Vh004 : Railway Roundhouse | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Vh004 : Railway Roundhouse

Item details

Name of item: Vh004 : Railway Roundhouse
Primary address: Tusculum Road, Valley Heights, NSW 2777
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Tusculum RoadValley HeightsBlue Mountains   Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Because of its intact condition and because of the extreme rarity of roundhouses in the state (the most directly comparable is as far away as Goulburn), the complex is of state significance.
Date significance updated: 20 Mar 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.


Construction years: 1913-1913
Physical description: The semi-circular enclosed timber-framed section is clad with corrugated iron, with a central turntable for ten locomotives. The roof has a continuous gable dormer roof vent.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:20 Mar 00
Current use: Unused
Former use: Railway Roundhouse


Historical notes: Although the railway had reached Valley Heights in 1865 as the terminus of the first stage of construction, no halt was constructed until the powerful head of the NSW Treasury, Geoffrey Eagar had a private platform built in 1875 close to his country retreat, Wyoming, the old Valley Heights inn. In 1877 the platform became a public facility called The Valley, renamed Valley Heights in 1890. On the south side of the station there was a level crossing with a gatekeeper’s cottage on the east side of the line.

In 1902 duplication of the track had the usual effect of changing the station drastically, making it an island platform with new brick staation buildings which are still is use. The level crossing was replaced by an overbridge and the gatekeeper’s was demolished.

With the by-passing of the Glenbrook Tunnel by the second Glenbrook deviation, completed in 1913, it was decided to establish a locomotive depot at Valley Heights to replace the existing one at Poenrith. Accordingly the roundhouse, turntable and new offices and sidings were built in 1913, followed by a station-master’s residence and a night-officer’s house in 1914.

The roundhouse was closed in 1957 after electrification of the line, although electric locomotives continued to be stationed within the roundhouse yard. In 1993 the roundhouse was offered to the Railway Heritge Museum. Museum activities are still pending.

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]
Because of its intact condition and because of the extreme rarity of roundhouses in the state (the most directly comparable is as far away as Goulburn), the complex is of state significance.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
As one of the very few surviving railway roundhouses, the complex gives valuable information about the age of steam.
SHR Criteria f)
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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanLEP2005VH00407 Oct 05 122 
Heritage study VH004   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Blue Mountains Heritage Study1983VH004Croft & Associates Pty Ltd & Meredith Walker  Yes
Heritage Study Review, Blue Mountains1992VH004Tropman and Tropman  Yes
Blue Mountains Heritage Register Review1999VH004Jack, R. I. for University of SydneyRIJ & PH Yes
Technical Audit BM Heritage Register2008VH004Blue Mountains City CouncilCity Planning Branch No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenDavies, Paul1977Railway Architecture in New South Wales, 1890-1920
WrittenSearle, Allan1977Places of Historic Interest on the Lower Mountains
WrittenSingleton, C. C.1957Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, no 236, June
WrittenSingleton, C. C.1948Australasian Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin, Volume XXI, no. 134, December

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

(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: 1170350

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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