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Cairngorm Funicular Railway

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The 4,085ft / 1,245m Cairngorm Mountain with a Mountain Railway is about 130 miles north of Edinburgh and Glasgow, 11 miles east of Aviemore in the Highlands of Scotland. Regular Buses run between Aviemore and the Mountain, and many Trains and Buses run to Aviemore.

Cairngorm Mountain is open all year, now with a small charge for the Car Park to help with Maintenance. The Car Park is at about 2,000ft. Postcode: PH22 1RB. Phone: 01479 861 261.

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The Funicular Railway / Mountain Railway opened in 2001, running from the Bottom Station Car Park at around 2,000ft /610m up to the Top Station at 3,500ft / 1,245m.

The Trains stopped operating in 2018 due to finances, then needed repairs before re-opening in late 2022 or early 2023.

The Railway takes many Skiers and Snow Boarders up to the Top Slopes at a time, also Tourists going up for the Views.

There is a Cafe / Diner at the Bottom Station and a Cafe / Diner, Shop and Museum at the Top Station.

The Top Station is 500ft / 152m below the Summit with a well marked Trail as visibility can be poor much of the time.

In Summer, you were not allowed to take the Train to the Top Station then Hike the final 500ft to the Summit of Cairn Gorm to prevent erosion. You had to Hike from the Car Park, out to the left or right then up Ridge Trails. Not sure if this still applies.

In Winter, in the Snow and Ice, you can Hike from the Top Station to the Summit, or now popular is Skinning / Ski Walking, going uphill in Skis with Skins on that can only go one way, then Skiing back down. Hiking, best to have Poles and Ice Grips on your boots.

Winter Sports catered for are: Skiing and Snow Boarding.

Summer Activities catered for are: Guided Walks and Tubing.

The Car Park at the Bottom Station is popular for Walkers and Hikers going up into the vast range of Mountains here. Mountains Guide.

Cairngorm History

1863 - Aviemore Train Station opened as part of the Highland Railway, connecting this remote Town to the rest of the UK.

1891 - Sir Hugh Munroe listed 282 Mountains in Scotland over 3,000ft, with vast numbers of Hikers starting to try and Hike all of these Mountains, known as Monroe Baggers.

Of the 9 Mountains over 4,000ft in Scotland, 5 are in the Cairngorm area, with Ben Macdui being the second highest Mountain in Scotland at 4,294ft, 1,309m.

The other 4 over 4,000ft are around Fort William, 62 miles southwest, including the highest Ben Nevis at 4.409ft, 1,345m.

1947 - Glenmore Lodge by the Cairngorm Mountain opened as an Outdoor Centre, leading to the area becoming a popular Winter Sports destination.

1961 December - a Ski Resort was opened on the Cairngorm Mountain with a Chairlift and Chalet. This led to Aviemore becoming a popular Ski Resort Town, soon with a number of large Hotels, Holiday Parks with Caravans, Lodges, Camping and Touring.

1977 - an automatic Weather Station was built at the Summit of Cairngorm Mountain to monitor Wind Speed and Temperature. Every half hour, you hear a whirring sound as a hatch opens, then a strange instrument pops out.

2001 - the Cairngorm Mountain Railway opened for Tourists, Skiers, and Snow Boarders to travel fast up to the top slopes at 1,097 m / 3,599 ft. The Top Station has a Restaurant and Museum.

2010 - Blizzards covered everything on the Cairngorm Mountain in deep Snowdrifts up to 20ft, leading to workers having to work long hours digging everything out of the Snow.

2018 Feb - the Beast From the East cold spell led to fantastic Skiing conditions, after the road up the Mountain had been cleared by machines, and Train Tracks dug out by hand. There are two sections of the train tracks that often get covered in snow, one close to the bottom, and one close to the top.

2018 Oct - the Cairngorm Mountain Railway was closed awaiting repairs, expected to re-open in late 2022 early 2023.

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