The Cairngorm mountain funicular is to remain closed throughout the summer months and possibly beyond to address concerns about the structure.
The funicular has been shut since the start of October because of safety concerns over structures supporting the tracks.
Specialist engineers COWI were commissioned to carry out a detailed investigation by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which owns the facility.
Experts concluded that the structure does not present an immediate danger to the public but said that the safety margin is lower than desirable and that a series of measures should be put in place to address weaknesses before it reopens.
Work is needed to strengthen the piers, beams and foundations, and install new bearings with higher load and movement capacity.
As work on the structure of the funicular can only be carried out during summer months when the mountain is more accessible to contractors, it will remain out of service for the rest of the current winter season, throughout the summer months and possibly longer.
Susan Smith, HIE’s head of business development, said: “We have considered carefully the implications of the investigation and concluded it will take considerable time to design, procure and complete the necessary works.
“Our goal is to have the funicular up and running as soon as is safe to do so, but in the meantime we anticipate it will remain out of service throughout the summer months and possibly beyond.
“We will provide further updates as things progress.”
Cairngorm Mountain Limited (CML), which operated the railway, went into administration in November last year following cashflow problems as a result of the closure.
HIE, which owns the resort and infrastructure, established a subsidiary, Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Limited (CMSL), which took over operations on December 14 2018 and all employees of CML became employees of CMSL.
New snow-making equipment began operating in December and up to 100 skiers a day can access artificial snow on the lower slopes, while ski tows can take people to higher parts of the mountain when there is enough natural snowfall and conditions are favourable.
Ross Harris, interim chief executive of CMSL, said: “Cairngorm Mountain is an outstanding all year-round tourist attraction.
“The funicular is, of course, a unique feature of Cairngorm, but there is so much more to experience.
“We are working hard to ensure that we continue to provide the best experience possible for our snowsports customers who can access the mountain using our network of tows and we are confident we can build on an already attractive offering for our summer visitors.
“We are focused on making Cairngorm Mountain a ‘must visit’ destination because we know that in doing so the resort will continue to provide economic benefits for the entire Strathspey area for years to come.”