CairnGorm Mountain Railway

Photo Special

The CairnGorm Mountain Railway opened on December 24, 2001, 40 years after the original White Lady chairlift - which it replaced - was commissioned. Building work began in 1999 on what is Britain's only high speed mountain railway. The funicular line links the base station - located at 610 metres above sea level - with the Ptarmigan visitor centre, constructed on top of Cairn Gorm at a height of 1097 metres asal. The two carriages on the line are hauled up by a stationary electrical drive unit at the top station. In addition, each carriage works as a counterweight against the other, not only allowing capacity to be doubled but also minimising the power required to run the train. The single track has a gauge of two metres and splits in the middle to form a passing loop, the only point in the journey at which the two carriages come close together. The steepest gradient on the line is 23 degrees, the train has a maximum speed of 25mph and the maximum capacity is 120 people.

The CairnGorm Mountain Railway operates throughout the year. From November to April trains run on demand while from May to October the first train up is 10am and the last train down 4.30pm. Services run every 15 minutes. Fares are currently �8 for adults and �5 for children.

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