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Lapstone Viaduct and Zig Zag - Trail Description



Lapstone Viaduct and Zig Zag

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Blue Mountains, 60km west from Sydney
Start/end: Lapstone to Lapstone
Status: Open
Length open: 1.5km
Surface: Coarse gravel
Terrain: flat to slight incline
Best seasons: all year round
Public transport: Train
Contact Region: Sydney & Blue Mountains
The viaduct from the top of the zig zag. (2009)
The viaduct from the top of the zig zag. (2009)
Suitable for walking



An historic abandoned viaduct and zig zag on part of the first railway line constructed over the Blue Mountains.


Knapsack Viaduct is signposted from the Motorway (aka the Great Western Highway) on the Emu Plains exit.  From the car park near the junction of the old highway and the historic Mitchells Pass, a footpath follows the former railway and highway route to the viaduct.  From here a pathway descends below the stone arches and then ascends to Elizabeth lookout.  Alternately, follow the stairs up the old zig-zag railway at top points and Lucasville Platform.  From here follow the zig zags upper road to Knapsack St, or the middle road down to Knapsack Quarry and the highway.  On reaching the highway, continue south to Skarrat Park South and the Old Glenbrook Tunnel, or follow the highways paved footpath back to Knapsack Gully

Background Information

The former railway route adopted involved an impressive sandstone viaduct over Knapsack Gully. The viaduct was the largest in Australia, being 388 feet long and 120 ft high with 5 spans of 55 ft and 2 of 20 ft.

Construction commenced in 1863. The line was opened to Weatherboard (now Wentworth Falls) on J Originally built to carry a single railway track, the bridge was later fitted with a new concrete deck, enabling it to carry 2 lanes of road traffic. It formed part of the Great Western Highway until being by-passed in the mid 1990's. Today it is used only by pedestrians, bicycles, emergency vehicles, & the Olympic Torch Relay.

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1 comment

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28 March , 2016 by cascho

I walked this trail this morning (28/3/16) and it is a very popular with locals – riders, walkers and their dogs. It’s an easy walk up to the viaduct and then stairs up to the rail zig zag section. I found it really interesting, because it gave great views over the west Sydney region, good insight into the geology of the edge of the Blue Mountains, and great bush. I really recommend this trail, though the zig zag section is more for walking than riding, because of the difficulty in getting to it from the carparks.

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