The iconic Zig Zag Railway is about to reopen, after lying dormant for more than 10 years.
The heritage-listed tourist attraction, which runs steam train services from Lithgow through the Blue Mountains, was forced to shut down in 2012 due to safety and financial issues.
A team of dedicated volunteers have been working to resume passenger services ever since, but their efforts were stymied by bushfires, a flood and vandalism in the years since the closure.
On Friday, local MP Paul Toole announced the railway was in its final stages of preparation to reopen.
All 11 kilometres of the track and the steam trains used for the service have been restored, with the co-op now only waiting on final accreditation from the National Rail Safety Authority.
The railway first opened in the 1860s and used for transporting passengers and cargo from Western NSW to Sydney, before becoming a tourist attraction in the 1970s.
It is now run by the Zig Zag Railway Co-op, a dedicated group of volunteers who have been working to restore the site, with the help of the NSW government, since its closure in 2012.
The group have remained committed in the face of recurring disaster.
In October 2013 the railway was on the brink of reopening when a bushfire in the area caused up to $4 million worth of damage.
In 2019, the Gospers Mountain bushfire dealt another blow to the co-op, with signalling equipment damaged and several structures on the site lost.
The railway is expected to reopen before winter.
Story Credit: news.com.au