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Kalamunda Zig Zag

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Title: Kalamunda Zig Zag  
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Subject: Darling Scarp, Zig zag (railway), Darling Range, Midland, Western Australia
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Kalamunda Zig Zag

View from the Zig Zag railway c1920.
Statham Quarry switch point
Gradient profile map

The Kalamunda Zig Zag was completed in 1891, as part of the Upper Darling Range Railway line in Western Australia which was built by the Canning Jarrah Timber Company to supply railway sleepers to Perth's growing railway system. The sections of the railway that make up the zig zag: -

  1. Ridge Hill (lower section of Zig Zag)
  2. Bottom Points
  3. Statham's Quarry [known also as Perth City Council Siding (from 1920) ]
  4. Number 3 Points
  5. Top Points (upper section of Zig Zag)

The line was so steep (1 in 30 grade), that the engine would alternate between pushing and pulling the load.

The Zig Zag has since been converted into a scenic, narrow bitumen road. The road is one-way for most of the Zig Zag, and is not recommended for hiking.

Every year the Shire of Kalamunda holds a Zig Zag Walk event, in which the Zig Zag is closed to all but pedestrians, providing people with the opportunity to admire the views and see the area's wildflowers; the Zig Zag is a part of the Darling Range Regional Park. The Zig Zag Walk occurs around early October every year. On the last Sunday of October each year, there is a community Arts Festival called the Zig Zag Festival held in Stirk Park Kalamunda.

The Zig Zag is also used as a stage in the Targa West Rally. The road is closed to all traffic and the stage is run in reverse road direction, from the bottom to the top.

There have been moves by enthusiasts to resurrect the rail line on the Zig Zag formation, and the Kalamunda council in principle does not object to the project. It would appear funds are lacking for the feasibility studies required.

See also


  • Steele, Ken.(1993) Zig Zag to Kalamunda : the story of the Upper Darling Range Railway Lesmurdie, W.A.: Drillmark Publications Division. ISBN 0-646-16323-X
  • Watson, Lindsay The Railway History Of Midland Junction : Commemorating The Centenary Of Midland Junction, 1895-1995 Swan View, W.A : L & S Drafting in association with the Shire of Swan and the Western Australian Light Railway Preservation Association, [1995]

External links

  • Kalamunda Zig-Zag Page
  • Kalamunda Zig Zag Trail - Trail Description
  • Zig Zag Community Arts Festival page

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