Search the forum using the power of Google

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 49 total)
  • Cairngorm Railway Shambles
  • irc
    Full Member

    An update here on the ongoing saga.

    The Cairngorm funicular financial disaster and its implications

    binners
    Full Member

    Cairngorm Railway Shambles sounds like a Fall song title

    gordimhor
    Full Member

    HIE (before that HIDB) was always intended to be an autonomous organisation which could act without waiting for the government of the day to authorise action. HIE was overseen by its own board who generally could be said to hae interest in the Highlands and knowledge of the issues. In 2016 the Scottish government place HIE and many other formerly independent organisations under the control of a single central board largely losing access to all that expertise and interest that HIE formerly had access to. Replaced by an overwhelmingly central belt committee.
    I appreciate that this post does not contribute much to the issue of mismanagement of the funicular but so long as rural or remote areas are seen as a resource for visitors and not a place where people live this type of mismanagement will continue and will very likely get worse

    Spin
    Free Member

    Cairngorm Railway Shambles sounds like a Fall song title

    HMHB more like!

    Northwind
    Full Member

    binners
    Full Member

    Cairngorm Railway Shambles sounds like a Fall song title

    I was thinking Mogwai

    bearGrease
    Free Member

    In 2016 the Scottish government place HIE and many other formerly independent organisations under the control of a single central board largely losing access to all that expertise and interest

    SNP in control freak centralisation of power shocker!

    Waderider
    Free Member

    And all this to further degrade a mountain environment so lazy people can get up a hill.

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    Must be looking at Snowdon and wanting to copy the success there!

    xora
    Full Member

    Must be looking at Snowdon and wanting to copy the success there!

    According to that other thread you can tractors of shit cheaply!

    sillyoldman
    Full Member

    LOLs at Northwind and binners.

    intheborders
    Free Member

    Seems a simple choice, accept it’ll cost more and will need some Central/Regional upfront & ongoing cash or just close it (also costing money).

    Does anyone do the same calculations on the road leading to it? I’d guess no.

    We’ve a real problem in the UK with how we expect certain transport systems to be self-funding and others not.

    TroutWrestler
    Free Member

    This is just the latest chapter of bit of a mess.

    If they’d built a multi-stage gondola from Glenmore in 2001 it would still be running, be more efficient with uplift, and would have cost a lot less. Only Nevis already had a Gondola, and a USP was more important that the right choice.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    Apparently opening tomorrow (Fri 26th).

    poly
    Free Member

    scotroutes – what sort of shambles is your Calander?  Tomorrow is Thur 26th.  Fri is 27th.!

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    Whoops. Thursday then!

    I blame retirement. At least my spelling is ok.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    For how long?  Shall we take bets?

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    For how long? Shall we take bets?

    *goes to look at the wind forecast and freezing levels*

    poly
    Free Member

    scotroutes – when I become king of the world, the village in the Trossachs, the park in Falkirk and handy reference for dates will all be spelt the same way.  I’m open to feedback on which one it should be but multiple variations are just confusing!  Until then I’ll continue to play scrabble lucky dip…

    stevenmenmuir
    Free Member

    Scotroutes obviously got his diary the same place he got his dictionary.

    argee
    Full Member

    Scotroutes obviously got his diary the same place he got his dictionary.

    Or he might be a Dundonian!

    Will be great to finally get a shot on the funicular when i’m back up next, remember skiing up there in the mid 90s and being told this would make it a hotspot for all sports, always wondered why they went all in though, cutting down all the old infrastructure which could have been useful over time.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    [ outsider asks a question ]

    Can we take bikes on it?

    mashr
    Full Member

    cutting down all the old infrastructure which could have been useful over time.

    Some of that infrastructure would now be very, very old. Doesn’t excuse the shambles of a funicular that cant run after heavy snow mind you

    aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    Just tried to book tickets however the website isn’t giving options. Will book once the website is updated. The kids will like it. A wee hurl up for a coffee and a view and hopefully a photo opportunity. What’s not to like.

    dissonance
    Full Member

    During the summer you werent allowed to leave the immediate area.
    You could walk up and then catch it down but you werent allowed to go up on it and then walk down.

    As such I suspect the bike question is redundant.

    highlandman
    Free Member

    I’ll continue to boycott the train and would encourage others to do the same. Take your money somewhere else, to a ski centre that makes better use of limited resources and looks after its staff much better.
    Cairngorm has had many times more public money spent on it than all of the other 4 centres added together. The extended mismanagement by HIE is horrific and has been arrogant in the extreme.
    I’m happy to skin up and tour in the Gorms but I’ll not be spending money there anytime soon.

    highlandman
    Free Member

    The visitor management plan that is a structure overseen by Nature Scotland (previously SNH) forbids anyone from exiting the train to do anything other than specified snow sports.
    The fun police, down in Aviemore, check up regularly to ensure that CGM comply and enforce this with potential sanctions against the operating company.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Will be great to finally get a shot on the funicular when i’m back up next

    Erm. It won’t really, it’s just a really badly designed and implemented ski lift

    being told this would make it a hotspot for all sports,

    Utter **** bullshit. The bastards.

    always wondered why they went all in though, cutting down all the old infrastructure which could have been useful over time.

    Because removing the other infrastructure made the ski area utterly dependent on the train bit of a mess. Having dismantled the other lifts they had no option but to contunue throwing millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money at the ever growing financial black hole. Which allowed some of the people at the top to make some serious cash out of their involvements in far too many pies.

    What’s not to like.

    What highlandman said basically.

    Number 3 item on my lottery win list was always to fund a private prosecution of the key vermin behind the cairngorm railway debacle.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    During the summer you werent allowed to leave the immediate area.

    The visitor management plan that is a structure overseen by Nature Scotland (previously SNH) forbids anyone from exiting the train to do anything other than specified snow sports.

    So… it doesn’t allow access to the mountain… it’s just a trip up and down? Well, that’s er… um… …what?

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    OK, this is going over very, very old ground but…

    The funicular was projected to increase the number of folk accessing the plateau as it would still operate in conditions that the chairs couldn’t.

    The plateau is a sensitive area for conservation and wildlife.

    A condition of the EU subsidy was that access to the plateau would be tightly controlled.

    I’m not saying I agree with all of that but there is a logic to it.

    FWIW you can certainly take the train up and walk around when it’s ski season. After all, the snow protects the terrain.

    The fun police, down in Aviemore

    I’m not sure to whom this refers

    kelvin
    Full Member

    [ outsider is totally confused ]

    So… if it’s only really for access for winter sports… why is it on rails and not hung from above? I don’t understand. The outside ski season access is meaningless if it comes with a “no access outside the ski season” restriction, surely?

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    So… it doesn’t allow access to the mountain… it’s just a trip up and down? Well, that’s er… um… …what?

    It never has properly – although some manage to walk up a roped off area to the summit on some days it seems. It is a very vulnerable and unique (in UK) ecosystem up there.

    We had to sign in, then sign out again having walked over the tops one day and mrs_oab was desperate for the loo…

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    The outside ski season access is meaningless

    Ask not what your funicular can do for you, ask rather what you can you do for your funicular.

    It provides access to the cafe and tat shop at the top station. Which gives 2 further possibities for relieving [expletive deleted] people of more of their money after paying for the ticket to get up there in the first place.

    Eg:

    Just tried to book tickets however the website isn’t giving options. Will book once the website is updated. The kids will like it. A wee hurl up for a coffee and a view and hopefully a photo opportunity. What’s not to like.

    why is it on rails and not hung from above

    Because doing it as a railway is more complex and expensive, and thus the opportunities for financial enhancement/ diversion are greater.

    aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    It’s a “fait accompli” so no point getting bent out of shape about it. It’s a tourist attraction and gives the opportunity for folk who normally don’t get up on the mountains a wee outing with a view. I will be taking the kids up. Have done it in the past so know what to expect. Could have been/should have beens are fair enough but won’t change anything.

    2tyred
    Full Member

    I don’t understand

    Neither do we.

    The whole concept is insane – if it’s too windy to operate a chair or drag lift, then there aren’t many skiers (certainly not in the target market) who’ll venture out onto the mountain, funicular or not.

    The Cairngorm plateau – as others have said – is a sensitive, beautiful area as long as you don’t look at the MASSIVE CONCRETE RAISED TRACK visible from miles away. “But but but ski lifts…” – they’re not really visible until you’re pretty close up.

    “It’ll increase visitor numbers” as long as we’re not talking about the sort of visitors who’d want to go there to do anything outdoors when there isn’t snow on the ground. Not them. Just the sort of people who are bursting to visit a cafe that’s higher up than other cafes.

    Criminal.

    It’s a “fait accompli” so no point getting bent out of shape about it.

    I don’t know, silence may well be taken as acceptance and nothing is learned.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    The reason it’s a railway not a chairlift is more or less the same reason mountain bike uplift schemes keep on wanting chairlifts or gondolas instead of minibuses. Buses work great, and are cheaper and easier but they mean you can’t serve other user groups like walkers and also you can’t generate tons of funding and media interest by doing something more impressive than is actually needed.

    Re bike access, there was a spell where you could get the train up and then ride down a specified route with an escort wasn’t there? IIRC Finley Strivens was doing the guiding/prison guarding. All tied into the same “we have built a train to take you to a place where we don’t really want people to be”

    boblo
    Free Member

    How do they physically stop you from walking down?

    I can understand them not wanting 10’s of k’s of Neds wandering around pissed up on Special Brew but a few hundred beardy mountaineering perverts isn’t going to destroy the planet. They’ll just schlep up there anyway…

    mashr
    Full Member

    Re bike access, there was a spell where you could get the train up and then ride down a specified route with an escort wasn’t there?

    from memory the route was down the (fire) road

    How do they physically stop you from walking down?

    Guns.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    there was a spell where you could get the train up and then ride down a specified route with an escort wasn’t there?

    It was tied into hiring their bikes and you came right down the main access track. There was also an extended version that took you down to Glenmore.

    How do they physically stop you from walking down?

    There are doors at the top station which are closed during the non-skiing season. Folk who walk or cycle up are free to wander as they please, check in and out of the top station too. However, that’s a small fraction of the number of folk who would be wandering about if they could just get out after taking the train up. Ever been to Yr Wyddfa when the train rolls in?

    There are also ranger-guided walks from the top station in Summer  – again with limited numbers and no freedom to wander off.

    FWIW I reckon the number of cyclists on the tops has already increased since motor-assistance became available.

    The recently-installed conveyor uplift at the bottom will be used to provide access to some (to be built) bike trails in the lower corrie. These are going to be short/family-friendly types.

    The Cairngorm plateau – as others have said – is a sensitive, beautiful area as long as you don’t look at the MASSIVE CONCRETE RAISED TRACK visible from miles away. “But but but ski lifts…” – they’re not really visible until you’re pretty close up.

    As I’ve said in previous posts, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to provide more facilities in Coire Cas. The Cairngorms are large enough that those who don’t like it can easily bypass it. Personally, I’d lay a tarmac road to the top station and encourage its use by road cyclists.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    The whole thing is a shambles.  its the wrong transport option on the wrong mountain organised by the wrong people.  Nowadays there would not be given permission to build a ski centre up there as it is such a special environment.

    The restrictions on walking from the top of the train was a condition put in to prevent erosion on the plateau and also to stop ill equipped folk wandering off and getting lost  IIRC

    Its the conflict between conservation and tourism that has led to this ridiculous situation with various groups not wanting to compromise properly leading to this absurd situation

    Edit:  Also politicians and their absurd liking for big infrastructure projects.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 49 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Search the forum using the power of Google

Thanks for popping by - why not stay a while?IT'S FREE

Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.

Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.