Take a Ride on the CairnGorm Mountain Railway – Visit To Scotland
Last week we took a ride on the Caingorm Mountain Railway!
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‘The CairnGorm Mountain Railway is the highest railway in the United Kingdom since it opened in 2001. The two-kilometre long funicular ascends the northern slopes of Cairn Gorm, the United Kingdom’s sixth-highest mountain. The route is located within the Cairngorms National Park, the largest National Nature Reserve in Britain, near to Aviemore in the Highland council area of Scotland. The ski area also lies within the Cairngorms National Park.
It is publicly owned, being operated by Cairngorm Mountain Limited and wholly owned by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Construction of the Cairngorm Mountain Railway started in 1999. It opened on 24 December 2001, forty years after the opening of the White Lady Chair Lift, which it replaced. The reason for the construction was that the chair lift was too sensitive to the strong winds in the area. The track is a broad gauge of 2,000 mm (6 ft 6¾in). The maximum operating speed during the ski season is 10 metres per seconds (36 km/h or 22 mph). This speed is dropped to around 5 metres per second during the rest of the year. Giving approximate journey times of four minutes in winter and nine minutes during the summer (calculated without middle station stops). The single track line has a passing loop just above the middle station. During ascent, the maximum gradient is 23° (1 in 2.5, or 40-percent inclination). The railway starts at the Base Station in the Coirre Cas area, where there is a restaurant, shop, ticket office, hire shop, rangers’ office and Disability Sport UK office. The Scottish Ski Club have a building close to the middle station.
At peak times there can be 150,000–160,000 non-winter sports visitors, combined with a further 50,000–60,000 annual sports visitors during the winter. CML can expect to cater for a maximum of 3,000 visitors per day in a peak winter season.
The railway is 13 kilometres (8 mi) from Aviemore and can be reached travelling along the B970 and C38 roads to Glenmore. From Glenmore a route is taken through the snow gates and via a one-way system past Coire na Ciste (approximately 3 km or 2 mi). The Base Station is at an altitude of approximately 635 metres (2,083 ft) above sea level, the middle station is at approximately 765 metres (2,510 ft) and the top Ptarmigan Station is at approximately 1,097 metres (3,599 ft).
The total length of the funicular railway track is 1,970 metres (6,460 ft), during which the route rises by 462 metres (1,516 ft). Most of the route is single track, with a short passing loop near half way. Up to 120 standing passengers can be carried in each of the systems two carriages. The train is fully accessible for wheelchair users and both the Base Station and Ptarmgian Station have lift access to all levels.’ – From Wikipedia
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