Cairngorm Mountain Railway
The Cairngorm Mountain Railway, Scotland's only funicular line, takes its passengers on a journey from the base station of Cairn Gorm Mountain to its peak - which is one of the highest in both the Cairngorms National Park and even Scotland.
We begin our journey at the base station, situated within easy reach of Aviemore. On leaving the station, the broad-gauge train starts its steep ascent in earnest; the railway overcomes a height difference of 6,460ft in just over a mile. Throughout the journey, passengers are treated to an incredible view of the surrounding Cairngorm Mountains and of course the famous Scottish Highlands. There is also a dramatic panorama over the wild valleys running down from the mountains to the plains beneath. Before long we arrive at the middle station, a popular point for those using the railway for the start of a walk further into the hills, or to take part in winter sports when snow covers the slopes.
The train then continues to climb, and soon reaches the passing loop. This stretch of double track allows the funicular engines to pass safely. As we carry on with our climb, we pass through a beautifully scenic section, which then runs through a short tunnel, to protect the exposed part of the mountain from the most extreme weather. On emerging from the tunnel, the train reaches Ptarmigan, the name given to the line's top station, which is celebrated as a beauty spot.