G025 : Knapsack Gully Viaduct, 1912 | NSW Environment & Heritage

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G025 : Knapsack Gully Viaduct, 1912

Item details

Name of item: G025 : Knapsack Gully Viaduct, 1912
Primary address: Great Western Highway, Glenbrook, NSW 2773
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Great Western HighwayGlenbrookBlue Mountains   Primary Address

Statement of significance:

This fine brick viaduct has high local significance as an essential component in the final stage in realigning the initial ascent of the Blue Mountains by rail. Its aesthetic significance is medium local, overshadowed, literally, by the towering achievement of the 1865 viaduct just to the north.
Date significance updated: 18 Feb 00
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Construction years: 1912-1912
Physical description: The second Knapsack viaduct is a 8 arch viaduct with a slight curvature spanning the Knapsack gully.

The construction is of brick with 8 course arches on brick pylons. A sandstone cornice is above the arches and the deck of the viaduct has brick balustrades.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good
Date condition updated:17 Jan 00
Modifications and dates: Links to late twentieth century trussed bridge over freeway at east end.
Current use: Railway viaduct
Former use: Railway viaduct

History

Historical notes: The original railway line built in 1863-7 crossed Knapsack Gully by one of the great viaducts of Australia (G 023). This viaduct led, however, to the Lapstone Zig Zag and its 1892 replacement, the Glenbrook Tunnel. The unsatisfactory nature of the tunnel led to reappraisal of the whole ascent of the escarpment above Emu Plains and an entirely new route was planned and built in 1911-13.

The east end of this major deviation called for a new crossing of Knapsack Gully, to the south of the 1865 stone viaduct. The new viaduct was built in brick, with eight arches, and was designed for double track from the outset, although it was envisaged that up-trains would continue to go down the Glenbrook Tunnel and across the 1865 viaduct.

The new viaduct was completed in 1912 and opened in May 1913. From 25 September 1913 onwards all trains, both up and down, were routed over the new viaduct and the 1865 viaduct was abandoned until it reopened for road traffic in 1926.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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]
This fine brick viaduct has high local significance as an essential component in the final stage in realigning the initial ascent of the Blue Mountains by rail. Its aesthetic significance is medium local, overshadowed, literally, by the towering achievement of the 1865 viaduct just to the north.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The second Knapsack viaduct is a good example of an early twentieth century viaduct, taking its design from the adjacent first Knapsack viaduct.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The design of the second Knapsack viaduct is a good example a viaduct continuing the ancient principles of viaduct construction.
Integrity/Intactness: High
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 PlanLEP2005G02507 Oct 05 122 
Heritage study G025   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Blue Mountains Heritage Study1983G025Croft & Associates Pty Ltd & Meredith Walker  Yes
Heritage Study Review, Blue Mountains1992G025Tropman and Tropman  Yes
Blue Mountains Heritage Register Review1999G025Jack, R. I. for University of SydneyRIJ & PH Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenSingleton, C. C.1956Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, No. 227, September

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: Local Government
Database number: 1170268


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