Ed's Zig Zag Photos

Welcome to my collection of Zig Zag photographs

The Lithgow Zig Zag is an historic railway that lowered the Great Western Railway of NSW down the western escarpment of the Blue Mountains via a series of reversals, or 'Zig Zags'. Opened in 1869, the Zig Zag was a major civil engineering feat for its day, but steam locomotives had to work hard to climb its steep grades.  In time the Zig Zag became an operational bottleneck, and it was replaced by a new railway route in 1910.

From 1910 to 1974 the upper levels of the Zig Zag lay abandoned. Railway activity was confined to the Bottom Road, which was retained in the new railway route. A personal account of these 'forgotten years' has been provided by Meg Davidson, who grew up in one of the railway signalmen's cottages that existed at Bottom Points.

The Zig Zag was reborn in 1974 as a preserved steam railway. Since then I have visited many times to enjoy the Zig Zag Railway's steam locomotives working through the Australian bush. These photos are a sample from those I've taken over the years, and date from well before the digital photography era. This site was created in the early days of the internet - back in the days of 28.8Kbps modems - so the photos were scanned to low resolution.  I hope you enjoy this collection of photos and reminiscences!



Top Road

Top Points



Belmore Place

Bottom Points


Steam Engines










Visiting Tours

Rail Motors

The Forgotten Years


Click here for the official Zig Zag Railway site.

Email me at

ed at australiansteam dot com

 if you have any comments


This is not an official site for the Zig Zag Railway. Any opinions expressed in this web site are the author's only. Statements in this web site are based on the author's own research and observations.

Pages updated on 16 September 2006

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Preserved Steam Down Under