Thornleigh Quarry & Zig Zag Railway, 1883-

From Engineering Heritage New South Wales


Located near the end of De Saxe Close, Thornleigh, within Berowra Valley Regional Park are the remnants of Thornleigh Quarry. The quarry began when prominent railway contractors Amos & Co won the contract to construct the Homebush to Waratah line in 1883. They used the quarry to obtain white metal – metamorphosed sandstone for ballast. The quarry is located within 1 km, North West of Thornleigh Station, through some steep terrain, 30 m below the station level. To overcome problems with a steep gradient, a zig zag siding was built to the quarry from the main line near Thornleigh Station. However, land subdivision has since occurred and most of the line (except for a short section adjacent the quarry) has been built over. This was the third and last zig zag railway built in NSW. The other two being Lapstone in 1867 and the Great Zig Zag at Lithgow in 1869. The quarry is adjacent to a cycleway constructed by Hornsby Shire Council with interpretive signs relating to the zig zag railway and the quarry. The following assessment is based substantially upon the Historical & Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Cycleway, near Thornleigh Quarry, via De Saxe Close, Thornleigh, Berowra Valley Regional Park NSW by Edward Higginbotham & Associates.

Thornleigh Quarry Ziz Zag Railway1.png

Thornleigh Quarry Ziz Zag Railway2.png


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Engineering Heritage Recognition Program

Marker Type Historic Engineering Marker (HEM)
Award Date 1 November 2006 (Plaquing Date)
Prominent People Amos & Co
Nomination Document Available here
Ceremony Booklet MISSING
Interpretation Panel None installed.
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