Cairngorm Mountain Railway - Enjoy Spectacular Views
One of the more popular attractions in Scotland is the Cairngorm Mountain Railway that is located near Aviemore and south of Glenmore Forest Park. The railway runs for two kilometers up the slopes of the Cairngorm Mountains and for this reason it is the United Kingdom's highest railway. Skiers often make use of this service that takes them to the Ptarmigan station. This amazing funicular railway has replaced the old chairlifts, and makes for a much more comfortable ride. The White Lady Chairlift, built in 1961, was seen as being unstable during high winds and therefore construction on the Cairngorm Mountain Railway started in 1999.
Controversy and protest in regard to building of the railway started to rise, as many were concerned about the impact the Cairngorm Railway might have on the environment. Secure transport to the top of the mountain also meant that the slopes would be accessible all year round and this was another growing concern. Inexperienced skiers could take on the mountain, that has extremely unpredictable weather, and cause injury to themselves and others. But despite the negative reactions, the Cairngorm Railway was completed and opened for operation on 24 December 2001.
The high-speed trains grew into an overnight success and one of the most enjoyed attractions in Scotland. It can carry 120 passengers per train, reaching the station in approximately 5 minutes, transporting close to 1 200 passengers in an hour. The train cars are fitted with electric motors and they have a top speed of 25 miles per hour. During the summer months, the trains travel much slower, allowing visitors to enjoy the panoramic views and breathtaking landscapes.
To address environmental concerns, passengers that travel on the Cairngorm Mountain Railway during summer are not allowed access to the mountain slopes. They are able to explore the shop, enjoy refreshments at the restaurant, walk through the visual displays in the exhibition hall or just enjoy the fresh air and wonderful sights from the terrace. The view from 3600 feet is absolutely amazing and this entertaining experience is suitable for the entire family, as well as visitors with disabilities.