On Thursday 11 April it was Zig Zag Day all round with students from Zig Zag Primary and their grandparents riding the rails from Clarence Station right down to Bottom Points into Oakey Park. The Zig Zag Railway is one of the icons of the Seven Valleys and a must-do experience for people of all ages. With the re-opening in 2023 after an eleven-year hiatus the heritage railway attraction shows no sign of slowing down.

Also on board the train were a group of visitors from the Vintage Rail Journeys Riverina Tour who had added a stop at the Zig Zag for the first time in their company’s history. This is a massive win for tourism in our area, as many of the rail enthusiasts on the tour had come from all over Australia for the four-day trip.

Zig Zag Railway CEO Daniel Zolfel said “We are overjoyed that the Zig Zag Railway has been added as a stop on the Vintage Rail Journeys tour, it really is a match made in heaven when tourists who have such a passion for rail are able to experience our historical locomotives in motion. I hope that this encourages other tour providers to look at Zig Zag Railway as a destination for their trips so that more people get to enjoy the beauty of our area from a carriage window.”

Running a railway isn’t without its challenges. The recent heavy rain resulted in a mini landslide of silt and debris being washed into the railway’s workshop at Bottom Points, causing havoc and damaging the engines. Thankfully the dedicated volunteers at Zig Zag worked tirelessly to get the old engines back in shape. Mr Zolfel praised the volunteers saying, “Our volunteers are the engine that keeps the Zig Zag railway running and none of this would be possible without them”.

Lithgow City Councils Mayor Maree Statham is clear on the benefits of the Zig Zag Railway for our local visitor economy “Lithgow Council and Seven Valleys tourism are working closely with the operators of the Zig Zag Railway and other related businesses to drive attendance and attract visitors to our area. I encourage locals to visit the Zig Zag Railway, particularly if they are looking for something different to do with the kids during the Autumn school holidays.”

Mayor Maree Statham also highlighted the newly released draft destination action plan which is currently on exhibition for community feedback. “The Zig Zag Railway makes up just one amazing component of our local tourism network. We want to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to maximise the tourism potential of our region. I encourage feedback from the community about any aspect of the draft Destination Management Plan”. The Destination Action Plan is available on the Lithgow City Council website https://ourplaceourfuture.lithgow.com/