, which you can access through the links below. 


Please note for some of the documents listed above information has been redacted where that information constitutes personal data, this is because disclosure would breach one or more of the data protection principles. Other information may also be redacted in line with both Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 regulations.

Cairngorm funicular railway: Addendum to viaduct appraisal report by COWI UK Ltd, April 2019

In September 2018, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) engaged COWI UK Limited to assist in the investigation of the condition of the Cairngorm funicular railway.

In the months leading up to Christmas 2018, COWI undertook an appraisal of the viaduct which is documented in the report Cairngorm Funicular Railway – Viaduct Appraisal Report dated December 2018.

Following issue of this report, review comments were submitted to COWI by HIE, the Highland Council and ADAC Structures and a further scope of works was agreed to develop a concept strengthening scheme to address the shortfalls identified in the appraisal report.

A number of areas of the appraisal were identified which would benefit from additional review. The intent was to refine the appraisal results and thus reduce the scope of works requiring intervention and strengthening.

This addendum accompanies the appraisal report, records the additional reviews undertaken and provides commentary on their outcome.

Cairngorm funicular railway

Viaduct appraisal report by COWI UK Limited, December 2018

Specialist engineering consultancy COWI was appointed to carry out a detailed investigation of the viaduct infrastructure supporting the Cairngorm funicular railway in September 2018.

COWI’s appointment followed an earlier inspection by ADAC Structures that had identified safety concerns and led to the funicular service first being reduced, then withdrawn.

The viaduct supports 1.65km of the 1.9km railway track, while the remaining 250m at the top of the line lies within a tunnel.

COWI appraised the substructure and superstructure  of the viaduct, which is made predominantly of concrete and supported by 93 piers, placed around 18m apart.

COWI’s first report was finalised and delivered to HIE in December 2018. It identified numerous failings in different parts of the viaduct including foundations, piers and beams. It also concluded that bearings appeared to be overloaded, with some that were significantly displaced and sliding beyond their limits.

The 2018 report was subsequently peer-reviewed in line with best practice. COWI also carried out more detailed investigations during 2019 and worked on design solutions that will enable the funicular to be brought safely back into service.

Reports arising from these further investigations are currently being reviewed for publication by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and will be released shortly.

Cairngorm Mountain - a vision for 2030

Feasibility assessment and strategic plan

HIE commissioned US-based consultants SE Group in 2018 to study Cairngorm’s potential as a premier Scottish ski centre and visitor attraction, and identify potential investments that would maximise its drawing power and contribution to the local economy. 

In light of this, SE Group were asked to review their findings and address immediate priorities for investment at Cairngorm while the funicular is not running.

SE Group’s new findings, published here as an addendum to their original report, again focus on investments with the greatest potential impact to improve the visitor experience and generate more business.

Please note that under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (“EIRs”), Regulations 10(5)(c) (intellectual property) and 10(5)(e) (confidentiality)  the Drivetime report has been removed from Appendix 2, this Experian report can be can be obtained from Experian on commercial terms by contacting Experian at Riverleen House, Electric Avenue, Nottingham, NG80 1RH. Tel: 0115 901 600 or at



Sign up for all the latest news, information on investments and development opportunities from across our region.