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PD


Posts: 38
Joined: Oct 2011
Last Visited: 21:20
9th Jul 2019
Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 21.00hrs on Sun 14 Oct 18
SnowmanDave Wrote:

The only other people who have had any big say is the EU due to the funding the funicular got from their funding dept....


And that EU funding contribution (as reported in the CIPS professional journal many years back) had to be repaid to the EU, due to the funicular project procurement having failed to comply with the EU Procurement Directives. Sigh.

SnowmanDave


Posts: 186
Joined: Dec 2013
Last Visited: 12:36
3rd Mar 2021
Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 08.05hrs on Mon 15 Oct 18
PD Wrote:
SnowmanDave Wrote:

The only other people who have had any big say is the EU due to the funding the funicular got from their funding dept....


And that EU funding contribution (as reported in the CIPS professional journal many years back) had to be repaid to the EU, due to the funicular project procurement having failed to comply with the EU Procurement Directives. Sigh.


Now that ought to be more known...as I didn't know that...!!

So the old excuses of we can't do this & that because of EU funding ...basically not valid since when? as paid back

---That was not a fall, I intended to do that!---

alan


Posts: 10768
Joined: Nov 1994
Last Visited: 19:43
29th Feb 2024
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Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 09.59hrs on Mon 15 Oct 18
SnowmanDave Wrote:
PD Wrote:
SnowmanDave Wrote:

The only other people who have had any big say is the EU due to the funding the funicular got from their funding dept....


And that EU funding contribution (as reported in the CIPS professional journal many years back) had to be repaid to the EU, due to the funicular project procurement having failed to comply with the EU Procurement Directives. Sigh.

Now that ought to be more known...as I didn't know that...!!

So the old excuses of we can't do this & that because of EU funding ...basically not valid since when? as paid back

---That was not a fall, I intended to do that!---


As I understand a % was paid back, not the entire EU grant. However the line that the section 50 is almost untouchable because of the EU funding being tied to protection of EU designated sites in the Northern Corries and the Cairngorm Plateau isn't true. It's put up as an excuse and a obstacle, but even if the Section 50 was scrapped repayment would only arise if there actually was subsequent damage that could be shown to have resulted from the Funicular operations.

Much is made that the closed system has lead to improved condition of the higher mountain areas. However, the reality is the damage done in the first 20 years of the ski area was already being repaired and improving through subsequent path improvements, drainage improvements to reduce spreading erosion and various ground repair / reseeding projects.

Between the Ptarmigan and CairnGorm summit is one of the most heavily engineered high mountain footpaths in Scotland that was built to reduce erosion that had previously occurred. The overwhelming majority of Funicular passengers wouldn't go more than a couple of minutes from the Ptarmigan building - many in autumn and spring outside of the snowsports season's main wish is to go and play in any snow that is in the vicinity of the building.

Those who do venture beyond the immediate surrounds of the building will be a minority of those who go up on the funicular and of them only a small minority would go beyond the Summit and Marquis Well footpath loop.

The closed system was brought in under a precautionary principle - that should not mean nothing changes. A couple of things that in my opinion ought to have already been done to gradually reduce the restrictions in a manor compatible with that principle are:

1. Spring transitional period where the system remains open for a period after the end of the snowsports season while there is still snow cover in the Ptarmigan Bowl in close proximity to the Top Station.

2. Regular free ranger guided walk at the Top during non skiing open system periods, a good number of people who'd want to walk to the summit would go on these and more staff / rangers out on the paths would also help monitor what was going on and educate people about how sensitive the environment is up there.

Depending on the feedback and evidence collected by 2 during 1, extending 2 to all year rear round. Subject to weather snowshoe tours could be done in winter - these could as the system is defacto open in winter anyway be a premium paid for protect to take account of hiring gear and qualified rangers / guides.

Outwith the ski season an open system should attract more visitors, more repeat visitors and increased revenue from funicular tickets should be enhanced further by increased dwell time on the upper mountain leading to an increase in catering revenue if the offering is up to scratch. Thus covering the cost of additional rangers to cover more frequent ranger led walks to the top.

Of course this is rather academic at the moment because it's not public knowledge just how significant the problems are with the various parts of the Funicular structures. Given the severity of the climate it's not unreasonable to think given the problems arising within less than 20 years that from here in the Funicular will be troublesome, even higher cost with negative revenue impacts from unreliable operation with intermittent maintenance shutdowns.

It must not be a case of pursuing a policy that the Funicular must be repaired at any cost now and in the future just to save face at HIE.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 10.01hrs Mon 15 Oct 18 by alan.

Tourer


Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2016
Last Visited: 22:06
11th Feb 2021
Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 10.08hrs on Mon 15 Oct 18
Perhaps it is time for Vail Resorts to take over, sink some money into infrastructure upgrades and sell us all Epic passes!

SnowmanDave


Posts: 186
Joined: Dec 2013
Last Visited: 12:36
3rd Mar 2021
Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 11.50hrs on Mon 15 Oct 18
alan Wrote:
Big post



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 11.01hrs Mon 15 Oct 18 by alan.


right I'm with you on that..logic/sense....etc...


& something I thought they should have been doing ages ago....

---That was not a fall, I intended to do that!---

PeterS


Posts: 980
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 12:21
13th Mar 2021
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Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 12.15hrs on Mon 15 Oct 18
The funicular fiasco certainly makes the Corrie Cas, and Car Park Tbars look like incredible value over their 56 and 51 year lives. With diligent maintenance they can presumably carry on indefinitely but if they ever had to be replaced their scrap value alone would probably cover the cost of their removal.


At nearly 40 years old the M1 and Fiacaill ridge Pomas are also proving good value for money and are still I think relatively reliable.



Sunshine


Posts: 121
Joined: Jan 2006
Last Visited: 18:41
3rd May 2019
Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 15.21hrs on Mon 15 Oct 18
Sadly, the funicular appears to have big problems at this time so the closed system is a minor problem.
The “closed system” was a planning restriction imposed to protect the EU sites and helped to obtain £2.7million of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF). There was no public consultation. The s50, requiring a closed system, has successfully sabotaged the financial success of CML.
There were anomalies in many projects that obtained structural funding between 1994 and 1999 when £32 million of EU funding was obtained for various projects. In fact the Scottish Government paid back £9.47 million in 2008 to stop further EU investigations. That must make any agreement worthless. The Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) signed an agreement that ensured 100 FTE jobs for only 5 years and agreed a closed system for 25 years in order to obtain £2.7 million of funding.
Cairngorm Mountain staff has no legal authority to stop anybody leaving the Ptarmigan station.
The law changed in 2005 when the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 came into force, and in my opinion, both the planning condition and the Visitor Management Plan came into conflict with the act as the area surrounding the Ptarmigan and indeed the EU designated sites has the right of responsible access.
There are 241 Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) in Scotland and none that I am aware of restrict walkers. I hope this puts the closed system into perspective.



Doug_Bryce


Posts: 1373
Joined: Jan 2003
Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 15.46hrs on Mon 15 Oct 18
From purely eco-perspective I have no problem with the closed system. It is well intention-ed and has stopped the plateau getting trashed by hundreds of tourists dropping litter etc. If you want to walk up Cairngorm then you still can do so under your steam ;-)

The issue with the closed system is that it inherently restricts repeat summer customers. If you can't get out at the top then the visitor experience is limited. Which of course makes the funicular a busted flush for 8 months of the year. The idea that a bigger visitor centre on the summit will solve this issue is lunacy.

A hypothetical Glenmore could be used year round by MTB bikers / hikers / and tourists <etc>. If they can get out in Coire Cas and stroll around then repeat custom would be high (and less objectionable then parking charges!).

growwild


Posts: 3550
Joined: Oct 2005
Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 17.05hrs on Mon 15 Oct 18
They should be able to trace packaging of litter back to the consumer with tech if they bought with card, fine the feckers..

Plenty of other places with a lack of wildlife that they can appear to protect, open the place up and develop it or close it doon and the let 'nature' own the place if that's more important...

flugeryl


Posts: 2307
Joined: Oct 2004
Last Visited: 12:40
11th Mar 2021
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Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 11.32hrs on Thu 18 Oct 18
simple question from someone with no engineering background

Q - Could steel supports not now be fitted next to the concrete ones without immediate removal(of said concrete supports) and limit the time the train is out of service?

Be Nice to Skiers, they have it hard enough already

SnowmanDave


Posts: 186
Joined: Dec 2013
Last Visited: 12:36
3rd Mar 2021
Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 11.49hrs on Thu 18 Oct 18
flugeryl Wrote:
simple question from someone with no engineering background

Q - Could steel supports not now be fitted next to the concrete ones without immediate removal(of said concrete supports) and limit the time the train is out of service?

Be Nice to Skiers, they have it hard enough already


That won't solve it...


To put simply:-
you have the concrete beams which the train rails sit on...& these concrete beams are joined to each pier.

Each beam is pre-cast...so made elsewhere....


The piers have a metalwork top to them (rebar) I presume.


The top section of metal work on the pier & the gap between the concrete beams then has formwork (made around it) & concrete is cast in-situ to fill the gap...


They then just steel beams to join the left & right hand concrete beams together..this is done with straight across beams & diagonal brace beams..these are fixed using the bolts you see all the way down the outside of every concrete beam which hold a track rail

This then effectively makes all the concrete rails from top to bottom & from left to right joined up...with NO expansion or movement joints...


The materials will expand & contract due to -20C & +25C temps...& then you have deflection..(movement) due to the train moving over the track...& any uneven ground settlement or frost heave..


As there are NO expansion joints in the concrete beams (& the only one are in the pier to beam connectors)......then cracking will occur at the weakest place in the structure...which is the joints between the pre-cast beams & the in-situ cast "infill"...or around the four pad bolts for the metal tie & cross beams.


They need to cut out those joints & make them expansion/movement joints..at EVERY pier...them also need to make either the track flex left to right so add flex into the metal tie beams...or add more flex into the pier to bema movement pads..


Every masonry wall has to have full height (one joint running verticaly from top to bottom) expansion joints every 6m on a plain face....basic planning/building regs….


---That was not a fall, I intended to do that!---



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 11.56hrs Thu 18 Oct 18 by SnowmanDave.

jabuzzard


Posts: 885
Joined: Jan 2010
Last Visited: 11:02
16th Apr 2021
Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 18.23hrs on Thu 18 Oct 18
SnowmanDave Wrote:

[SNIP]

This then effectively makes all the concrete rails from top to bottom & from left to right joined up...with NO expansion or movement joints...



That's a massive engineering failure, and to put it mildly fecking obvious to anyone with any sort of engineering or even scientific background. There is plenty of available data on the temperature extremes on Cairngorm going back years courtesy of the Heriot-Watt University physics department. The expansion coefficients etc. of concrete and steel are well understood. There is no excuse for not allowing for this in the design,

As such if I where the HIE then I would be going after the architect/structural engineer who did the original design and suing them to recover the cost of the remediation work.

A architect/structural engineer should be holding professional indemnity insurance to cover these sorts of issues, even if it occurs years down the line. If they don't have the insurance cover then they deserve to loose the shirt of their back (or more likely any assets they have aka their home) and I have no sympathy for them whatsoever in this case. You mess up you get to pay for your mistakes.

paraffin


Posts: 580
Joined: Mar 2007
Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 18.57hrs on Thu 18 Oct 18
For once, I agree (sort of)with Jabuzzard - the client needs to pursue the contractor and / or the Struct. Eng.

But no chance! Due to maximum 12 years Professional Indemnity limits / co-lateral warranties. Ho hum.

BTW: Fellow posters keep up the well intentioned “Brown paper and string” remedies. It keeps us amused until the snow arrives. (Next week I believe).



Edited 2 times. Last edit at 19.03hrs Thu 18 Oct 18 by paraffin.

paraffin


Posts: 580
Joined: Mar 2007
Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 19.36hrs on Thu 18 Oct 18
Hi PD,
Just picked up your post about OJEU non compliance!

It makes me wonder about all the other giddy headed decisions made back in the day.

carpet under brushed the?


tupp


Posts: 234
Joined: Apr 2010
Re: CairnGorm Funicular - Operation stopped as safety precaution
Date Posted: 19.54hrs on Thu 18 Oct 18
paraffin Wrote:


carpet under brushed the?



The lights in Inverness have been flickering for weeks due to the Shredders in HIE HQ going all night every night.

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