Riverina Western Zig Zag Railway workshop reconstruction

Contact point

Picture of Gavin Priestley
Gavin Priestley Regional Director 02 6339 5900

NSW Public Works project managed the refurbishment of the Zig Zag Railway workshop, providing a secure space for staff and enabling the iconic railway to operate at full capacity.


Zig Zag Railway was built in 1869 and is a heritage railway line near Lithgow and the Blue Mountains.

In support of the railway reopening, NSW Public Works (NSWPW) has been working with Crown Lands since 2021 to restore the workshop building.
The works include replacing structural steel, cladding, retaining walls, and roofing that were damaged in bushfires.

The newly refurbished workshop will allow the Zig Zag railway to operate at full capacity. This will help tourism back into the Blue Mountains and Lithgow region.

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Zig Zag Railway workshop project - restoring the heart of the railway

Our role

NSWPW provided project and contract management services for the project.

Access to the workshop, by rail or on foot, was a critical factor to the project’s success, and was achieved with the use of Zig Zag Railway Co-op trains. The works took place as Zig Zag Railway Co-op continued to operate, adding complexity to the construction.

With the workshop adjacent to the main western railway line corridor, Sydney Trains co-operation was necessary to complete the works.
This project relied on strong communication and collaboration between the contractors and stakeholders.

Zig Zag railway workshop - steam train inside.JPG

Key project facts

  • The Zig Zag Railway is a heritage railway near Lithgow NSW.
  • The works were replacing fire damaged structural steel, cladding, retaining walls, and roofing on a locomotive workshop.
  • Access and rail safety at the workshop was difficult, but strong communication and collaboration between stakeholders has helped overcome this challenge.
  • Project was handed over in September 2023.


The workshop was available for usage by the Zig Zag Railway Co-operative in September 2023, following a comprehensive final inspection.
Many local small and medium businesses have been engaged on the project, including suppliers, subcontractors and consultants.

Zig Zag railway - roof construction.JPG
Zig Zag Railway Workshop roof works