Cairngorm Funicular – Dismantling Would Cost More Than Repairing

In the latest stage of a now more-than-a-year-long debate over what to do with the funicular railway which provides access to the upper mountain at Cairngorm ski area above Aviemore, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the public body which owns and now runs the site, has published some numbers to be considered as next steps are formulated.

The funicular was shut down a year ago and was out of action last winter, and will be this winter and possibly the one after, due to safety concerns.  There has been a painstaking process to discover the options moving forward.

HIE say that repairing the railway, which was opened in 2001 at a cost of £26m, would cost an estimated £10m.  However the other option of demolishing the railway world cost more, at least £13.3m, and also leave the problem of finding a new, as yet uncosted, means of providing uplift on the mountain.

Part of the reason fort the high costs is the extremely sensitive nature of the Cairngorm environment meaning all work on the mountain requires numerous time-consuming and expensive steps to complete.

The Scottish government will be asked to make a decision on the repairs.  Previously HIE said it hoped work on the repairs, if approved, could begin in May 2020.