Central Railway Station Group Including Buildings, Station Yard, Viaducts and Bu | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Central Railway Station Group Including Buildings, Station Yard, Viaducts and Bu

Item details

Name of item: Central Railway Station Group Including Buildings, Station Yard, Viaducts and Bu
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Location: Lat: -33.8829018914842 Long: 151.205409920674
Primary address: , Haymarket, NSW 2000
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
 HaymarketSydney  Primary Address
Eddy AvenueHaymarketSydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

The Central Railway Station Terminus forms a landmark feature at the southern end of Central Sydney. It is a vast structure of particular architectural merit located to dominate its surroundings. It is the only true terminus building in Australia preventing further extension of rail lines and is significant as one of the largest covered public spaces in the city. It is one of the finest examples of the classically inspired Beaux Arts style in Railway buildings in Australia. It has historic significance as being an important design of the Colonial Architect Walter Liberty Vernon. It was one of the first major rail termini to be constructed in Australia and has had a lengthy association with rail transport in New South Wales and with a variety of historically important persons. It has scientific significance for its unique use in New South wales (and probably in Australia), of the three pin truss to the porte-cochere for the trams, which was similar to the Galerie des Machines in Paris. It is significant for the multi level segregation of trams, trains and vehicular traffic. It was reputed to be the first large scale use of reinforced concrete slab construction in New South Wales. The building is socially significant as a purpose built railway terminus demonstrating the growth and change of transport, and as an important symbol for the social history of the nation.

Central Railway Station Yard is associated with the introduction of railways to New South Wales. The Central Railway Station Yard is significant for its part in the distribution of produce from regional New South Wales. It was one of the largest planned interventions undertaken in the urban fabric of Sydney prior to World War One. The Yard has significance for its association with the development of Central Railway Station and with a variety of historically important persons in New South Wales. It has historic significance as an important design of the Railways Engineer, H Dearne. Central Railway Station Yard has scientific significance as part of one of the few true railway termini to prevent further extension of rail lines in Australia. The Yard is significant for the part it played in the growth and development of commerce and industry in New South Wales.

Central Railway Station Viaducts are significant as part of the Central Railway Station, and are associated with the introduction of railways to New South Wales. The Viaducts are significant for their association with the now decommissioned tramways and as part of one of the largest planned interventions undertaken in the urban fabric of Sydney prior to World War One. The Viaducts have historic significance as an important part of the design of Railways Engineer, H Dearne, as well as for its association with a variety of other historically important persons. The Viaducts have aesthetic significance forming part of the landmark feature of the Sydney Terminus, and are representative as part of a form of transportation used in the early nineteenth century.
Date significance updated: 06 Dec 05
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

Designer/Maker: W L Vernon (Government Architect); H. Dearne (Railways Engineer)
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Construction years: 1855-1901
Physical description: Central Railway Station Yard is located south of the Devonshire Street Tunnel extending to the Cleveland Street bridge, between the Central Electric and Western Yard Precincts. The Yard connects to the passenger platforms of the Sydney Terminal which are as originally designed and built. Major items from its period as a steam locomotive hauled train yard have been removed, however the concrete plinths of the water columns between each track remain. There is only one 'yard controller' remaining within the Yard. The Yard slopes down the hill to the Cleveland Street bridge. The yard is generally made up of railway sidings and has few remaining original structures. The most significant structures are found in the Western Yard and include the Mortuary Station, the Parcel Dock the West Carriage Shed. Its function as a shunting facility has been greatly reduced due to the introduction of rail car sets and the removal of the eastern carriage shed. The land where the shed once stood is vacant and the only remaining structures adding to this division of the yard are the Cleaners Amenities and the former Timetable Office with garden.

The Yards are still functioning and maintained in operating condition. The original 1906 track layout to Platforms 1-15 has remained unchanged. The Yard has been altered significantly since the Eastern Carriage Shed was demolished. Category:Group of Buildings. Style:NA. Storeys:NA. Sprinkler System:No.

The Central Terminus sandstone building was designed in the Beaux Arts style by the Government Architect, Walter Liberty Vernon. Its dominant location and elevated siting permits use of the topography to gain road access to several levels, enabling the development of an extensive subterranean luggage network, the separation of modes of transport, and commercial space. It is a classically inspired Beaux Arts building consisting of a sandstone and brick structure organised in a "U" form that encloses a steel framed Main Hall and platforms. The interior of the Hall features a skylight barrel vaulted steel truss roof, clad with corrugated iron. The internal brick walls are banded and the asymmetric arrangement of archways and ticket office entries have sandstone entablatures, pilasters and Gibbs surrounds. Access to the Hall is from the east and west through barrel vaulted entries with coffered ceilings and horizontal banding similar to that of the Main Hall. Central Terminal now contains seven double platforms and one single platform, each with an awning, servicing a total of fifteen tracks. It demonstrates innovative functional organisation, and unique use of three pin truss to porte-cochere for the trams. Category:Group of Buildings; Individual Building. Style:Federation Free Classical / Beaux Arts. Storeys:3. Facade:Sandstone. Side/Rear Walls:Sandstone. Internal Walls:Face brick, sandstone.. Roof Cladding:Corrugated steel sheeting. Internal Structure:Reinf. conc. column & beam, steel column & truss.. Floor:Reinf. conc., terrazzo.. Roof:Steel trusses, steel framing.. Ceilings:Susp. plasterbd.. Stairs:A series of escalators and reinforced concrete stairs access the main hall level from street level and metropolitan lines.. Sprinkler System:Yes. Lifts:Modern lifts installed.

The Viaducts are modelled in a Federation Free Classical style, and located to the north of the Central Railway Station Complex, connecting the station's porte-cochere with Belmore Park. These are former tramways, previously connected to a network of tram lines. Because of the station's height above street level, the viaducts ramp from Hay Street to the level of the main assembly platform of the Station. There are two Viaducts which include the arrival ramp and the departure ramp arranged in an elongated 'U' form encircling Belmore Park. The Viaducts are suspended above King Street and Eddy Avenue. The viaducts feature arched rusticated sandstone abutments supporting reinforced concrete barrel vaulting with sandstone retaining walls to Belmore Park and shops under on Eddy Avenue. The vaulting is surmounted by a projecting sandstone entablature and carved sandstone balusters. At street level the ramps feature trachyte and sandstone kerbing, and a number of painted cast iron balusters formerly separating pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

The Viaducts are still functioning and maintained in operating condition. They have remained unchanged since they were originally laid out in 1906. Category:Other Feature. Style:Federation Free Classical. Storeys:N/A. Facade:Sandstone, reinf. conc.. Side/Rear Walls:Sandstone, reinf. conc.. Sprinkler System:No.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Generally the building and associated structures are in good condition. The exterior walls have not been significantly altered and remain on the whole in their original condition. The interior spaces have undergone several stages of alteration and modernisation resulting in inconsistent detailing..AirConditioned:Yes FireStairs: Intrusive Elements:Interior fitouts of the offices, fitout and materials of the kiosks, fibreglass seating and plant boxes.
Date condition updated:06 Dec 05
Modifications and dates: Terminus: 1901, 1915

Yard: from 1855

Viaducts: 1901
Further information: Terminus:
High Significance:Form, material and detailing of the Terminus building including; the booking hall, main assembly platform, former refreshment rooms, former waiting rooms, left luggage area, basement service area, office accommodation (upper levels), colonnade, porte-cochere, awning and clocktower. Medium Significance:Electric Station Platforms and interchange. Low Significance:Reproduction joinery, modern alterations and shop fitouts to concourse and lower concourse areas, furniture and fittings to booking office, bar and cafe, computerised arrival and departure notices.

Yard:
High Significance:Configuration of platforms 1-15, associated awnings, extension of assembly platform. Medium Significance:Sydney Yard: Cleaners Office, Prince Alfred Sewer. Central Electric: Northern concourse, Elizabeth St entry, Eddy Ave entry, Eddy Ave ramp, above ground platforms, flyovers. Country Platforms: Devonshire St tunnel skylights, goods lifts, 'hand' signs on platform awnings, cast iron downpipes and drains, hardwood buffer.

Viaducts:
High Significance:Sandstone retaining wall with engaged piers to Pitt Street, Eddy Avenue bridge to arrival ramp, and Eddy Avenue bridge to departure ramp. Medium Significance:Battered earth slopes of arrival and departure ramps to Belmore Park.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Railway Station

History

Historical notes: The "Eora people" was the name given to the coastal Aborigines around Sydney. Central Sydney is therefore often referred to as "Eora Country". Within the City of Sydney local government area, the traditional owners are the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora. There is no written record of the name of the language spoken and currently there are debates as whether the coastal peoples spoke a separate language "Eora" or whether this was actually a dialect of the Dharug language. Remnant bushland in places like Blackwattle Bay retain elements of traditional plant, bird and animal life, including fish and rock oysters.

With the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today. All cities include many immigrants in their population. Aboriginal people from across the state have been attracted to suburbs such as Pyrmont, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe and Redfern since the 1930s. Changes in government legislation in the 1960s provided freedom of movement enabling more Aboriginal people to choose to live in Sydney.

(Information sourced from Anita Heiss, "Aboriginal People and Place", Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani )

In 1855 railways were introduced to New South Wales. Initial construction of the network was undertaken by a private company and subsequently by the government. Rail networks were appearing in Victoria at the same time albeit using different technology and standards. Development of the Sydney Yards commenced in the same year and was one of the first two yards in Australia. Extensive workshop facilities were established to enable repair of locomotives. Since the late 1880's the working function of the Sydney Yards has gradually been transferred, initially to Eveleigh, and further afield during the twentieth century. The focus of goods handling was transferred from the eastern to the western side of the site following the erection of the main terminus and then later the Parcels Office. The construction of the Darling Harbour Branch Line and the establishment of an extensive area for goods storage and transfer, indicates the importance the Sydney Yards in the distribution of produce from regional New South Wales. The majority of the working yard area disappeared with the construction of the City Electric lines, however a small pocket remains along the boundary of the Prince Alfred Park.

Much debate from the 1880's through to 1897 over the extension of the railway line further into the centre of the city, culminated in a rail terminal being located in Redfern at the corner of Devonshire Street. In 1897 because of dangerous congestion at Redfern, the New South Wales Parliamentary Standing Committee proposed to move the Terminal to the northern side of Devonshire Street. Initial designs for the railway terminus were prepared by Henry Deane, who was reputed to have prepared over ten schemes before the Royal Commission decided on the site. The Public Works Department passed the design in June 1900, although a much modified building was eventually designed by Government Architect W L Vernon. After the removal of graves from the existing Devonshire Street Cemetery, preliminary works began. These were completed in 1902 and commemorated by a foundation stone laid by the Hon. E.W. Sullivan, Secretary for Public Works. Work on the stone piers for the tramway approach began and the following year the Hon. Sir John See laid the foundation stone for the clock tower which was to be built at a later stage. By 1906 only the booking hall, concourse, basement, north, west and east facades and temporary roof were completed due to a lack of funding. Nevertheless, it opened to the public in June, 1906. Later that year the old and new station's lines were connected and the old station was demolished. In 1915 the second construction phase began under G. McRae of the Government Architect's Branch, involving extensions to the north and west wings and the clock tower. By 1918 the stonework had been completed on the north and west wings. The clocktower structure was constructed of reinforced concrete. The building was completed in 1921. In the mid 1920's suburban lines were electrified and Platforms 16-23 were constructed. The Central Electric Station was completed in 1929.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Central Railway Terminus was the first major rail terminus to be constructed in Australia, and has a lengthy association with rail transport in New South Wales. It has significance for its association with a variety of historically important persons. It also has historic significance as being an important design of the Government Architect's office.

The Yard is associated with the introduction of railways to New South Wales, one of the largest planned interventions undertaken in the urban fabric of Sydney prior to the First World War. It has historic significance for its part in the rural development of the state. It has association with a variety of historically important persons, including Railways Engineer, H. Dearne.

The Viaducts are associated with the introduction of railways to New South Wales, one of the largest planned interventions undertaken in the urban fabric of Sydney prior to the First World War. The Viaducts were also associated with the now decommissioned tramways. They have historic significance as an important design of Railways Engineer, H Dearne, and for their association with a variety of other historically important persons.

Has historic significance at a State level.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Sydney Terminus has scientific significance as it is one of the few true terminus buildings to prevent further extension of rail lines in Australia. The use of the three pin truss to the porte-cochere for the trams, was similar to the Galerie des Machines in Paris. It is constructed on the site of the Devonshire Street cemetery and therefore has archaeological potential. Has aesthetic significance at a State level. Cultural:The Sydney Terminus forms a landmark feature, as a vast structure of particular architectural merit located to dominate its surroundings. The design of Central Station is equivalent in scale and character to international examples built at the turn of the century. The influence of overseas precedent can be seen in the form and layout of the building. The building is significant as a design of the Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon.

Central Railway Station Yard has scientific significance as part of one of the few true railway termini to prevent further extension of rail lines. Has aesthetic significance at a State level. Cultural:The Yard forms part of the landmark feature of the Sydney Terminus. In scale and character the design of Central Station and the surrounding yard and facilities is equivalent to international examples built at the turn of the century.

The Viaducts form part of the landmark feature of the Sydney Terminus, a vast structure which dominates its surroundings.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
It is significant as a purpose built railway terminus demonstrating the growth and change of the transport, and as an important symbol for the social history of the nation. Has social significance at a State level.The Sydney Terminus forms a landmark feature, as a vast structure of particular architectural merit located to dominate its surroundings. The design of Central Station is equivalent in scale and character to international examples built at the turn of the century. The influence of overseas precedent can be seen in the form and layout of the building. The building is significant as a design of the Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon.

The Yard is associated with the introduction of railways to New South Wales and with the earlier Redfern railway terminus. Has social significance at a State level. Has social significance locally.The Yard forms part of the landmark feature of the Sydney Terminus. In scale and character the design of Central Station and the surrounding yard and facilities is equivalent to international examples built at the turn of the century.

The Viaducts are associated with the introduction of railways to New South Wales and also with tramline and vehicular transport to and from Central Railway Station. Has social significance at a State level. Has social significance locally.The Viaducts form part of the landmark feature of the Sydney Terminus, a vast structure which dominates its surroundings.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
There are few other precedents for the multi level segregation of trams, trains and vehicular traffic. It is reputed to be the first large scale use of reinforced concrete slab construction in New South Wales. The Hall is one of the largest covered public spaces in the city. Is rare at a State level.

The Yard is significant as one of the largest planned interventions undertaken in the urban fabric of Sydney prior to World War One. It is significant as the largest working railway yard in New South Wales.

The Viaducts are significant as part of the infrastructure of the Central Railway complex. Is rare at a State level.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The Terminus is representative of an international style of building used for public rail transport at the turn of the century.

The yard is representative of the part played in the growth and development of commerce and industry in New South wales.

The Viaducts are representative for their association with forms of transport used in the early twentieth century.
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.

Recommended management:

General: The existing conservation plan should be updated as required and used to guide future use and maintenance of the place. The form, and scale of the building, and detailing of the external facades should be conserved. Other uses may be acceptable in office and administration areas provided significant fabric is not compromised. Surfaces never intended for painting , notably sandstone, should remain unpainted, while surfaces such as timber or render which were originally painted should continue to be painted in appropriate colours. Exterior: Surviving significant fabric of the Terminus building and the configuration of the main facades should be conserved. This fabric includes the colonnade, porte-cochere, awning, clocktower, neoclassical detailed sandstone, brickwork to eastern facade, joinery, etched or lead light glazing, cast iron rain water heads bearing the year and the initials NSW GR, and arched entrances to the main assembly platform. Early fabric which has been damaged or concealed by later work, should be restored. Window and door openings should not be enlarged or filled in and any replacements should be to the original detail. Intrusive elements such as the fibreglass furniture should be removed. Interior: Significant features such as the original ceiling, oeil-de-boeuf windows, archways to side passages, porte cochere and main assembly platforms, sandstone consol brackets, ashlar work, marble dado, leadlight windows and joinery, stairs to strongroom, and replica heavy panel doors of the Booking Hall, should all be conserved. The Whitton bust and configuration of the Main Assembly Hall should also be conserved. Remaining features of refreshment room (hidden behind modern panelling), and the 1952 fittout of the Railway Bar should be conserved. The marble staircase and clock machinery of the Clocktower should be retained. Internal alterations to the office areas may be acceptable provided they do not adversely impact on significant features. The building should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement, or a Conservation Management Plan, should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. There shall be no vertical additions to the building and no alterations to the fa├žade of the building other than to reinstate original features. The principal room layout and planning configuration as well as significant internal original features including ceilings, cornices, joinery, flooring and fireplaces should be retained and conserved. Any additions and alterations should be confined to the rear in areas of less significance, should not be visibly prominent and shall be in accordance with the relevant planning controls.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I82414 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City
WrittenAWT Ensight1995 
WrittenBrian McDonald2000 
WrittenDavid Sheedy1999Heritage Impact Assessment
WrittenDavid Sheedy1993Heritage report
WrittenGodden Mackay, Clive Lucas1997Heritage Impact Assessment
WrittenHoward Tanner1996Heritage Impact Assessment
WrittenMcDonald & McPhee1993Heritage Impact Assesment
WrittenNoel Bell Ridley Smith1997Heritage Impact Assessment
WrittenPWD1995Central Station Conservation Management Plan
WrittenTrueman & Ludlow1995Heritage report

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: 2424249


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