Cairngorm Mountain Railway


This is a funicular railway (ie cable operated) which climbs 1486 feet between its base, midway (Shieling) and summit (Ptarmigan) stations, under a mile and a half (6,460 feett). Most of the line is elevated from the ground on a reinforced concrete and steel structure. There is a single passing place at the mid point where the two carriages pass, just above the midway station. The final portion passes through a tunnel to reach the summit. The gauge is 6.5ft, unusually wide. Each carriage is 10.5 ft wide, carrying 120 skiers at around 23mph. The rolling stock was by Doppelmeyer.

The base station is about 9.5 miles away by road east from Aviemore.

The railway is currently closed (since September 2018), ^structural problems^ having been found. As of March 2020 planning application has been submitted for the required repairs.

Why built

The line serves the Cairngorm Mountain ski resort, replacing a chairlift which was too exposed during strong wind. It connects the car parking, ticket office, shops and offices to higher ground.


The carriages are designed to carry 120 people in the winter and 48 during the summer.


  /08/1999Cairngorm Mountain Railway
Plans scaled back.
02/10/2001Cairngorm Mountain Railway
Doppelmeyer built rolling stock delivered to railway.
07/06/2002Cairngorm Mountain Railway
Line opened.

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

The temporarily closed Base Station of the Cairngorm Mountain Railway on 5th October 2018. ...
Bruce McCartney 05/10/2018
On the way up. Cairngorm Mountain Railway, September 2012. See image 40432 ...
Peter Todd 17/09/2012
Way to go. Looking out from the base station of the Cairngorm Mountain Railway in September 2012. ...
Peter Todd 17/09/2012
3 of 3 images.

Ascending Cairngorm Mountain Railway car, seen from the descending car at the mid-way passing point on 24th February 2018. ...
David Bosher 24/02/2018
Railcars about to pass on the scenic Cairngorm Mountain Funicular Railway on a crisp and pleasant day in the Autumn of 2004. ...
John Furnevel 13/09/2004
2 of 2 images.