Antiqua Print Gallery Zig Zag Railway
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Zig Zag Railway

The Zig Zag Railway is a heritage railway at Lithgow in New South Wales, Australia on the site of the famous Great or Lithgow Zig Zag which operated between 1869 and 1910. Built in the 1860s, the line was constructed to transport people and produce from the western plains of NSW to Sydney. It was replaced in 1910 by a 10 tunnel deviation. As built, the line formed part of the Main West line from Sydney across the Blue Mountains and served to lower the line from its summit into the Lithgow valley on the western flank of the mountains.

In 1975 it was decided to restore the Lithgow Zig Zag as a heritage railway, albeit on a different gauge (3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) instead of the original 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm)). Rolling stock for the museum thus comes from states other than New South Wales – Queensland and South Australia 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:

Bottom Points (depot) to Top Points.

Top Points to the first Clarence railway station.

Clarence to Newnes Junction (under construction in 2008).

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 Hollywood film Stealth. The area was supposed to stand in for mountainous regions in North Korea and locomotives were specially painted with Korean Hangul characters.


(Source Wikipedia,www.zigzagrailway.com.au)