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BB18 1/4 1072 At Top Points Switchback.

The Zig Zag Railway is a heritage railway at Lithgowmarker in New South Walesmarker, Australia on the site of the famous Great or Lithgow Zig Zag which operated between 1869 and 1910. As built, the line formed part of the Main West line from Sydneymarker across the Blue Mountains and served to lower the line from its summit into the Lithgowmarker valley on the western flank of the mountains.


Top Points Station
An historical view of the Zig Zag Railway line
In 1975 it was decided to restore the Lithgow Zig Zag as a heritage railway, albeit on a different gauge ( instead of the original ). Rolling stock for the museum thus comes from states other than New South Wales – Queenslandmarker and South Australiamarker in particular. This was due to the difficult nature of obtaining standard gauge rollingstock from the NSW Government of the time.

As of 2005 the railway is operated as the Zig Zag Steam and Diesel Tourist Railway.

The line has gradually been extended:

In 1944 the tunnel was used to store chemical weapons.

The railway currently has 4 operational steam locomotives, BB18 1/4 1072 "City of Lithgow", C17 934, DD17 1049 and the most recently restored, AC16 218A.


In 2003, the railway was used in the production of the Hollywoodmarker film Stealth. The area was supposed to stand in for mountainous regions in North Koreamarker and locomotives were specially painted with Korean Chosongul characters.



Further reading

  • Full Steam Across The Mountains - Phil Belbin & David Burke - Methuen Australia 1981
  • Blue Mountains Railways - William A. Bayley - Locomotion Productions 1980

External links

See also

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