CairnGorm Funicular Closed As Ski Season Nears
Patrick Thorne https://www.inthesnow.com
The key lift at Cairngorm ski area above Aviemore has been shut down due to safety concerns whilst more detailed examinations of the structure are carried out.
The concerns relate to the concrete structures supporting the track. According to a local newspaper report these were first identified as having cracks in 2016, but a new routine inspection identified that they had got worse.
Engineers have now recommended a reduced service be implemented until this is investigated fully and any remedial work carried out. They further recommended a number of operation limiting procedures including temperature, windspeed and the load on the train. However the funicular and ski areas owners, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), appear to have stopped the lift running entirely.
HIE have commissioned specialist engineers to carry out a detailed structural assessment of the area of concern. The findings of the detailed investigations are expected in November, shortly before the ski season is due to begin. This should also confirm what remedial work is necessary and how long that is likely to take to complete.
“Rest assured, we do not underestimate the significance of this situation to the entire local area, including our own employees, and are working to resolve this situation quickly and safely, for the future benefit of all mountain visitors,” said Ewan Kearney, Chief Operating Officer of Natural Retreats, who run CairnGorm Mountain for HIE.
“At this stage, we are unable to provide a detailed timeline for the re-opening of the funicular and will issue further updates as we are able to do so.”