Cairngorm Mountain Railway
6th August 2009
© copyright photographs by Colin Duff

 

Front of Cairngorm Mountain Railway car

Cairngorm Mountain Railway ticket

as they used to say on Monty Python's Flying Circus -

"and now for something completely different!"

One car departing the lower/base station

Construction of the Cairngorm Mountain Railway commenced in 1999. It replaced a chair lift which had been operating for four decades, operation of which suffered from high winds. It ascends the north slope of Cairn Gorm, the sixth highest mountain in the UK. The railway opened for business on Christmas Eve 2001. It is built to a broad gauge of 2000mm, is 1970m long during which it ascends 462 metres at a maximum gradient of 1 in 2.5. There are two cars connected by cables moved by two stationary 500kW electric motors.

These two pictures show one car - the cars do not appear to be numbered publicly - just after departure from the base station and ascending the mountain.

The same car ascending the mountain

 

Car interior lookiing up mountain
Above, interior of a car looking up mountain and, below, down mountain. each car can hold up to 120 passengers - most standing - and the cars are fully accessible to wheelchair users. During the winter sports season the cars move at a maximum speed of 10 metres per second but at roughly half that during the summer.
Car interior looking down mountain

 

looking back towards the base station

Above, looking back to the base station, car park and beyond over Loch Morlich and Glenmore Forest Park in the direction of Aviemore.

Below, the ascending car in the passing loop. Each car always takes the same side of the loop to pass, otherwise the wires would tangle! The points, as is usual on funicular railways in Europe, are fixed.

Ascending car on the passing loop

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