Lidcombe Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Lidcombe Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Lidcombe Railway Station Group
Other name/s: Haslams Creek; Rookwood
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Railway St, Olympic Drive, Lidcombe, NSW 2141
Local govt. area: Auburn

Boundary:

North: Property boundary to Church StreetSouth: Property boundary to Railway Street East: 5 metres from end of the sprint platform to Olympic Park (including the Signal Box located approximately 100m to the east of Platform 4-5, and the Overbridge between Church Street and Railway Street located approximately 10 m to the east of Platform 2-3)West: 5 metres from end of platform
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Railway St, Olympic DriveLidcombeAuburn  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Lidcombe Railway Station is historically significant at a local level as a station established during the first phase of NSW railway construction in the 1850s, with the station opening in 1858 as part of the Main South Line. The station is also associated historically with Rookwood Cemetery from 1867 (with the station being named 'Rookwood' for a period between 1878 and 1914) and the Sydney Meat Preserving Company (from 1871), which stimulated an increased need for transport to the area. Significant upgrade works followed in 188 and the main building complex still present at the station is historically significant in its ability to demonstrate this phase of development, with the platform station buildings being representative of standard design ‘third class’ station buildings typical of the late 1880s period of railway design.

The station is aesthetically significant at a local level in demonstrating architectural features of the 1880s period of railway architecture, as well as the subsequent 1924 additions associated with the quadruplification of the line. The 1881 station buildings and 1924 additions are generally intact externally, though the station group has been impacted on by modern developments that have resulted in the loss of some historical station components and the addition of modern structures.
The station is also important historically as a major railway junction, with a new line to Regents Park constructed in 1912, and it continues in this role, with a new platform constructed during the 1997 upgrade for provision of services for the new Olympic Park line.

The extant signal box dates from the 1924 phase of development and contributes to the understanding of the requirements for safe working and railway signalling required at this time and is representative of a standard 1920s signal box design. However the box is no longer operational and has been refurbished internally with signalling equipment removed, reducing its ability to demonstrate its previous function.
Date significance updated: 06 Jul 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: NSW Government Railways
Builder/Maker: NSW Government Railways
Construction years: 1881-1997
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Platform Building, Platform 2/3 (Type 4) (1881, 1924)
Former toilet block, Platform 2/3 (1880)
Platform Building, Platform 4/5- Type 4 (1881, 1924)
Overhead Booking Office & Station Concourse, (1998)
Signal Box, (1924)

STRUCTURES
Canopies: on Platform 0-4, (1998) - Platform 5, (2008)
Platforms: Platform 0, (1998) - Platform 1, (1924) - Platform 2/3, (1881) - Platform 4, (1881) - Platform 5, (2008)
Pedestrian footbridge, (1998)
Overbridge- Church Street and Railway Street, (1923)

CONTEXT
Lidcombe Railway Station is entered from Railway Street to the South via the lifts or stairs on to the overbridge. Access is also from Church Street to the north via the lifts or stairs on to the overbridge (with ramped access from the road directly onto Platform 1). To both the north and south of the station is a commercial area and shopping precinct.

PLATFORM BUILDING- Platform 2/3 (1881)
External: the ‘Third Class’ station building is a rectangular brick building with a central waiting room and rooms to either end. Previously symmetrical, the building was extended in 1924 to the eastern end. All the brickwork is painted. The building has a simple gable roof form, with original chimneys at both ends. The building has awnings on either side of the platforms. The side of the building facing Platform 2, has a cantilever awning with standard double bowed steel brackets supported on decorative cement corbels with bolt fixings into the brick walls. The awning is integrated with the gable roof of the building. The awning to the side of the building facing Platform 3 is a veranda style awning, extending from below the line of the eaves, with timber beams (with stop chamfer detailing) and purlins supported by simple round cast iron columns. This awning only extends along the length of the waiting room. The roofing material for both the awnings and the roof is corrugated steel which has replaced the original corrugated galvanised iron roofing. The building has some original timber panelled doors and varying sizes of timber, double hung multi-paned windows. Some of the doors have been fitted with steel security grilles. Modern services and conduits have been fixed to the brickwork and awning structure.

Internal: The building comprises of a control room, a waiting room, a server room and public toilets. The control room at the western end of the building has some original extant fabric including a fireplace surround, cast iron air vents, original windows, architraves and doors (with modern security grilles). It has vinyl flooring, modern fixtures and fittings and a suspended ceiling that contains within it an asbestos ceiling. The waiting room area has original doors and ceiling lining boards.

FORMER TOILET BLOCK- Platform 2/3 (c.1880)
External: The building at the eastern end of the platform is a former toilet block and is a simple painted brick building with a parapet with classical cornice and frieze detailing and a flat roof with raised ventilation section to the centre.

Internal: The building is currently used as a technician’s office and has a modern fitout internally.

PLATFORM BUILDING- Platform 4/5 (1881)
External: the building on Platform 4/5 is a ‘Third Class’ station building like the building on Platform 2/3. Built and altered at the same time the construction, details and features of the two buildings are more or less alike. They have the same gable roofs, timber double hung windows, panelled doors and veranda style awnings. The northern wall of the waiting room of the building has been removed to allow access to the newly constructed Platform 5 and is supported by a painted steel structure. There is a new cantilevered awning over Platform 5. Some of the doors have been fitted with steel security grilles and air-conditioning units have been fixed through the top sash of the window on the north elevation. Modern services and conduits have been fixed to the brickwork and awning structure.

Internal: the building has a control room, a waiting room, an office and public toilets. The room at the eastern end of the building has some original extant fabric including pressed metal ceilings and cornice, skirtings, a fireplace surround, original windows, doors and architraves. There is some termite damage to timber mouldings and the floor has been recently replaced. The public toilet has a modern fitout and is currently out of service due to plumbing issues. The waiting room has original ceiling lining boards. The control room has a modern fitout internally.

OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE & STATION CONCOURSE (1998)
The overhead booking office and the station concourse are contemporary structures and have modern exteriors and interiors with corrugated metal cladding and ceramic tiling. Disabled access and staff facilities to the southern end of the station were improved in c.2006. These building works were affected by fire soon after completion and remain out of commission.

SIGNAL BOX (1924)
External: the building comprises of two parts, a rectangular base at the ground level, which is five bays long and is constructed of precast concrete, and a timber framed, fibre cement clad structure at the first floor level. The base has engaged piers that define the bays and original windows with rendered sills, overhanging lintels and security grilles fitted to the exterior. Access to the ground floor level is from the western side. The first floor structure has typical chamfered plan details to the corners and it sits on a precast concrete slab and is approximately three bays long in comparison to the base. It has balconies with steel tubular balustrade to its east and west and timber framed multi-paned sliding casement windows with security grilles to the exterior. The signal box has a hipped roof with terracotta tiles, overhanging eaves with fibre cement sheet linings to soffits. Plain timber posts support the north-east, north-west and south-east corners of the roof.

Internal: The ground floor has set plaster finish to the perimeter walls and original terrazzo floors. There are new I beams supporting precast concrete slabs to first floor. The first floor is accessed by a new galvanised steel staircase. It has typical ceiling details, raked plaster sections to the perimeter walls and cover mouldings. Interior walls have fibre cement sheet and batten cladding. Partition walls have been added to the western end of the first floor. The signal box was refurbished in 2004. All original signalling equipment has been removed.

CANOPIES (1998, 2008)
There are canopies on Platforms 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and they are all new constructions made of galvanised steel. The canopy on Platform 1 covers the entire platform from the footbridge to the east to the station concourse overbridge. There are a series of canopies on Platform 2/3 with one extending between the 1881 building and the former toilet block, another along the northern front of the toilet block and another between the footbridges to the east and the toilet block. The canopy on Platform 4/5 extends on either side of the 1881 building and extends to cover the entire platform from the footbridge to the east to the station concourse overbridge.

PLATFORMS
Platforms are brick faced with asphalt surface, except 0 and 5 which are concrete. Platform 0 is the sprint platform to Olympic Park.
Platform 1 (Up) is a wayside platform. Platform 2 (Down) and Platform 3 (Up) form an island arrangement. Platform 4 (Down) and Platform 5 form an island platform arrangement. Platform 5 will operate as a turnback platform due to commence service in 2010.

PEDESTRIAN FOOTBRIDGE TO EASTERN END (1998)
The existing footbridge is a simple concrete and galvanised steel structure with galvanised sheet roofing over.

OVERBRIDGE (1923)
The overbridge is a jack-arch and steel girders structure supported by brick piers and brick abutments. It has brick parapets.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL POTENTIAL
Based on the surviving documentation and the evidence on site it is unlikely there would be any potential archaeological remains at Lidcombe Railway Station.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
PLATFORM BUILDING (Platform 2-3 1881)
The building is in good condition internally and externally.

FORMER TOILET BLOCK (Platform 2-3 c.1880)
The building is in good condition.

PLATFORM BUILDING (Platform 4-5)
The building is in good condition externally and internally in moderate condition.

OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE & STATION CONCOURSE
The overhead booking office and the concourse are in good condition, excepting the damage caused by the fire and the missing tiles to the exterior on the Church Street elevation.

SIGNAL BOX
The signal box was refurbished in c. 2004 and is in good condition.

CANOPIES
The canopies are in very good condition.

PLATFORMS
The platforms are in good condition.

PEDESTRIAN FOOTBRIDGE TO EASTERN END
The footbridge is in very good condition.

OVERBRIDGE
The overbridge is in good condition.
Date condition updated:06 Jul 09
Modifications and dates: 1882: new waiting shed and ladies room built on both platforms; new goods shed built at the western end of the station.
1885: new level crossing at western end of station.
1896: footbridge built at western end of station.
1924: new platforms and building for Up and Down Main line; closure of John Street level crossing and replacement by overbridge; overhead booking office; new signal box; goods shed relocated to Regents Park line.
1929: electrification extended from Flemington to Parramatta.
1945: Parcel Office constructed on Platform 4
1965: milk bar constructed
1979: canopy added to Platform 2-3
1997: upgrading of station including new overhead booking office and additional platform at Up end for Olympic Park railway line
c.2006: Improved disabled access and staff facilities to south end (Railway Street). These works were affected by fire soon after completion and remain out of commission.
2007 to 2009: Turnback platform works
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: The Main Western line to Parramatta Junction (Granville) was originally completed in 1855. The line opened on 26 September 1855 and was double track from Sydney to Newtown and then single track to Parramatta Junction (but duplicated in 1856). The line was built as a direct connection to Parramatta Junction and, subsequently, for the purpose of connecting Sydney with the major rural railways that were constructed across the Blue Mountains to Bathurst and across the Southern Highlands to Goulburn via Liverpool. There were few stops along the line between Sydney and Parramatta and it was not the original intention of the line to serve suburban development. Changes to the line were more often related to the line’s long distance purpose than to the communities along it. In 1892 the line was quadrupled from Homebush to Flemington, with the quadruplication being extended to Lidcombe in 1924.

Lidcombe is a major junction location with buildings from three significant periods: the 1881 major upgrade of the site with wayside buildings (converted to island platform structures in the 1924 upgrade); the 1924 upgrade with the addition of tracks and the overhead booking office and steps; and 1997/8 modifications for the Olympic Park line.

A station was opened at Lidcombe (then called Haslams Creek) on 1 November 1858 and featured a combined residence and booking office on a timber platform. The initial stimuli of development at Lidcombe were the establishment of the cemetery at Rookwood (to the south-east) from 1867 and the 140 acre works of the Sydney Meat Preserving Company (to the north) in 1871. The station was renamed Rookwood in 1878.

In 1881 the station was significantly upgraded, including demolition of the original building and construction of the present Platforms 2/3 and 4 and their buildings. There were also branch lines into the cemetery and meat works. In 1896 a footbridge was constructed linking the two platforms at the western end.

In 1913, the name of the suburb and station was changed to Lidcombe to remove associations with the nearby cemetery. In 1912, a new railway line was opened between Lidcombe and Regents Park, thus making Lidcombe a significant railway junction. In 1924, quadruplication of the main railway line from Sydney brought an extra platform (Platform 1), signal box and bridge and overhead booking office to Lidcombe.

The two underbridges spanning Olympic Drive are believed to date from 1924 when the above upgrades occurred and the Regents Park line was reconstructed.

In 1945 a parcels office was built to handle items being sent to those serving in the armed services during WWII. In 1965 a milk bar was built and in 1979 an overhead canopy was constructed on Platform 2/3.

The 1924 upgrade which included alterations to 1881 buildings, a new overhead booking office and steps were all replaced in 1997/8 when Lidcombe underwent major alterations with a new footbridge and overhead booking office and a new platform for the Olympic Park line.

The booking office was demolished, but much of the rest of the station remains in its 1881-1924 condition. The 1924 signal box still remains, but was closed in 1983.

Further construction including an extension to the overbridge and a new platform (No. 5) is being undertaken in 2008/2009 as part of a turnback service which will be in operation from 2010. The parcels office which was constructed in 1945 was removed as part of the turnback platform works.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Communication-Activities relating to the creation and conveyance of information Signalling and safe working-
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 Making Railway Journeys-
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 Transport of Goods-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Moving People to Events and Leisure Activities-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Sport-Activities associated with organised recreational and health promotional activities Moving People to Sporting Events-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Birth and Death-Activities associated with the initial stages of human life and the bearing of children, and with the final stages of human life and disposal of the dead. Funerary trains-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Lidcombe Railway Station has local historical significance as a station which was established during the first phase of NSW railway construction in the 1850s. The station is historically associated with two of Lidcombe’s earliest developments, the Rookwood cemetery established in 1867 and the former Sydney Meat Preserving Company opened in 1871 (and closed in 1955), both of which stimulated growth and the need for transport in the area. The extant ‘third class’ station buildings and platforms, which were part of the 1881 station upgrade demonstrate this phase of development.

The station is historically significant as a major railway junction since the opening of the 1912 line to Regents Park and the more recent establishment of the Olympic Park line. The 1924 station upgrade (associated with the quadruplication of the line) which included additions to the 1881 platform buildings, construction of a signal box and additional platform, all of which exist today, demonstrates the growth of the station during the early 20th century. The extant signal box contributes to the understanding of the requirements for safe working and railway signalling required at this time.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Lidcombe Railway Station has local aesthetic significance with its 1880s third class station buildings which have characteristic features of this type of station building design namely gable roofs, sympathetically altered symmetrical layouts, and metal post awning supports.
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 past.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The buildings and structures at this location are well represented in the metropolitan network and so do not have rarity value.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The platform buildings at Lidcombe Railway Station have been altered internally but remain intact externally and are therefore good representations of this style of railway platform building. Externally the siganl box is representative of a stardard railway design. The overbridge is representative of jack-arch construction.
Integrity/Intactness: Lidcombe Railway Station has a moderate level of integrity. It has a few original structures in a relatively intact condition namely station buildings on Platform 2-3 and 4-5 and the signal box which has been refurbished internally but is externally intact. The construction of a new station concourse, overhead booking office and canopies has however altered the station layout and its historic form substantially thereby reducing its overall integrity.PLATFORM BUILDING- Platform 2-3The building is largely intact externally although its interiors have been modified considerably to meet ever-changing operational requirements. However it retains some internal elements such as a fireplace surround, cast iron air vents, original windows, doors and ceiling lining boards. FORMER TOILET BLOCK- Platform 2-3A lack of documentary evidence has made it difficult to identify any original fabric in the toilet block and the extent of to which it has been altered, however it appears to be reasonably intact.PLATFORM BUILDING- Platform 4-5The building is largely intact externally although its interiors have been modified considerably. It retains some original fabric such as pressed metal ceilings, cornices, skirting, fireplace surround, original windows, doors and architraves and ceiling lining boards. SIGNAL BOXThe signal box was recently refurbished and most of its external original fabric has been retained. However internally it has been modified considerably and none of the former signalling equipment remains.CANOPIES These are new constructions. These canopies are considered overbearing in terms of the existing heritage buildings. Despite an effort to emulate the historic detail in a modern sense, they reduce the integrity of the 1881 buildings due to the fact the buildings are diminished in their modern context.OVERBRIDGE The overbridge appears to have retained most of its original fabric.
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    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA89State Rail Authority  No
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999 State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW1993236Paul Davies for SRA  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 OCP Architects  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenDon Fraser1995Bridges Down Under: the history of railway underbridges in New South Wales
WrittenHistoryworks2006Auburn Council Lidcombe Town Centre Study: Heritage Report
WrittenJohn Forsyth2007New South Wales Railway Stations: an alphabetical arrangement of railway station and place names. 3rd. Edition
WrittenPaul Davies Architects1997Statement of Heritage Impact for Lidcombe Station
WrittenTony Prescott2009Historical Research for RailCorp's S170 Update Project

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: 4800244


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