Short History | Lineside Guide | John Whitton | Zig Zag Railway Builders | Zig Zag Reserve | Zig Zag Railways Worldwide | Bushfire 1997 | Timeline | Bibliography

BUILDERS OF THE RAILWAY

Zig Zag Railway has received a number of queries from people researching their predecessors who are believed to have worked on the railway's construction.  Apart from John Whitton the other people we have knowledge of are:

Patrick Higgins, building contractor for the sector from Clarence Tunnel to Wallerawang. Born Sligo, Ireland, 1825. He and his brother John came to Australia in 1852 drawn by the gold discoveries. He died in Woollahra, Sydney, NSW in February 1882.
William Watkins, building contractor for the sector Mount Victoria to Clarence.
William Hull, Resident Engineer on the Great Western Railway, NSW, 1865-1868. Before he had worked on the Victorian State Railways from 1854-1865.
William Mason, deputy to Resident Engineer.
George Cowdery (1830-1916) - Resident Engineer on the Great Western Railway, NSW, 1868-71, later Engineer for Existing Lines. Born in England. Worked on Chester & Holyhead projects. Worked for Sir Morton Peto, much of that time for Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway, where he met Isambard Kingdom Brunel and where Whitton was his immediate superior. He went to Victoria in 1856, in search of gold, first on the Melbourne-Bendigo line, then for Peto, Brassey & Betts on the Picton extension.
Edward Charles Cracknell, Superindent of Posts and Telegraphs, designed and supervised the wiring for electrically ignited blasts.
John Rae, Commissioner of Railways, NSW, 1861-1870, later Under-Secretary for Public Works. Died in 1900.

The Zig Zag Railway has no information on people involved in building the great Zig Zag but it would be pleased to receive information with supporting documentation which might be added to the above list. Please write to the Secretary.

Those researching ancestors who worked on the construction of the Great Zig Zag are advised to try the Lithgow Historical Society - enquire through the Lithgow Public Library, Bridge St. Lithgow, NSW 2790, Tel: 02 6352 2770.
Also the Australian Railway Historical Society, NSW Division, 67 Renwick St., Redfern, NSW 2016. Tel: +61 2 9699 1714. The Society concentrates on railway and rollingstock construction rather than railway staff or builders.

Short History | Lineside Guide | John Whitton | Zig Zag Railway Builders | Zig Zag Reserve | Zig Zag Railways Worldwide | Bushfire 1997 | Timeline | Bibliography

Updated 16 November 2008