Railway Timber Viaduct | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Railway Timber Viaduct

Item details

Name of item: Railway Timber Viaduct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Bridge/ Viaduct
Primary address: Ryan Street, South Grafton, NSW 2460
Local govt. area: Clarence Valley


The timber viaduct and associated park containing hardwood plantings.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Ryan StreetSouth GraftonClarence Valley  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

This timber viaduct is historically significant showing construction methods in 1915. These viaducts are representative of many such structures built to support the North Coast Rail Line and show the use of Australian hardwoods. It is one of only a few surviving elements demonstrating the railway heritage of South Grafton, a heritage which was most important in the economic growth of this town. It will also have social significance to those member of the community who lobbied to have this part of the span saved in 1995.
Date significance updated: 06 May 08
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.


Builder/Maker: RTA
Physical description: Three timber spans of the railway viaduct are located adjacent to the new concrete viaduct in a local park off Ryan Street. The spans have been left in situ and show the curve of the line as it approached South Grafton Railway Station. The adjacent park contains plantings of hardwood species linking the viaduct to the timber industry. An adjacent sign tells the history of the viaduct and the site.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:24 Nov 06
Current use: Tourist attraction
Former use: Railway viaduct


Historical notes: From the sign erected near the viaduct we learn that this viaduct was in use from 12/10/1915 until 30/4/1995 and that it is representative of the many similar structures that once existed on the North Coast Railway line. It was constructed using the "Royal Species" - hardwoods who natural qualities of strength and durability ensured a period of long usage.

The Hon. Laurie Brereton MP Minister for Transport opened the new viaduct on the 5th May 1995 . It was funded under A One Nation Project and built by the National Rail Corp. Ltd.

The local community lobbied to have some of the spans preserved as a reminder of the importance of the timber industry and the development of the railway on the northern coast of NSW.

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 Rail-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
It is historically significant showing the importance of the railway to the growth and development of South Grafton.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The viaduct has the potential to reveal information about building methods and the use of Australian timbers.
SHR Criteria f)
A rare surviving element of railway heritage, a heritage which was most important for the economc growth of South Grafton.
SHR Criteria g)
It is representative of the many similar structures which were built along the North Coast railway.
Integrity/Intactness: Largely 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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  10 Jun 11 2011-272 
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Section 170 Register1997 State Rail Authority  No
Grafton Community Heritage Study2004 J. Gardiner  Yes

References, internet links & images


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: 1640524

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