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Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
PLANS are underway to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the opening of the ‘Ten Tunnels’ rail link to Lithgow and the closing of the Zig Zag, with a weekend of railway heritage activities on October 16 and 17.
“The celebrations will include activities to suit the whole family,” Lithgow Mayor Neville Castle said yesterday.
He said there are plans for heritage train rides from Lithgow to Katoomba and Wallerawang and dining trips, the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, a photographic exhibition and activities at Eskbank House and Lithgow Community Cinema.
The weekend will involve events at major Lithgow tourist attractions.
The Zig Zag Railway is planning special trips to link up with the planned Heritage Train Rides.
Eskbank House will display photographs of the works and host historical talks on the significance of the rail link to Lithgow.
Documentaries and features will be run at Lithgow Community Cinema throughout the weekend.
“The construction of the Ten Tunnels Deviation created a direct link from Sydney over the Blue Mountains to the central west, bypassing the complicated and time consuming trip on the Zig Zag rail line,” Cr Castle said.
The original plan included 11 tunnels but one was opened out, becoming one of the deepest cuttings in NSW.
The project commenced in June 1908 and was completed in October 1910, quite a feat in that era and a tunneling timetable that would be commendable even today.
“Work continued day and night, with only the most experienced miners engaged in the dangerous tunnelling,” the Mayor said.
“Access to some locations was so difficult that horses were craned in, staying on site until completion.”
The construction of the Ten Tunnels was a major engineering project for its time and is still in use today 100 years later.
“I look forward to the weekend and hope that local families come along to learn more about Lithgow’s history and have a great time,” Cr Castle said.
Information about the weekend activities and tickets for the Heritage Train Rides will be available from the Lithgow Visitors Information Centre, as soon as the timetable for events is confirmed.
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