Asquith Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Asquith Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Asquith Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Haldane Street, Asquith, NSW 2077
Local govt. area: Hornsby

Boundary:

North: southern edge of the overbridge (excluding bridge); South: southern end of the platform; East: the property boundary at Haldane Street; West: the property boundary at the Pacific Highway.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Haldane StreetAsquithHornsby  Primary Address
Pacific HighwayAsquithHornsby  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Asquith Railway Station Group has local heritage significance as, like many railway stations, it supported the urban development of the local area. The station building has aesthetic significance for its small standard timber platform building, demonstrating the key characteristics of its type including gabled roof, continuous awning, timber cladding and lining. It is different from most of the station buildings on the Short North line constructed in the 1910s, which were generally larger brick standard designs. Modifications to the building have been sympathetic allowing it to retain its historic character which is further complemented by the surrounding mature landscape setting.
Date significance updated: 29 May 09
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: New South Wales Department of Railways
Builder/Maker: New South Wales Department of Railways
Physical description: Station Building, type 11 (1915)
Modern Platform Shelters
Platforms (1915)
Landscape

CONTEXT
Asquith Railway Station is located east of the Pacific Highway at Asquith. It has two platforms, one on either side of the tracks. Access to the platforms is via the adjacent roads and access between the platforms is via an overbridge north of the station. The station is located in a leafy setting, with numerous mature trees, both native & exotic, lining the street on either side of the station.

STATION BUILDING (1915)
The station building is located on the eastern platform, on the Up line. It is a small weatherboard single storey building with a gable roof in corrugated metal. It has a metal awning on cast iron brackets. This building retains original four panelled timber doors, timber-framed double-hung sash windows and destination board. It appears to be a modified 'type A3' standard design station, with the general waiting room infilled to create two separate rooms, accessed by doors from the platform. The building has also been extended in a matching style.

MODERN PLATFORM SHELTERS
Adjacent to the original building are additional modern platform shelters, similar to the awning of the building, with similar brackets and roof angle and wooden valance at the ends.
A similar shelter has been constructed on the western platform.

PLATFORMS (1915)
The platforms are roadside platforms either side of a major double suburban track. Platform 1 originally brickwork, laid in an English bond. Platform has been raised, with brick coping above earlier rendered coping. Extended towards city end at least twice in brickwork with corbelled coping. Weepholes partially covered. Galvanised steel services trough attached to face of wall. Tracks have been lowered to increase clearances. Platform 2 Platform originally steel rail post and concrete panel, with concrete cantilever coping. Coping has been cut back. The platforms have standard modern furniture, bins and fences. The light poles are decorative metal with later light fittings.
MOVABLE
Timber rollover indicator boards - one single and one double, all with clock faces and foot pedals.

LANDSCAPE
Group of mature large Turpentine trees and Smoothbark Angophora (to 16m). In nature strip and in station grounds (east side). Row of mature Brush Box trees (to 16m) from c1950s (from LEP listing).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station Building - Good
Platform - Good
Date condition updated:30 Jul 09
Modifications and dates: 1960: Electrification of the Hornsby-Gosford section. Some modifications were completed at Asquith to suit the electrification project.
1980s: Some improvements carried to other structures on the platforms.
N.d: Later upgrades to suit passenger facilities.
N.d: The down platform building demolished.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: Asquith Railway Station was opened on 1 November 1915. Asquith was opened as a passenger station on the Main Northern line, being located between Hornsby Junction (opened September 1886) and Mt. Colah Railway Station (originally named ‘Colah’) which had been opened on 1 July 1887. Asquith remains in service as a passenger station on the Northern line.

The Strathfield to Hornsby section of the Northern line was opened for traffic on 17 September 1886. The line was constructed as a ‘single line’ and Hornsby became the temporary terminus and remained so until the extension to Hawkesbury River was opened in 1887. The single-line section between Hornsby and Hawkesbury River was opened on 7 April 1887. Two intermediate stations were opened at the time (Colah and Berowra, with Colah later renamed Mount Colah). Duplication of the section between Hornsby and Hawkesbury River was completed by 1910.

Asquith Railway Station was named after British Prime Minister, Henry Herbert Asquith, Earl of Oxford and Asquith. The station was opened as a result of a land development by Messrs. R. Halloran & Co.

Duplication of the line between Hornsby and Hawkesbury River had been completed a few years earlier and consequently, Asquith was provided with two side platforms, one each for the Up line and the Down line. In contrast, the other stations on that section of the line (Mount Colah, Mount Ku-ring-gai and Berowra) had been provided with island platforms a few years earlier, but Asquith was the exception in the group between Hornsby and Berowra.

Electrification of the Hornsby-Gosford section was opened in 1960. The first stage of the project was the electrification of the Hornsby to Hawkesbury River section and this was completed in 1959. As part of this scheme, the platforms, overbridges, underbridge, footbridges and other structures were modified or rebuilt to accommodate the wide electric rollingstock, planned to operate between Hornsby and Cowan. Beyond Cowan, it was planned to use the new ‘narrower’ electric interurban rollingstock. Some modifications were completed at Asquith to suit the electrification project.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, most station buildings on the northern line between Hornsby and Newcastle were further rebuilt with modern materials, a result of the extension of electrification from Gosford to Newcastle.

The present station building at Asquith retains some of its original features (rusticated weatherboard). Some improvements have been carried to other structures on the platforms, mainly associated with the 1980s extensions to the electrification of the northern line and the later upgrades to suit passenger facilities. The down platform building was demolished.

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 Building the railway network-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Asquith Railway Station Group has local heritage significance under this criterion. It was a later addition to the Short North line, nearly 30 years after the line was constructed and although it doesn't have a historical association with the original construction of the Short North line like many railway stations, it supported the urban development of the local urban environment.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The site has aesthetic significance associated with the station building. The Asquith station building is a modified 'Type A3' timber building, demonstrating the key characteristics of its type including gabled roof, continuous awning, timber cladding and lining. It is different from most of the station buildings on the Short North line constructed in the 1910s, which were generally larger brick Type A8-10 standard buildings. An exception is Teralba station, although this has been severely compromised by later additions and no longer remains a good example of its type. Modifications to the building have been sympathetic allowing it to retain its historic character. The historic character of the station is further enhanced by the grouping of the station building, platforms, trees and overbridge. Although Asquith station is an uncommon station type in the Metro North region, there are six known examples in the Metropolitan network including Austinmer and Oatley. Asquith is therefore considered to have local aesthetic significance under this criterion.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The place has the potential to contribute to the local community's sense of place and can provide a connection to the local community's history.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The building and platforms are representative examples of standard railway structures built in NSW in the 1910s and 20s. Although the building type is relatively rare in the Northern Metro region, the station building is not an outstanding example of its type, due to later modifications and a resulting loss of integrity. Other examples of station buildings of this type remain with a higher level of integrity in the Metropolitan region, including Austinmer station.
Integrity/Intactness: The site has a moderate degree of integrity. One of the original roadside platform buildings has been demolished and replaced with a modern timber shelter, although it is in a sympathetic style to the remaining roadside station building. The building on the Up platform is original but has been modified with the open waiting room being infilled to create two new rooms. The work has been done in a sympathetic way, to retain the historic character of the station.
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:

1. Conservation principles: Conserve cultural heritage significance and minimise impacts on heritage values and fabric in accordance with the ‘Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance’. 2. Specialist advice: Seek advice from a qualified heritage specialist during all phases of a proposed project from feasibility, concept and option planning stage; detailed design; heritage approval and assessment; through to construction and finalisation. 3. Documentation: Prepare a Statement of Heritage Impact (SOHI) to assess, minimise and prevent heritage impacts as part of the assessment and approval phase of a project. Prepare a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) prior to proposing major works (such as new additions, change of use or proposed demolition) at all places of State significance and all complex sites of Local significance. 4. Maintenance and repair: Undertake annual inspections and proactive routine maintenance works to conserve heritage fabric in accordance with the ‘Minimum Standards of Maintenance & Repair’. 5. Movable heritage: Retain in situ and care for historic contents, fixtures, fittings, equipment and objects which contribute to cultural heritage significance. Return or reinstate missing features or relocated items where opportunities arise. 6. Aboriginal, archaeology and natural heritage: Consider all aspects of potential heritage significance as part of assessing and minimising potential impacts, including Aboriginal, archaeology and natural heritage. 7. Unidentified heritage items: Heritage inventory sheets do not describe or capture all contributory heritage items within an identified curtilage (such as minor buildings, structures, archaeology, landscape elements, movable heritage and significant interiors and finishes). Ensure heritage advice is sought on all proposed changes within a curtilage to conserve heritage significance. 8. Recording and register update: Record changes at heritage places through adequate project records and archival photography. Notify all changes to the Section 170 Heritage & Conservation Register administrator upon project completion.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerSRA s.170 Register    
Heritage studyTrees, Asquith Station and nature strip    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 NSW Department of Commerce  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenC. C. Singleton The Short North. The Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin. Various issues.
WrittenJohn Forsyth Line Histories
WrittenRay Love2009Historical Research for RailCorp s170 Update
WrittenState Rail Authority of New South Wales1995How and Why of Station Names. Fourth Edition

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: 4800188


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