CairnGorm Mountain Railway – Highland, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

CairnGorm Mountain Railway

Scotland's only funicular railway is also the United Kingdom's highest. 


Scotland’s only funicular railway ferries winter sport enthusiasts and summertime explorers up the steep slopes of CairnGorm Mountain. On a (somewhat rare) clear day, passengers are rewarded with sprawling vistas of the country’s famously enchanting scenery.

The railway, which is also the highest funicular in the United Kingdom, opened to the public in 2001. It replaced a chairlift system that was deemed too vulnerable to the strong winds that so often whip through the mountain range.

In the winter, the funicular ushers skiiers up the mountain, where they’re then free to set off down the slopes. It stays open in the summer, too, and carts people up to the Ptarmigan Restaurant for a dining experience at over 3,500 feet above sea level. Hillwalkers who’ve made the trek to the upper station on foot can rest their weary legs and take the funicular back down to the base of the mountain.

Update August 2019: the railway is closed for the duration of the summer and maybe longer due to safety concerns. 

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