Greta Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Greta Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Greta Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: 33 Richards Street, Bourke, NSW 2840
Local govt. area: Bourke


RailCorp property boundaries as shown on vesting plan, RN29741.It should be noted that the original area of the railway station has been reduced, and that there is an historical and visual relationship with the surrounding area not necessarily apparent from the current property boundaries. As such, any proposed development within the vicinity of the railway station should also consider the historic relationship between the station site and its surrounding area.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
33 Richards StreetBourkeBourke  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Greta Railway Station Group is of state significance as an excellent example of a late 19th century station group with additional structures that demonstrates the expansion of the station at the time of duplication. The place exhibits layering of different periods and styles, largely due to duplication and the need for additional buildings at that time (c1914). The place displays a range of unaltered structures from various periods co-existing at one location including the original platform levels and station building from 1889. The footbridge, signs, lights, fencing, platform gravel and other details of the site add to the significance and completeness of the site and help create what is a unique small country railway station group.
Date significance updated: 11 Nov 09
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.


Designer/Maker: John Whitton (attributed)
Construction years: 1889-1915
Physical description: MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by RailCorp
Station Building: type 3, second-class (c1889)
Station Building: type 11(1915)
Station Master’s/parcels office (c1889)
Signal Box, type F (1915)
Platform and extension (1869; 1915)
Footbridge (1922)

Fencing; signs; lighting

Trees - up side

The main station building on the Up platform is a type 3, second class, rendered brick station building. It is a symmetrical structure with a corrugated, galvanised iron hipped roof. The platform awning is supported on decorative cast iron columns and brackets. A timber valance extends around the front of the awning. The awning to the passenger entry is a small hipped roof supported on stop-chamfered timber posts. The planning of the building is linear with a central booking room; waiting room; a ticket office to one side and ladies waiting room to the other. The male toilet is in a detached flat roof parapeted structure to one end. The interior contains original joinery and chimney pieces.

The adjacent brick building to the station building is a simple rectangular structure with gable roof clad in corrugated iron and simple lean-to verandah to the front. This is supported on timber posts. Its construction date is not known, but it appears to post date the construction of the station building, although most likely shortly thereafter. A plan of Greta station dated 1989 indicates that the structure is the station master’s office, however it cannot be ascertained that the building was always used for this purpose and RailCorp records suggest that it may have been used as a parcels office. It has intricately detailed barge boards surviving at one end. It is a one room structure with entry only from the platform.

The platform shelter on the down platform is a small, type 11 station building dating from the time of duplication. The platform shelter or waiting shed is of brick construction with a gabled corrugated iron roof with integral awning supported on simple curved brackets. Entrance to the waiting area is through a large opening. The structure has one window in the rear wall with small panes of coloured glass.

The signal box is a type F, consisting of a timber framed and weatherboard clad construction with a skillion roof of corrugated, galvanised iron. The building features large windows with multiple panes to two sides and a front entry door. This example is unusual in that it has an added front awning supported on 4 timber posts. It is most likely that this has been added after the time of construction.

The platforms are brick faced and consist of two levels, the original level constructed in c1869, with a surface of gravel, and a higher, modern level constructed at the time of duplication, c1914, with a bitumen surface.

The footbridge is constructed out of a steel frame, timber deck, newel posts and handrails, with strand wire infill. A tubular steel handrail has been added at a later stage. The footbridge was built at the time of duplication and connects the two platforms only. The form of the painted posts and rails is dominant in viewing the station complex and is unusual when compared to the more standard grey steel structures.

The fencing is timber. It is not certain if the fencing dates from the construction of the station buildings, it is most likely that it dates from 1913 at the time of duplication.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Moderate/ good condition.
Date condition updated:27 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: 1878 - Waiting shed built for £122.
1880 - Level crossing removed.
1880 - Platform extended.
1890 - Ladies waiting room converted into a lamp room, and the platform further extended.
1922 - Footbridge erected.
1973 - Tenders called for the removal of the goods shed.
1978 - Goods and Storage sidings removed.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Greta railway precinct is located on the Main North line, running from Sydney and extending north to the Queensland border, at the town of Wallangarra. The Main North Line (also known as the Great Northern Railway) runs through the Central Coast, Hunter and the New England regions. The line was the original main line between Sydney and Brisbane, however this required a change of gauge at Wallangarra. The line is now closed north of Armidale, and the main route between Brisbane and Sydney is now the North Coast line.

The single line from Lochinvar to Branxton opened on 24 March 1862. The construction contract for the Lochinvar to Singleton section was awarded to Peto, Brassey & Betts in December 1859. The station opened as Farthings on 6 September 1869 and was renamed Greta in 1878. The line was duplicated on 1 August 1915 (Forsyth, 2009).

A plan from 1889 shows the existing second-class brick station building and a detached toilet block wing. It comprises a central waiting room, booking office, ladies room, , and features a wide timber awning facing the railway lines. Modern photographs (2004) show that the building has remained relatively unaltered.

Major additions and changes to the railway precinct include the addition of a waiting shed in 1878, the removal of a level crossing in 1880, the extension of the platform in 1880 and 1890, the conversion of the ladies waiting room to a lamp room in the same year, and the construction of a footbridge in 1922. A goods shed and storage siding were also removed from the site in the 1970s (Forsyth, 2009).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Communication-Activities relating to the creation and conveyance of information Signalling and safe working-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Mining-Activities associated with the identification, extraction, processing and distribution of mineral ores, precious stones and other such inorganic substances. Transporting coal and minerals-
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 Building the railway network-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Evolution of design in railway engineering and architecture-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Railway gardens-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Greta railway precinct is significant for its historical values as a tangible link to the development of the Great Northern Railway (GNR) line during the 19th century as well as the development of the NSW railways. The GNR was an important achievement in transport and engineering within NSW. As the third main trunk rail route in NSW stretching from Sydney to the Queensland border, the line linked townships to one another as well as to Sydney leading to significant economic and social impacts for those individual townships as well as for NSW generally. The development of the NSW railways is illustrated at Greta through the buildings constructed between 1889 and 1915. Greta was an early railway station of the Great Northern Railway (GNR) line, which expanded in order to meet increased demands upon the railway.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The precinct has aesthetic values of a small, rural railway station complex typical of the late 19th to mid 20th century featuring the linear designed 1889, second class station building; the adjacent stationmaster’s/parcels office with verandah, and skillion roofed signal box with verandah. These buildings form a compact group that illustrates a once typical station arrangement at rural locations throughout NSW.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The site is of social significance to the local community on account of its lengthy association for providing an important source of employment, trade and social interaction for the local area. The site is significant for its ability to contribute to the local community’s sense of place, is a distinctive feature of the daily life of many community members, and provides a connection to the local community’s past.
SHR Criteria f)
The intactness and integrity of the 1889 station building is rare. The retention of the original platform levels at Greta is rare.
SHR Criteria g)
The 1889 station building has representative significance for being an excellent example of a second-class station building and combined with the other station elements to form a precinct that collectively demonstrates both 19th and early 20th Century railway customs, activities and design in NSW. The intactness and integrity of the precinct elements recommends the site as a good representative of similar items that are found in many other railway sites across the state.
Integrity/Intactness: The station buildings have a good level of integrity.
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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerSRA s.170 Register    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA180, SRA660 (footbridge)State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW199382Paul Davies for SRA  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 ORH  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenCottee, J.M2004Stations on the track: selected New South Wales country railway stations: an historical overview
WrittenMcKillop, R2009NSW Railways (RailCorp) Thematic History
WrittenReaders Digest2003Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Australian Places
WrittenState Rail Authority of NSW, Archives Section1993How and why of station names

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

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4801180

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