|Physical condition and/or|
|1994 archaeological test excavations revealed a number of sandstone, timber and a few brick elements that related to the original station's goods platform, station platform and possibly fireplace. It is unknown however, if any of these remnants of the former station were kept in-situ. If they were kept in-situ they would have been disturbed during the construction of 'Y' Link to Parramatta as their location overlays where the current tracks are located. The excavation also confirmed that the original station building was completely demolished. The findings of the previous 1994 archaeological investigation included the following descriptions of the site elements:
Station Building, timber (1855)
Goods Shed (c1855)
Gate Keeper’s house (c1856)
Station House (c1856)
Platform, timber or stone faced (1855)
Station and Loco Water Supply
Locomotive Turntable (1856)
STATION BUILDING (1855)
External: The main station platform and shed is assumed to be approximately 197-200 feet (60-61 metres) long and 30 feet (9 metres) wide with the office annex measured 108 x 13 feet (33 x 4 metres). It is also assumed that Sydney and Parramatta Stations were constructed to the same design and consisted of timber framed station building with corrugated iron roof.
Internal: Documentary evidence (Minute Book of the Railway Commissioner’s Meeting) indicates that more than three staff members were employed in the first 12 month of the station use including a Station Master and two clerks, together with porters. The possible rooms within the station building would consist of an office, a ticket office, a storeroom or meal room, and possibly a parcels office. The document also made reference to public toilets, lease of a refreshment room and a bookstall. It is also assumed that there was a waiting room. These facilities would be housed within the office annex.
GOODS SHED (c1855)
As goods were not carried until 1856, it was assumed that this shed was built together with the Sydney goods shed, which was approved for construction on 15 October 1855. From the 1858 plan, the building measured 33 feet wide by 235 feet long (10 by 71.6 metres) and covered the siding. Other details are unknown. It is presumed that this shed and other facilities on the down side of the main line continued as a goods yard, even after the opening of a goods yard at Parramatta in late 1860. No record has been found of the date of removal of the shed.
GATEKEEPER’S HOUSE (c1856)
A gatekeeper’s house is shown on a plan, dated between 1898 and 1901. The house is indicated on the down side of the line beyond the Woodville Road crossing. Although, the construction date could not be verified, in accordance with the then practice there would have been a gatekeeper appointed with the opening of the extension to Liverpool, suggesting its construction by 1856. A record exists of the Commissioners deciding in October 1857 to provide cottages at level crossings for gatekeepers. The cottages would be occupied by platelayers (now fettlers) "whose wife could attend to the gates free of charge". In 1877 a major bushfire is reported, "burning down the Dog Trap Road Gate House and the Station Master’s house only saved by the resolute efforts of the neighbours". This would suggest that there has been more than one gatehouse over the years, but no other references have been found. The house was sold and removed in 1909.
STATION HOUSE (c1856)
The Station House building would not have been erected until 1856 as the contract for the Station House was let on 6 November 1855. No information was found on its history. It is shown on a plan, dated between 1898 and 1901. Local history records show that this house was sold and removed in 1909, together with the adjacent gatehouse. When this house was demolished it is claimed that copper coins and tokens from J.J. Hanks, a Sydney grocer, dating from 1854, were found under the hearth stone. They confirm the construction date of the house.
The station had a single platform and an annex along one side for the offices. The platform had a timber face with timber base plates forming the foundation of the superstructure and sturdy timber support structure unlike the other stations, which were constructed concurrently with Parramatta Junction, including Newtown and Ashfield, and had a stone faced platform while Burwood and Homebush had timber faced platform with dirt infill. These stations were ready at the time of the opening day.
STATION AND LOCO WATER SUPPLY
Initially the locomotives may have obtained their water direct from Duck Creek, but a few months after opening the Commissioners instructed their Engineer, Mr Wallace, to investigate the possibility of piping a supply to Parramatta. No reference was found for the erection of equipment at the first Parramatta Station or the yard.
In the absence of any original information, it was apparent that the temporary terminus at Parramatta had only basic facilities. The yard track layout comprised the main line and the platform loop, but this would not have been sufficient to handle the maximum of three trains in the yard at the one time on the opening day. Other sidings assumed to have been present including a long engine siding or one or two sidings that were already laid for the goods shed or for the construction of camp and works.
One reference has been found to stockyards being erected, adjacent to the Station Master’s house in Woodville Road at the time of opening. However, no supporting evidence or documentation was noted to clarify this secondary source of material. It was assumed that these yards were part of Randle’s Paddock (the construction camp that was located beside the station) as stock was not carried initially. They may have held the horses used in the construction of the railway.
LOCOMOTIVE TURNTABLE (1856)
No documentary evidence was found to indicate if the engines were turned at Parramatta or ran tender first back to Sydney. It is anticipated that there was only one locomotive turntable in the colony at the time and that would be required for Sydney. The second and third loco turntables are shown arriving on 24 May 1856. These turntables are listed as costing £187-6-7 landed each. Since the single turntable is shown costing £419-2-6, it is reasonable to assume the entry for one is in error and should show two, making the unit cost £209-11-3 each. This would allow a turntable to be installed at both Sydney and Parramatta prior to the opening of the first Parramatta Station. The 1858 plan shows a turntable on the down side of the line on what would now be called an engine siding. Based on the above information, the Parramatta turntable would have been 40 feet (12 metres) in diameter. This turntable was not removed on the closing of the station in 1860, but still existed to at least 1885.