Wahroonga Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Wahroonga Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Wahroonga Railway Station Group
Other name/s: Noonan's Platform; Pearce's Corner
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Redleaf Avenue, Wahroonga, NSW 2076
Local govt. area: Ku-Ring-Gai

Boundary:

North: 20m from end of platform (includes footbridge);South: Southern side of Redleaf Avenue overbridge (includes bridge);East: Property boundary fronting Millewa Ave;West: Property boundary fronting Warwilla Ave and Redleaf Ave.Note: The alignment of this station is almost NW-SE, so the use of the terms N, S, E and W is based on an assumption that the Down end of the station is nominally north.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Redleaf AvenueWahroongaKu-Ring-Gai  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Wahroonga Railway Station has heritage significance at a state level because it is one of the best preserved and most attractive island platform and station buildings in Metropolitan Sydney. The station and its surroundings are a superb example of standard early 1900s Sydney suburban railway station architecture and design, set among expansive gardens. Both the station building and its setting make a substantial contribution to the character of the North Shore line, with its homogenous, early twentieth century railway architecture and landscaped settings. Wahroonga Station Group is perhaps the best example on the line due to its integrity and intactness. The station itself retains a high degree of its original spatial integrity, with the relationships between the station building, platform, stairs and footbridge remaining intact.

The impressive gardens associated with the station are historically important as they have been maintained for over 100 years by both local residents and council and represent a continuity of gardening activity at a railway station that is extremely rare in the Sydney Metropolitan network. The gardens represent a sense of corporate pride in the expansion of the railway and the modernisation of passenger transport it afforded in the late nineteenth century and community pride as the winner of numerous garden competitions. The gardens help to maintain the historic setting of the station and evoke a former era of rail travel.

The warren truss footbridge was identified as an item of exceptional heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. It is also one of the few steel riveted warren truss footbridges remaining under the management of Sydney Trains. It is the only known example on a skew trestle. It makes a strong contribution to the State significant Wahroonga Railway Station precinct.

The station footbridge was identified as an item of high heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The station footbridge and stair are in reasonably intact condition and make a contribution to the State significant Wahroonga Railway Station precinct. The station itself retains a high degree of its original spatial integrity, with the relationships between the station building, platform, stairs and footbridge remaining intact.
Date significance updated: 21 Oct 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

Designer/Maker: New South Wales Department of Railways
Builder/Maker: New South Wales Department of Railways
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Station Building, type 11 (standard A8-10) (1906)

STRUCTURES
Platform Faces, (1906)
Brick Arch Overbridge (1909)
Footbridge on Coonanbarra Road (1909)
Small Modern Shop/Footbridge (1927)
Steel Stairs (c.1910) and ticket booths (c1930)

CONTEXT
Wahroonga Railway Station is located west of Millewa Avenue and is immediately south of Wahroonga Park. The station is comprised of an island platform and station building set amongst well landscaped ornamental gardens. The platform is accessed from the southern end by means of a steel framed stair leading from the Redleaf Avenue brick overbridge, while a footbridge with no station access linking Millewa Ave and Warwilla Ave is located at the northern end of the platform. A small shopping precinct exists on the western side of the line.

STATION BUILDING (1906)
Exterior: Wahroonga Station is a good example of a standard 'type A8-A10' station building, typical of the early 20th century station design for Sydney's Northern line. Walls are tuckpointed red face brick with rendered architraves, sills and string course. A cantilevered awning on either side of the building is supported by curved cast iron brackets springing from moulded concrete brackets. The gabled roof is of corrugated iron and features two chimneys with rendered cornice. The roofline extends beyond the southern end of the building to form a sheltered area over the ticket window and this is decorated by a timber valance and finial.

Interior: Wahroonga station building has been modified somewhat to cater for modern operational needs yet still retains a majority of its original fabric and configuration. The station consists of a ticket office, manager's office, waiting room, storeroom and toilets. Walls are of rendered brick, often with timber dado moulding. Air vents are of standard design. The mini-orb ceiling features pressed metal roses and a number of bakelite sockets from former light fittings. Original four-panelled doors feature new hardware, while windows are all double hung sash. The majority of upper windows and fanlights over doors feature original coloured glass panes. The floor is of timber. Fireplaces have been infilled, with the fireplace in the manager's office being almost completely removed to facilitate the construction of a cupboard.

PLATFORM (1906)
Wahroonga platform is a typical island platform, convex shape, with brick faces (partly rendered) and is accessed only at the southern end. Five mature Hill Figs were a prominent feature of the platform but due to significant uplifting of the platform asphalt surface were removed and replaced with other plantings. Traditional style green benches with the station name inscribed were installed in 1994 and add greatly to the setting.

BRICK ARCH OVERBRIDGE (1909)
At the southern end of the station is a double arched brick overbridge, providing an extension of Redleaf Avenue over the line to join with Illoura Avenue. It originally provided access to stairs leading to the platform. The bridge abuts a steel framed walkway and cantilevered shop.

FOOTBRIDGE (1909)
Crossing the track at the northern end of the platform (but with no connection to it) is a footbridge which links Millewa Ave and Warwilla Ave. The footbridge is a steel framed, Warren truss structure with concrete deck and stair treads. Steel framed stairs with star type newel posts lead to the deck. A c.2003 safety fence with arching steel supports has been added to the deck, a necessary addition but detracting somewhat from the original lightness of the structure. The footbridge was also raised 300mm in 2003, which involved replacement of some steel members and a new central trestle. The footbridge has also had typical freestanding light poles installed.

SMALL SHOP/FOOTBRIDGE (1927)
The brick arch overbridge features a steel framed walkway on the north side for pedestrian use and the station entry is marked by a small steel structure with a hipped gable roof. This structure is located at the top of the steel stairs on the western side and contains a space for a small shop (currently vacant).

STEEL STAIRS (c.1910) and TICKET BOOTHS (c1930)
Access to the station platform is by a set of stairs descending from the footbridge adjoining the Illoura Ave overbridge to the southern end of the platform. The stairs are steel framed and are in original condition, with knob pattern type newel posts. Treads are of precast concrete. At the point where the stairs meet the platform there are two small ticket collecting booths, dating from 1938. These booths are of red brick construction, with a concrete slab roof and are joined by an overhead wooden framework. The only other known pair of ticket collecting booths identified and still extant on the North Shore line are at Waitara Station.

LANDSCAPING
One of the most prominent features of Wahroonga Station is its extensive areas of well-maintained landscaping, carried out in a typically English fashion and forming part of a larger landscape precinct within Wahroonga. The platform itself features a number of smaller bushes, including clipped murraya and photinia bushes. Both sides of the rail corridor feature extensive plantings amongst well maintained lawns, with some low sandstone terraces, large mature trees along the property boundary and smaller shrubs and perennials closer to the track. These gardens feature a very wide range of plantings, with mature trees including Japanese maple, willow, bottlebrush, camphor laurel, paperbark, banksia, grevillia, magnolia, prunus, pittosporum, jacaranda, golden elm and sheoak. Other plantings include tibouchina, rosemary, agapanthus, camellia, bird of paradise, aspidistra and roses. The Fig trees formerly on the platform have been replaced with six Blueberry Ash trees.

MOVEABLE
The former Waiting Room contains an original red painted timber and steel station bench.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station Building (1906) - Good condition
The station building is generally in good condition. The interiors of the station building are in good condition.

Platform Faces (1906) - Moderate

Landscaping - Very good condition
The landscaping is well maintained by both Ku-ring-gai Council and members of the local community.

Brick Arch Overbridge (1909) - Good condition
Footbridge (1909) - Very good condition
Small Shop/Footbridge - Good Condition
Steel Steps (c.1910) - Very good condition
Date condition updated:10 Sep 08
Modifications and dates: c.1940: The goods siding was removed and a community / Girl Guide hall was built on the site.
2008: Station Passenger Information boards installed.
2009: Girl Guide Hall burnt down
2010: Five Fig trees on platform replaced with six Blueberry Ash trees due to platform damage caused by figs.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: Present day Wahroonga Railway Station is located on the North Shore line, between Waitara and Warrawee railway stations.

In 1887, tenders were called for construction of a branch line extending south from Hornsby to the North Shore. The 16.8km section between Hornsby and St. Leonard’s was opened on 1 January 1890. Stations provided at the opening of the line included Chatswood and St. Leonard’s. A single line was constructed at the time. The line between St. Leonard’s and Milson’s Point (the terminus at the edge of the harbour) was completed 1 May 1893.

Wahroonga Railway Station was opened on 1 January 1890. At the time of the opening, Wahroonga was named ‘Pearce’s Corner’. On 30 August 1890, the station was re-named ‘Wahroonga’. The construction name was ‘Noonan’s Platform’.

A single platform was built on the-then single line on the down, or western-side of the line.

A standard brick, island platform style station building was built on this platform in 1906 in anticipation of the future duplication. Duplication came to this section of the North Shore line in 1909 and the new Down main line was taken behind the platform and station building, thereby forming an island platform.

A new road overbridge and footbridge was built at the Milson’s Point end of the station with a set of steps for access to the platform.

By 1909, an additional footbridge had been provided at the Hornsby-end of the station, spanning both up and down main line. No access to the station was provided. Also at the Hornsby-end of the platform, a goods siding and goods shed were laid in on the down (western) side of the line.

Electrification of the North Shore line was opened in 1927, with full electric services in 1928. Automatic signalling of the line soon followed.

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-
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 Impacts of railways on urban form-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Railway gardens-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Wahroonga Railway Station has historical significance at a state level. The impressive gardens associated with the station are historically important as they have been maintained for over 100 years by both local residents and council, and represent a continuity of gardening activity at a railway station that is extremely rare in the Sydney Metropolitan network. The gardens represent a sense of corporate pride in the expansion of the railway and the modernisation of passenger transport it afforded in the late nineteenth century.

Like many stations, Wahroonga Station is significant at a local level for the role it played in the settlement of the local area, encouraging rapid subdivision and urban growth.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Wahroonga Railway Station has aesthetic significance at a State level, as a highly intact example of an early twentieth century station in a landscaped setting. The station and its surroundings is a superb example of early twentieth century Sydney suburban railway station architecture and design, set amongst gardens of a high standard. The gardens help to maintain the historic setting of the station and evoke a former era of rail travel.

Five large fig trees (Ficus microcarpa var. "Hillii") dating from c.1910 are located on the centre line of the island platform and have landmark qualities. Their presence is unique on this line and unusual in a railway setting due to the difficulty of maintenance (the trees are scheduled for removal, 2009). The established gardens either side of the station provide an attractive setting for this station and have become a local landmark. The aesthetic significance of the station has not been compromised by the addition of modern shelter structures and lifts, as has often been the case at other North Shore line stations from a similar period.

Both the station building and its setting make a substantial contribution to the character of the North Shore line, with its homogenous, early twentieth century railway architecture and landscaped settings. Wahroonga Station is perhaps the best example on the line due to its integrity and intactness.

The station does not have technical significance as the station buildings and infrastructure are examples of well-documented types from this period with no significant, unusual or innovative design variations or subsequential modifications.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Wahroonga Railway Station has social significance at a local level due to the continual involvement of both council and residents in the maintenance of its extensively landscaped setting. The gardens are recorded in 1900 as being developed by railway staff and volunteers from the local community (NSW Railway Budget, 20 Nov. 1899, p.59) and this association has continued to the present day. The Wahroonga station gardens have for over 100 years been an important contributor to the local community's sense of place and have been a source of constant community pride as the winner of numerous garden competitions.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Wahroonga Railway Station is considered to be rare at a State level as the only example of railway station landscaping that has been maintained to a high standard, with such a high degree of intactness, for over 100 years in the Metropolitan network. The station retains a high degree of its original spatial integrity, with the relationships between the station building, platform, stairs and footbridge remaining intact.

The warren truss footbridge at the northern end of the platform is the only structure of its type known to be supported on a skew trestle. The footbridge is also unusual in that it does not permit access to the platform. The former ticket collecting booths at the southern end of the platform are considered to be rare as the best preserved of only two examples on the Northern line (the others being at Waitara).
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The station building is representative of a high quality of railway station building which can be found elsewhere on the North Shore railway line.

The warren truss footbridge was identified as an item of exceptional heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. It is also one of the few steel riveted warren truss footbridges remaining under the management of Sydney Trains. It is the only known example on a skew trestle. It makes a strong contribution to the State significant Wahroonga Railway Station precinct.

The station footbridge was identified as an item of high heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The station footbridge and stair are in reasonably intact condition and make a contribution to the State significant Wahroonga Railway Station precinct. The station itself retains a high degree of its original spatial integrity, with the relationships between the station building, platform, stairs and footbridge remaining intact.
Integrity/Intactness: Wahroonga Station and its garden setting are highly intact and have a high degree of integrity, with relatively few changes occurring on the site since the station was first constructed. The station remains almost entirely in its original configuration and has been little changed over the past 100 years.
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 registerWahroonga Railway Station groupSRA940   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA2State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW199330Paul Davies for SRA  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 NSW Department of Commerce  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes
Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy 2016 NSW Government Architect’s Office Heritage Group  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenJohn Forsyth Line Histories
WrittenRay Love2009Historical Research for RailCorp s170 Update
WrittenSingleton, CC,1965The Short North - The Sydney-Newcastle Link Railway, New South Wales Railways
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: 4801002


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