General HIE news

Funicular report delayed but snow making expected within a week

Specialist engineering contractors investigating concerns over the supporting structure of the Cairngorm funicular railway, have alerted HIE and CairnGorm Mountain Limited (CML) to a potential two-week delay.

COWI was appointed by HIE and CML in September to carry out the investigation, which has involved excavation of some of the foundations.

They informed the organisations this week that weather, particularly strong winds and cold temperatures, had hampered their progress. While they still aim to share initial findings on 3 December as planned, it could take up to a further two weeks to complete their final report.

Susan Smith, head of business development at HIE, said:

“The closure of the funicular, while necessary for safety reason, is causing considerable concern locally among the many businesses who service the snow sports market. The sooner we find out the exact nature of the problem the better for everyone. We will then be able to plan for remedial work to be done to return the funicular to service as soon as possible.”

In the meantime, £1m worth of snow making equipment, including a snow making machine and eight snow cannons, is due to arrive at Cairngorm on Tuesday (27 November). The equipment should be fully operational within a week of arriving.

Snowmaking will guarantee snow on the lower beginner slopes, and enable ski tows to take skiers to the upper slopes when conditions there are good.

Susan Smith added:

“The efforts we and other members of the funicular response group are making will ensure the best possible snow sports experience on Cairngorm this winter. Snow making will play a major part in those efforts, along with various promotional activities planned in the coming weeks to promote the Aviemore area, including Cairngorm, as a fantastic destination for visitors.”

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