Mushroom Tunnel (Former Mainline Railway Tunnel) | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Mushroom Tunnel (Former Mainline Railway Tunnel)

Item details

Name of item: Mushroom Tunnel (Former Mainline Railway Tunnel)
Other name/s: Old Mainline Tunnel; Redbank Range Railway Tunnel
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Tunnel
Location: Lat: 0 Long: 0
Primary address: 229 Argyle Street, Picton, NSW 2571
Local govt. area: Wollondilly
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
229 Argyle StreetPictonWollondilly  Primary Address
Off Hume Highway,near tollgatePictonWollondilly  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

The former Redbank Range Railway Tunnel is historically significant as the first railway tunnel used by the NSW Railways. It is also historically significant as one of the structures and works which provide evidence of the Great Southern Railway. In addition, it has further associations with the history of WWII as one of a number of disused railway tunnels which were used for defence storage purposes and then subsequently given over to the peacetime use of commercial mushroom growing. It also has technical significance as a fine example of the stonemasonry and tunnel design of its time.
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Division intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.

Description

Construction years: 1860-
Physical description: A 181m single track tunnel with elliptical opening and stone facing.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good.
Date condition updated:21 Jun 06
Modifications and dates: None.
Current use: Vacant/Unused
Former use: Transport/Communication - Rail Prevoius Owner: Sate Rail

History

Historical notes: Redbank Range Railway Tunnel was opened in February 1867 and is the first railway tunnel to be used by the NSW Railways. It was eventually closed to rail in 1919 when the new deviation (loop) line opened. During World War II it was one of a number of disused railway tunnels used to store ammunition and other military supplies. The tunnel was also used for commercial mushroom growing after 1950 when the RAAF moved out. It was closed when the double track tunnel on the Main-line was opened in 1919. Since 1919 the tunnel has been used as an historic feature of the town and is particularly associated with night ghost tours run by local historian Liz Vincent.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The former Redbank Range Railway Tunnel has State significance as the first railway tunnel used by the NSW Railways. It is also historically significant as one of the structures and works which provide evidence of the Great Southern Railway. In addition, it has further associations with the history of WWII as one of a number of disused railway tunnels which were used for defence storage purposes and then subsequently given over to the peacetime use of commercial mushroom growing. It also has technical significance as a fine example of the stonemasonry and tunnel design of its time.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
N/A
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The former Redbank Range Railway Tunnel has State significance as the first railway tunnel used by the NSW Railways. It is also historically significant as one of the structures and works which provide evidence of the Great Southern Railway. In addition, it has further associations with the history of WWII as one of a number of disused railway tunnels which were used for defence storage purposes and then subsequently given over to the peacetime use of commercial mushroom growing. It also has technical significance as a fine example of the stonemasonry and tunnel design of its time.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The former Redbank Range Railway Tunnel has State significance through its association with the construction of transport routes to the south and the opening up of southern NSW to trade and settlement and the massive social impacts this had.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The Former Redbank Range Railway Tunnel has State significance for its ability to provide information about early NSW rail construction techniques, particularly the techniques associated with tunnel and viaduct construction and railway related stonemasonry.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
This item is assessed as historically rare statewide.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
An outstanding and unique example of early NSW rail infrastructure.
Integrity/Intactness: Intact.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  23 Feb 11   
Local Environmental Plan  23 Aug 91 1197238
Heritage study  01 Jan 92   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Macarthur Region Heritage Study1985Ref No. 26   No
Wollondilly Heritage Study1992WO0185JRC Planning ServicesJRC Yes
Wollondilly Shire Council Heritage Study Review20062690185Andrea OehmAndrea Oehm Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenBayley, William A Wollondilly Shire History
WrittenBayley, William A. History of Campbelltown NSW

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2690185


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