Zig Zag Railway

The Great Lithgow Zig Zag first opened in 1869 as part of the Western Railway line that linked Sydney with Western New South Wales. This railway line was used to transport people and produce from the western plains of NSW to and from Sydney.

In 1910, a ten tunnel deviation was completed and the Great Lithgow Zig Zag closed and the original formation was declared as a reserve by the Crown. 60 something years later, Zig Zag Railway was born.

Many will remember Zig Zag Railway from their childhood – riding the train in the 70s, 80s or 90s. Come and relive the magic of steam trains and admire how much it has changed (and hasn’t) since you last came aboard.

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Zig Zag Railway Co-Op

In the early 1970s, a group of volunteers founded the Zig Zag Railway Co-Op – a voluntary, not for profit organisation. The volunteers began to relay the track and acquire locomotives and rollingstock with the idea of restarting passenger services. The Zig Zag Railway Co-Op carried the first passengers in 1975 between Top Points and Bottom Points.

In 1988, the Railway was extended to Clarence, with the assistance of a Bicentenary grant and supplemented the steam train services with diesel railmotors on weekdays.

Unfortunately, in 2012 the railway was forced to close due to rising costs and the increasingly complex regulatory requirements of operating a railway. Following the closure, two significant bushfires and a flood devastated the railway and left the site damaged and volunteers with an enormous challenge.

Since then, our wonderful community has been working hard to return the railway to its former glory. This work has seen the restoration of locomotives, passenger carriages and all 11 kilometres of track – and we’re so glad to have you back!

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Zig Zag Railway Map 2