Cowra Railway Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Cowra Railway Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Cowra Railway Precinct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Lynch Street, Cowra, NSW 2794
Parish: Cowra
County: Bathurst
Local govt. area: Cowra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Lynch StreetCowraCowraCowraBathurstPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Country Regional Network (CRN)Private 

Statement of significance:

The railway reached Cowra from Young in 1886 and by 1888 Cowra was linked to Blayney in the Central West of NSW, making Cowra a significant location along the first cross country line in NSW. The railway precinct at Cowra retains many extant features of a typical country railway station and yard including the standard roadside station building, signal box with gabled roof, Railway Institute building, water column, water tanks, footbridge, and turntable. The roundhouse, although less intact and less significant than other roundhouses in NSW, remains one of a small number of extant roundhouses in the state. The Institute building is one of a small number of extant railway institute buildings in NSW. It has a high level of social significance, illustrating the importance and role of the railways not only as an employer but also as a provider of entertainment, social activities and education for employees and their families. Another significant feature at Cowra is the war memorial located adjacent to the roundhouse. It is one of few extant war memorials in NSW that specifically commemorate railway employees killed in either or both world wars, and is possibly the only such memorial of its type in NSW (most other memorials to railway employees are plaques attached to the wall of a station building rather than a stand alone monument). (SHI database no. 4280333, Cowra LEP 2012 listing no. I9, SHI no. 1122)
Date significance updated: 07 Nov 16
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

Physical description: The area covered by the listing boundary includes the standard roadside station building (1886), signal box with gabled roof (1937), residence at 32 Brougham St (1886), Railway Institute building (c1886), the locomotive depot precinct to the south which includes the roundhouse, war memorial, water tanks, footbridge, and turntable. Other features include the, gardens/landscaping, and platform signs.Railway Station Building:Complex and substantially modified form. Painted terracotta asymmetrical brick building with corrugated iron clad hipped roof with three transverse gables and gablet details. Decorative timber bargeboards, gablet vents, finials and pendants, and vents under eaves at gable ends. Four painted brick chimneys. Concrete detailing (lintels, sills and plinth) Projecting central portico entrance with corrugated iron hipped verandah either side, extended to the south with simple timber posts and decorative cast iron lacework brackets (south only). Pebblecrete floor of verandah with painted dark brown square profile timber posts and cream cast iron lacework. Combination of hipped, skillion and flat roof extensions to north. Originally separate south pavilion (joined to main building) has a corrugated iron gable roof with lantern. Timber and corrugated iron roof platform awning with steel arched supports and cast iron Corinthian posts with decorative lacework brackets. Corrugated iron awnings over windows. No platform furniture. Metal bars on windows. Brick platform face with asphalt surface. (GML, 2016)District Locomotive Engineer's Office (DLE):Single–storey building with square floor plan, central fireplace and four main areas including offices, conference room, meal room and kitchen. Building measures approximately 12 x 12m. Fabric consists of corrugated iron roof, timber floors covered with linoleum, external weatherboard walls. Interior walls are also weatherboard and ceiling is timber. Chimney and fireplace surrounds are of brick construction. (GML, 2016)Amenities Building:Single-storey rectangular building measuring 17 x 5m. Layout consists of five main spaces including meal room, wash room, toilets, showers and laundry. Corrugated asbestos roof sheeting, hardwood flooring in the large meal room, and concrete slab flooring elsewhere. Exterior walls consist of weatherboard from ground to waist-level and fibrous cement sheets to the roof eaves. Ceiling and interior walls are fibrous cement sheeting. Building in very poor condiiton (GML, 2016).Signal Box: Terracotta painted single room structure with corrugated iron skillion roof. Water tank and column at Station: One type 3 Tank on a rare Type O brick stand with internal cavity. The tank sits on I beams. (Extent, 2016)Water Tanks at Depot: two Type 3 Tanks on Type D Stands (stands no longer extant). One tank features a manufacturers plate, "Albion Engine Works, 1887, Davy and Sands Founders, Pyrmont Sydney" Former Station Masters Residence (not in heritage curtilage): Located at the Brougham Street level crossing, the residence is described as a Type 3, however it appears to have been heavily modified and no longer exhibits the square footprint and pyramidal roof form. It was constructed in 1886 concurrent with the railway station building almost 1km north. The property is currently tenanted by a resident with historical connections with Cowra Railway Station.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station building: Good (GML, 2016) - Some minor evidence of timber decay from earlier termite damage otherwise well maintained and intact.)The water tank at the station precinct is in fair condition. Locomotive depot (including roundhouse and surrounds): good, leased by Lachlan Valley Railway; roundhouse roof repaired in 2007.Crane and most other yard elements: fair; weighbridge and hut: poor.Residence: good; tenanted.Water tanks at depot are in poor condition. They have been removed from their steel stands. The timber stands have been dismantled and remain on site but are in extremely poor condition and not appropriate for reinstatement. Tanks are corroded and have plant growth throughout.
Date condition updated:07 Nov 16
Modifications and dates: Station Building assessed as having medium physical integrity (GML, 2016) - Modifications include substantial alterations to openings for doors and windows [unsympathetic] and replacement doors. Modified from original form, with transverse gable extension and joining pavilion. Extended to the north for refreshment room. Evidence of placement of former luggage scales, no platform furniture. Windows are boarded up.The water tanks at the Cowra Locomotive depot were removed from their stands some time in the recent past, around early 2000s. (Extent 2016)
Further information: Locomotive depot and station building are leased to Lachlan Valley Railway.Significance Assessment:SHR Criteria a)[Historical significance] Cowra is significant as one of the main rail locations on the first cross country line in NSW, with the cross country line linking the Southern and Western lines in the late 19th century. SHR Criteria c)[Aesthetic significance] The station buildings form an aesthetically significant ensemble and near complete group of buildings. SHR Criteria d)[Social significance] The Institute building is one of few remaining railway institute buildings in NSW. It has a high level of social significance, illustrating the importance and role of the railways not only as an employer but also as a provider of entertainment, social activities and education for employees and their families. SHR Criteria f)[Rarity] The roundhouse, although less intact and less significant than other roundhouses in NSW, remains one of a small number of extant roundhouses in the state. The Institute building is one of few remaining railway institute buildings in NSW. Another significant feature is the war memorial, one of few extant war memorials built to commemorate railway employees killed in the first or second world wars. Integrity/Intactness: The Cowra Railway Precinct retains a good level of intactness, revealing many features of a typical railway yard in a medium sized country location.
Current use: The Railway Station is used by the community as meeting/social rooms.Depot currently used as the Lachlan Valley Heritage Rail museum.The Gatekeepers Cottage at 34 Brougham Street is currently leased as a residence.
Former use: Operational railway station, goods yard and locomotive depot

History

Historical notes: A contract for construction of the line from Demondrille to Cowra was let to J.S. Robertson & Co. in February 1885 with the line opening as single track on 1.11.1886. In addition to the 1886 station building, other early buildings or structures at Cowra included a wool loading stage (1891), carriage shed (1896), water column (taken from the old Redfern Station, 1907) and the installation of a boiler for heating foot warmers (1910). In 1910, a branch line from Cowra to Canowindra opened (later extended to Eugowra). Later additions at Cowra included the District Inspector’s office in 1916, refreshment rooms (1917), and the Railway Institute building (1921). The station closed on 25 November 1989 with services suspended from Blayney in December 1989 and from Noonbinna (South) in March 1992 (Cottee, 2004; SRA, 1993).

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Cowra is significant as one of the main rail locations on the first cross country line in NSW, with the cross country line linking the Southern and Western lines in the late 19th century.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The station buildings form an aesthetically significant ensemble and near complete group of buildings.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Institute building is one of few remaining railway institute buildings in NSW. It has a high level of social significance, illustrating the importance and role of the railways not only as an employer but also as a provider of entertainment, social activities and education for employees and their families.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The roundhouse, although less intact and less significant than other roundhouses in NSW, remains one of a small number of extant roundhouses in the state. The Institute building is one of few remaining railway institute buildings in NSW. Another significant feature is the war memorial, one of few extant war memorials built to commemorate railway employees killed in the first or second world wars.
Integrity/Intactness: The Cowra Railway Precinct retains a good level of intactness, revealing many features of a typical railway yard in a medium sized country location.
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
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenJ.M. Cottee2004Stations on the track
WrittenState Rail Authority of New South Wales, 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: 3150060


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