Zig Zag Railway

on January 4, 2010 in Australia, Wot I Did on My Holidays

Built in the 1860s to connect the eastern plains to the capital of NSW (Sydney), the topography of the area required a series of “zig-zag” descents to allow the trains of the day to navigate the descent from the Blue Mountains to Lithgow.

Built using the technology of the day (a couple of Irish navies and a wheelbarrow) the construction included four large rock cuttings, three fine stone viaducts with 30-foot semi-circular arches  and a short tunnel. In the descent of the middle road, the line dropped 101 feet between the reversing points, being part of the 550 foot descent from Clarence. The whole route had a ruling grade of 1:42.

By 1910, with more advanced technology and growing traffic on the line, a new route through the mountains using ten tunnels was constructed (which still follows the bottom line of the zig-zag), with no ceremony the old line was decomissioned and the new one put into use.

The line was restored as a heritage railway in 1975.

Unfortunatly due to a locomotive failure the steam loco wasn’t available so we had to make do with diesel.

Leave a Reply