Light rail and trams

02.10.19

Mountain railway demolition to cost ‘more than £13m’

Dismantling of the Cairngorm funicular could run to as much as £13.3m in potential costs, according to the railway line’s owner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The railway provides access to the Cairngorm ski centre, near the town of Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands, but has been closed now for more than a year following the discovery of structural problems.

Public body HIE said it intended to repair the railway at an estimated cost of £10m, with a business case for this work to be submitted in December to the Scottish Government to make a decision on the route forward with repairs.

Removal or fixing the railway presented a complicated challenge, given it must be done in a manner which minimises impact on Cairn Gorm mountain.

When constructed, a helicopter was used to deliver building materials for the railway direct to the mountainside – which is one of Scotland’s best known summits. The funicular opened in 2001, having cost £26m to construct.

Prior to its closure last September, the funicular carried around 300,000 visitors a year between a base station and the wider ski centre, 1,097m up Cairn Gorm mountain.

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