Lithgow, New South Wales

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Lithgow
New South Wales
(1)Lithgow dusk 1989.jpg
Lithgow at dusk
Australia New South Wales location map blank.svg
Red pog.svg
Lithgow
Coordinates 33°29′S150°09′E / 33.483°S 150.150°E / -33.483; 150.150 Coordinates: 33°29′S150°09′E / 33.483°S 150.150°E / -33.483; 150.150
Population12,973 (2018) [1]
Established1870s
Postcode(s) 2790
Elevation950 m (3,117 ft) [2]
Location150 km (93 mi) from Sydney
LGA(s) City of Lithgow
County Cook
Parish Lett
State electorate(s) Bathurst
Federal Division(s) Calare
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
25.6 °C
78 °F
1.0 °C
34 °F
860.1 mm
33.9 in

Lithgow is a city in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia and is the administrative centre of the City of Lithgow local government area. It is located in a mountain valley named Lithgow's Valley by John Oxley in honour of William Lithgow, the first Auditor-General of New South Wales.

Contents

Lithgow is on the Great Western Highway, about 150 km (93 mi) or two hours drive west of Sydney, [3] or via the old mountain route, Bells Line of Road, from Windsor. Geographically, it is situated on the far western side of the Sydney basin. [4] At June 2018 Lithgow had an estimated urban population of 12,973. [1] Lithgow is surrounded by a varied landscape which includes national parks, one of which, the Blue Mountains National Park, is a World Heritage Area. The Wollemi National Park is home to the Jurassic-age tree the Wollemi Pine, which was found growing in a remote canyon in the park. [5]

Location

The city sits on the western edge of the sandstone country of the Blue Mountains and is usually considered[ citation needed ] the first true country town west of Sydney. Immediate surrounding areas include the old mining hamlet of Vale of Clywydd and Oakey Park, a famous iron and steel village, of which fiery night scenes have been depicted in many paintings, as well as large areas of bush and state forest. The next city to the West is Bathurst, 60 km (37 mi) away.

Lithgow is in the NSW State electorate of Bathurst, while federally it is part of electorate of Calare. Lithgow benefits from being the western terminus for the electric section of the Main Western railway line from Sydney, and of NSW TrainLink's Blue Mountains Line electric services. Lithgow is home to the iconic zig-zag railway.

History

The mountainous terrain of the Blue Mountains and the expense of building long tunnels required the construction of The Great Zig Zag railway between 1866 and 1869. The line was opened as far as Bowenfels, just to the west, in 1869, but Lithgow station was not opened until 1877. Although it was superseded in 1910 by more modern engineering methods, including ten tunnels, parts of the Zig Zag have been developed into a popular tourist attraction. [6] Following a period of industrialisation in the late 1860s and 1870s, the town of Lithgow boomed during the 1880s, and it was incorporated as a borough in 1889. [7]

The town is the centre of a coal mining district and there is one coal-powered power station nearby. It is the site of Australia's first commercially viable steel mill, [8] the ruins of which are open for inspection at "Blast Furnace Park". Due to the abundance of coal and relative proximity to Sydney, in the areas surrounding Lithgow are two of the largest power stations in NSW, the Mount Piper and Wallerawang power stations. Both are operated by Energy Australia NSW. The (now demolished) Lithgow Power Station was in use from 1928 to 1964.

Heritage listings

Lithgow has a number of heritage-listed sites, including the following listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register:

In addition, the following sites were listed on the (now defunct) Register of the National Estate: [19]

Lithgow was also the location of an alleged assassination attempt on the life of Queen Elizabeth II in 1970. [20]

Climate

Lithgow features a subtropical highland climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) with warm summers, cool to cold winters and generally steady precipitation year-round. Despite its location on highlands, Lithgow manages to have 90.3 clear days annually. Lithgow is one of the few Australian cities to see snow. One major event was the late season snowfall in October 2014, where 20 centimetres of snow fell. [21] [22]

Climate data for Lithgow (Birdwood St)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)37.8
(100.0)
38.4
(101.1)
35.1
(95.2)
30.8
(87.4)
23.9
(75.0)
19.5
(67.1)
19.8
(67.6)
22.5
(72.5)
27.6
(81.7)
33.1
(91.6)
37.2
(99.0)
36.8
(98.2)
38.4
(101.1)
Average high °C (°F)25.5
(77.9)
24.7
(76.5)
22.4
(72.3)
18.4
(65.1)
14.3
(57.7)
11.1
(52.0)
10.4
(50.7)
12.0
(53.6)
15.4
(59.7)
18.7
(65.7)
21.5
(70.7)
24.5
(76.1)
18.2
(64.8)
Average low °C (°F)11.9
(53.4)
12.1
(53.8)
10.1
(50.2)
6.7
(44.1)
3.9
(39.0)
1.8
(35.2)
0.7
(33.3)
1.3
(34.3)
3.4
(38.1)
6.0
(42.8)
8.1
(46.6)
10.4
(50.7)
6.4
(43.5)
Record low °C (°F)2.8
(37.0)
3.5
(38.3)
0.0
(32.0)
−4.0
(24.8)
−6.1
(21.0)
−7.0
(19.4)
−8.0
(17.6)
−8.0
(17.6)
−5.0
(23.0)
−2.3
(27.9)
−1.7
(28.9)
0.6
(33.1)
−8.0
(17.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches)94.3
(3.71)
83.8
(3.30)
83.8
(3.30)
62.7
(2.47)
63.0
(2.48)
67.3
(2.65)
67.6
(2.66)
63.4
(2.50)
58.9
(2.32)
67.7
(2.67)
70.0
(2.76)
76.1
(3.00)
858.5
(33.80)
Average rainy days8.37.68.47.07.68.88.48.37.98.27.77.695.8
Average afternoon relative humidity (%)54586059666766565451535058
Source: [2]

Iron and steel industry

In 1848, iron smelting began in Mittagong, Australia. It proved unprofitable for the remainder of the 19th century. This situation remained until the early 20th century when no iron ore was being smelted. The only iron being cast was by William Sandford in Lithgow. His works were bought by G. & C. Hoskins in 1907, who had previously been making iron pipes in Sydney. The Lithgow works acquired a reputation for industrial disputes.

Tourist attractions

Lithgow is adjacent to a number of national parks and other attractions. Places to visit include the Zig Zag Railway, Glow Worm Tunnel, Newnes in the Wolgan Valley and Glen Davis in the Capertee Valley, the second largest canyon in the world. [23]

Other attractions include the Hartley Historic Site, Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum, State Mine Heritage Park and the Eskbank House Museum. Lithgow is also close to Jenolan Caves, which are a World Heritage Area and lie to the south of Lithgow. [24]

The most popular tourist event in Lithgow is Ironfest (Lithgow), an annual cultural heritage event that attracts over 10,000 visitors. [25] Ironfest hosts the annual St George's Day Jousting Tournament which involves contestants from all around the world. The festival also features a colonial battle re-enactment, called the 'Battle of Lithgow' which involves over 120 participants, kitted out in fully authentic 19th century apparel, and involving cavalry, infantry and artillery. As well as these two historical re-enactment events Ironfest includes historical & auto displays, blacksmith demonstrations, art exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations, as well as live music and performances.

The Lithgow Greyhound Racing Club was established in 1928 [26] [27] and its Saturday race meetings are also a popular tourist attraction. The annual feature event is the Lithgow Golden Muzzle held every December, which is sponsored by the Lithgow Workers Club.

Media

Electronic media in Lithgow is represented by commercial radio stations 2LT and Move FM operated by Midwest Radio Network, public broadcasters ABC and SBS, and commercial networks Prime7, WIN and Southern Cross Nine, 7TWO, 7mate, GEM, GO!, One HD and Eleven.

The Lithgow Mercury is a newspaper published tri-weekly in the town.

Notable residents

See also

Related Research Articles

Wollemi National Park Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

The Wollemi National Park is a protected national park and wilderness area that is located in the northern Blue Mountains and Lower Hunter regions of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 501,703-hectare (1,239,740-acre) park, the second largest national park in New South Wales, contains the 361,113-hectare (892,330-acre) Wollemi Wilderness – the largest such wilderness area in Australia – and is situated approximately 130 kilometres (81 mi) northwest of Sydney.

Glenbrook, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Glenbrook is a suburb of the Lower Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 70 kilometres west of Sydney in the local government area of the City of Blue Mountains. At the 2016 Australian census Glenbrook had a population of 5,051 people.

Zig Zag Railway

The Zig Zag Railway is an Australian heritage railway, situated near the town of Lithgow in the state of New South Wales. The line climbs the western flank of the Blue Mountains, using railway zig zags to gain height. It was opened by the not for profit Zig Zag Railway Co-op. Ltd. as an unpaid volunteer staffed heritage railway in October 1975, using the alignment of the Lithgow Zig Zag line that formed part of the Main Western line between 1869 and 1910.

Jenolan Caves Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

The Jenolan Caves are limestone caves located within the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve in the Central Tablelands region, west of the Blue Mountains, in Jenolan, Oberon Council, New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The caves and 3,083-hectare (7,620-acre) reserve are situated approximately 175 kilometres (109 mi) west of Sydney, 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Oberon and 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of Katoomba.

Zig Zag railway station

Zig Zag railway station is located on the Main Western line in New South Wales, Australia. It exists to serve the Zig Zag Railway to the east of Lithgow. A station opened on the site on 15 April 1878, closing on 16 October 1910 when the Ten Tunnels Deviation opened. A new station opened on the site in 1959.

Lithgow railway station

The Lithgow railway station is a heritage-listed former station master's residence and railway station and now guest accommodation and railway station located on the Main Western line at Railway Parade, Lithgow, City of Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed and built by New South Wales Government Railways and built from 1924 to 1925. It is also known as Lithgow Railway Station Group and Residence and Eskbank East. The property is owned by RailCorp, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 30 August 2013. The station has frequent NSW TrainLink services running to and from Sydney Central.

John Whitton Australian railway engineer

John Whitton, an Anglo–Australian railway engineer, was the Engineer-in-Charge for the New South Wales Government Railways, serving between 1856 and 1890, considered the Father of New South Wales Railways. Under his supervision, it is estimated that 2,171 miles (3,494 km) of railway around New South Wales and Victoria were completed. Whitton was responsible for the construction of parts of the Main Western railway line, in particular the section over the Blue Mountains and the Lithgow Zig Zag, and much of the Main Southern railway line.

City of Lithgow Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

The City of Lithgow is a local government area in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia. The area is located adjacent to the Great Western Highway and the Main Western railway line.

Bowenfels, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Bowenfels is a small town on the western outskirts of Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia.

Bowenfels railway station railway station in New South Wales, Australia

The Bowenfels railway station is a heritage-listed disused railway station and now visitor's centre and restaurant located on the Main Western line in Bowenfels, City of Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed by John Clifton and the New South Wales Government Railways and built from 1869 to 1869 by G. Watsford, NSW Government Railway. It is also known as the Bowenfels Railway Station and Stationmaster's House and Old Station Masters Residence and Station. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Cooerwull railway station was a railway station on the Main Western railway line in New South Wales, Australia.

Lithgow Zig Zag zig zag railway line in New South Wales, Australia

The Lithgow Zig Zag is a heritage-listed former zig zag railway line built near Lithgow on the Great Western Line of New South Wales in Australia. The zig zag line operated between 1869 and 1910, to overcome an otherwise insurmountable climb and descent on the western side of the Blue Mountains. It was designed by John Whitton and built from 1863 to 1869 by Patrick Higgins as contractor. It is also known as the Great Zig Zag Railway and Reserves and Zig Zag Railway. The property is owned by Department of Planning and Infrastructure. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Ten Tunnels Deviation

The Ten Tunnels Deviation is a heritage-listed 9.2-kilometre (5.7 mi) section of the Main Western Line between Newnes Junction and Zig Zag stations in Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed and built by the New South Wales Government Railways and built from 1 June 1908 and 16 October 1910. It is also known as Great Zig Zag Railway deviation tunnels and Bell to Zig Zag Ten Tunnel Railway Deviation. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Rail Motor Society Railway museum in New South Wales, Australia

The Rail Motor Society, based at Paterson, New South Wales, is a privately owned collection of preserved self-propelled railway vehicles and equipment from the former New South Wales Government Railways. The items in its collection date from 1923 through to 1972.

Top Points railway station

Top Points is a railway station on the Zig Zag Railway in the Blue Mountains area of New South Wales.

Lithgow Blast Furnace Former blast furnace in New South Wales

The Lithgow Blast Furnace is a heritage-listed former blast furnace and now park and visitor attraction at Inch Street, Lithgow, City of Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. It was built from 1906 to 1907 by William Sandford Limited. It is also known as Eskbank Ironworks Blast Furnace site; Industrial Archaeological Site. The property is owned by Lithgow City Council. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Marrangaroo railway viaduct "Heritage place or item located at Main Western railway, Marrangaroo New South Wales, Australia"

Marrangaroo railway viaduct is a heritage-listed railway viaduct at Main Western Line, Marrangaroo, City of Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. The property is owned by RailCorp, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Eskbank railway station, New South Wales Disused railway station in New South Wales, Australia

The Eskbank railway station is a heritage-listed former locomotive depot and railway station and now community group venue adjacent to the Main Western Line at Lithgow, City of Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed by the New South Wales Government Railways and the station building was built by Goodsell & Wright, as a contractor. It is also known as Eskbank Railway Station group and Lithgow Goods Station/ Lithgow Site S1. The property is owned by RailCorp, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Cooerwull railway footbridge

The Cooerwull railway footbridge is a heritage-listed pedestrian bridge located at the Top Points site, Zig Zag Railway, Lithgow, City of Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. It was built in 1941. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

References

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