Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Clarence in Lithgow Council, New South Wales, Australia — Oceania
 

The Great Zig Zag

Lithgow

 
 
The Great Zig Zag Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 5, 1996
1. The Great Zig Zag Railroad Marker
Inscription.  
A railway zig zag is a series of reversing ramps used to avoid very steep grades. John Whitton, Engineer in Chief NSW Government Railways 1856-90, chose this as the economical method for the descent from Clarence to Lithgow. Built during 1866-69 by contractor Patrick Higgins, it involved massive rock excavations, a tunnel and three stone arch viaducts. During its 41 years of operation it accelerated the development of western New South Wales and achieved world renown as a major engineering work.
 
Erected 1992 by Dedicated by The Institution of Engineers, Australia.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsIndustry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesRailroads & Streetcars.
 
Location. 33° 28.641′ S, 150° 13.262′ E. Marker is near Clarence, New South Wales, in Lithgow Council. Marker can be reached from Chifley Road, 0.1 kilometers east of Petra Avenue. Zig Zag Railway, Clarence Station is 150 km west of Sydney in the Blue Mountains, 10 km East
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
of Lithgow on Chifley Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Clarence NSW 2790, Australia. Touch for directions.
 
Regarding The Great Zig Zag. The Zig Zag Railway with its two tunnels, three beautiful sandstone viaducts and many man made ledges hewn in the mountainside was internationally acclaimed as one of the great engineering wonders of the 19th century. Designed by Mr John Whitton, the then Engineer in Chief of the NSW Government Railways, construction of the Great Zig Zag began in 1866 and it was formally opened in October 1869. All rail traffic travelling west over the mountain traversed the single track Zig Zag. By the tum of the century it was unable to cope with the ever increasing volume of traffic without creating serious bottlenecks. In 1907 construction of the present day ten tunnels and double track main railway line was commenced.
 
Also see . . .
1. Zig Zag Railway, Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. Website homepage of the 19th Century Engineering Masterpiece (Submitted on September 26, 2012, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Zig Zag Railway, Blue Mountains, Australia. Rail Nutter News website entry:
High in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney Australia, there is a breathtaking topography of dizzying crags and cliffs through which the Zig Zag Railway line was built in 1869. (Submitted on September 26, 2012, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Steam locomotive approaching passenger train image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 5, 1996
2. Steam locomotive approaching passenger train
Locomotives at Zig Zag range from suburban tank engines, to express engines and a mighty 400 Class Beyer Garrett. Additional engines are acquired from time to time and are progressively restored to operating condition.
 
 
Additional keywords. Australia
 
Passengers & tourists get a close-up look at the locomotive image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 5, 1996
3. Passengers & tourists get a close-up look at the locomotive
The Zig Zag Railway operates steam locomotives every weekend and on public holidays and during the week in NSW public school holidays.
View of cutting hewn in the mountainside image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 5, 1996
4. View of cutting hewn in the mountainside
Upon leaving the tunnel the line takes a gradual 800 metre long descent around Mt Sinai though a deep cutting to the Top Road of Zig Zag and No 1 viaduct.
Train entering the cutting image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 5, 1996
5. Train entering the cutting
The entrance to the original dead end reversing point is on the right when entering the cutting.
Train entering the Clarence Tunnel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 5, 1996
6. Train entering the Clarence Tunnel
After departing from Clarence station the train enters the 492 metre long Clarence tunnel, built by William Watkins. It is the highest railway tunnel in Australia. It was used a a dump for gas bombs in WWII.
Train entering the short tunnel on a tight curve image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 5, 1996
7. Train entering the short tunnel on a tight curve
After passing Cockerton Place the train enters a short tunnel on an eight chain curve.
Sandstone viaduct image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 5, 1996
8. Sandstone viaduct
All the viaducts were built by Patrick Higgins.
Sandstone viaduct image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 5, 1996
9. Sandstone viaduct
All the viaducts were built by Patrick Higgins.
Locomotive on the viaduct image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 5, 1996
10. Locomotive on the viaduct
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2023. It was originally submitted on September 26, 2012, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 2,073 times since then and 24 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week January 6, 2013. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 26, 2012, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on September 27, 2012, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=59808

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
U.S. FTC REQUIRED NOTICE: This website earns income from purchases you make after using links to Amazon.com. Thank you.
Paid Advertisements
Feb. 24, 2024