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Contractors gearing up to start repair of the Cairngorm funicular


By Gavin Musgrove

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The Cairngorm funicular has been out of service since September 2018 because of safety concerns over the concrete pillars and bearings which carry the two kilometres of track.
The Cairngorm funicular has been out of service since September 2018 because of safety concerns over the concrete pillars and bearings which carry the two kilometres of track.

Contractors have moved on site at Cairngorm Mountain and are due to start work repairing the funicular from early next week.

More than £16 million is being spent to return the mountain railway into service by winter 2021/22.

The resort is receiving £10.16 million from the Scottish Government and £10.35 million from Highlands and Islands Enterprise to fund the work and other improvements at Cairngorm Mountain.

Balfour Beatty has been awarded the contract.

A spokesman for HIE, who also own the resort, said: “We’re aiming for a start on the funicular on or before Monday, 9 November.

“The actual date depends on Cairngorms National Park Authority confirming that they are satisfied we have put steps in place to ensure all planning conditions are met.

“We hope to achieve that in the next few days. There is already some preparatory activity under way, including delivery of equipment, fencing, generators and work cabins.”

HIE said the decision announced earlier this month to repair the funicular was taken following a detailed options appraisal that also considered replacing it with alternative uplift, or removing it entirely. But critics claim the business case was flawed.

Meanwhile, season tickets for winter 2020/21 has now gone on sale at Cairngorm Mountain.

Susan Smith, interim chief executive of resort operator Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Ltd, said: “Season ticket sales are going well.

“This year we have increased prices by five per cent but we have extended the early bird price to end of November 2020 to encourage our loyal customers to purchase tickets for winter snowsports at Cairngorm Mountain.”

The early bird pricing available up to November 30 includes adult tickets for £263 and juniors (six to 17 years) for £76. Prices rise after that to £420 and £107 respectively. Super Seniors (75 years and older) will continue to enjoy a free ticket.

The resort’s website states there are no plans to reimburse season pass tickets throughout the winter if skiing is impacted by Covid-19 but they will continue to monitor the situation.


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