Victoria Street Railway Station | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Victoria Street Railway Station

Item details

Name of item: Victoria Street Railway Station
Other name/s: East Maitland
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Waller Street/ Victoria Street, East Maitland, NSW 2323
Local govt. area: Maitland


RailCorp property boundaries as shown on vesting plan, RN29811. It should be noted that the original area of the railway station has been reduced, and that there is an historical and visual relationship with the surrounding area not necessarily apparent from the current property boundaries. As such, any proposed development within the vicinity of the railway station should also consider the historic relationship between the station site and its surrounding area.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Waller Street/ Victoria StreetEast MaitlandMaitland  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Victoria Street Railway Station has historical significance as a tangible link to the development of the Main North line, as the original terminus of the line from Newcastle from 1857-8, and for its ability to demonstrate the increase in rail services at the time of duplication (c1914) through the conversion of the platform and station building into an island platform. The extant station building and associated footbridge are representative examples of railway design throughout NSW during the early 20th Century.

The footbridge was identified as an item of high heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The Victoria Street Station footbridge is a riveted steel plate construction with three stairwells supported on angle iron trestles. The footbridge was built at the time of duplication and both sides of the railway lines to the island platform.
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.


Construction years: 1877-1914
Physical description: MAJOR STRUCTURES
Station building - type 11, standard A8 (1877; 1914)
Platform (1877; 1914 conversion to island platform);
Footbridge - 1914

Victoria Street station building is a standard ‘A8’ (type 11) island platform station building design with a linear form and two cantilevered platform awnings. The building is constructed out of rendered brick and has a gabled roof with two cast iron, cantilevered, platform awnings supported by stone corbels. The roof is clad in corrugated, galvanised iron and is finished by a fretted bargeboard at the western gable end. The windows are double hung timber sash with stone lintels. The doors are timber. The extent of the original 1877 fabric is unknown, however, it is presumed that most of the building was demolished for conversion to an island platform building.

PLATFORM (1877; 1914 conversion to island platform)
Convex island platform, brick faced, concrete coping that has been raised with concrete blockwork, asphalt surface. Walls have been anchored.

The footbridge is a riveted steel plate construction with three stairwells supported on angle iron trestles. A steel handrail has been added at a later stage. The footbridge was built at the time of duplication and both sides of the railway lines to the island platform.

Station signs, including two large 1980s painted station name signs
CityRail wall-mounted commuter telephone
Cast iron and concrete door thresholds and boot scrapers
Cast iron and concrete water drains
Heritage-style lamp posts on platform
High-level stainless steel cistern in disused toilets/store room
Steel security grilles on store door
Cast iron bubbler, refurbished in 2016
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Generally good condition.
Date condition updated:22 Oct 09
Modifications and dates: 1914 - Conversion to island platform.
1950s - Upgrade
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Victoria Street railway precinct is located on the Main North line, running from Sydney and extending north to the Queensland border, at the town of Wallangarra. The Main North Line (also known as the Great Northern Railway) runs through the Central Coast, Hunter and the New England regions. The line was the original main line between Sydney and Brisbane, however this required a change of gauge at Wallangarra. The line is now closed north of Armidale, and the main route between Brisbane and Sydney is now the North Coast line.

Following the completion of the first railway from Sydney to Parramatta Junction in 1855, proposals for the first railways to the rest of NSW were driven by landed interests seeking improved transport for their wool from the inland centres of Goulburn, Bathurst, Singleton and Muswellbrook (Upper Hunter). Early extensions to the Great Northern Railway included Victoria Street to Maitland (opened 1858) and Maitland to Singleton (1863). These were followed by extensions to Muswellbrook in 1869, Aberdeen in 1870 and to Scone in 1871 (Rappoport, 2001; SRA, 1993)

The station opened as ‘East Maitland’ (1st) on 5 April 1857 following opening of the single line from Islington Junction to East Maitland on 30 March 1857, and was the line terminus until its extension to present day Maitland the following year. The station was subsequently closed on 9 March 1858, and reopened as Victoria Street in 1877, having been named after the street opposite the station (Forsyth, 2009).

Major changes and additions to the station precinct included the construction of a new platform in 1877, the addition of a waiting shed in the following year, the lengthening of the platform in 1899, the additions made to the station on the Up side of the platform in 1904, and the construction of a ladies waiting room in 1908. As a consequence of the line quadruplication in 1914, the Up platform was converted from a side to an island type.

During this upgrade the 1870s station building was highly altered and converted to a standard A8 design building. A8-10 standard designs were brick island buildings common to metropolitan locations during the 1910/20s. A footbridge was also erected in 1914. Plans dating to the time of quadruplication show the brick station building with bracketed awnings, internally comprising of a booking office, general waiting room, ladies waiting room and lavatories, and men’s urinals. Modern photographs indicate that few changes have been made to the exterior of the existing station building, with the exception of a new roof cover (RailCorp Historic Plans).

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-
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. Evolution of design in railway engineering and architecture-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Victoria Street Railway Station is significant for its historical values as a tangible link to the development of the Great Northern Railway (GNR) line during the 19th century and as the original terminus of the line from Newcastle from 1857-8. The GNR was an important achievement in transport and engineering within NSW. As the third main trunk rail route in NSW stretching from Sydney to the Queensland border, the line linked townships to one another as well as to Sydney leading to significant economic and social impacts for individual townships as well as for NSW generally. Victoria Street was an early railway station of the Great Northern Railway (GNR) line. Its current configuration demonstrates duplication of the line during the early 20th Century in order to meet increased demands upon the railway.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The site has aesthetic significance for its simple platform building, demonstrating typical railway architecture of the early 20th Century.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The site is of social significance to the local community on account of its lengthy association for providing an important source of employment, trade and social interaction for the local area. The site is significant for its ability to contribute to the local community’s sense of place, is a distinctive feature of the daily life of many community members, and provides a connection to the local community’s past.
SHR Criteria g)
The site has representative significance for its collection of railway structures including the island platform, station building and footbridge that collectively demonstrate widespread duplication of lines across NSW and the increase in rail services. The Victoria Street railway precinct elements are representative of similar items that are found in many other railway sites across the state.

The footbridge was identified as an item of high heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The Victoria Street Station footbridge is a riveted steel plate construction with three stairwells supported on angle iron trestles. The footbridge was built at the time of duplication and both sides of the railway lines to the island platform.
Integrity/Intactness: The station buildings have a good level of integrity.
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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerVictoria Street Railway Station group    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA4, SRA881/SRA875 (footbridge)State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW199346Paul Davies for SRA  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 ORH  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
WrittenCottee, J.M.2004Stations on the track: selected New South Wales country railway stations: an historical overview
WrittenForsyth, J.H.2009NSW Railway Stations - An Alphabetical Arrangement of Railway Station and Place Names
WrittenMcKillop, R2009NSW Railways (RailCorp) Thematic History
WrittenState Rail Authority of NSW, 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: 4801004

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