Granville Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Granville Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Granville Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Bridge Street, Granville, NSW 2142
Parish: Liberty Plains
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Parramatta


STATION: South: Property boundary to Railway Parade; North: Rear boundaries of properties facing East St, including RailCorp property to former parcels office; West: 5 metres from end of the platforms; East: 5 metres from end of the platforms. SIGNAL BOX:South-East: 5 metres from the box; North-West: fence line between the substation and the timber workshop; North-East: Railway line connecting Granville to Parramatta; South-West: Railway line connecting Granville to Merrylands.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Bridge StreetGranvilleParramattaLiberty PlainsCumberlandPrimary Address
Railway ParadeGranvilleParramattaLiberty PlainsCumberlandAlternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Granville Railway Station is of local significance as a good example of a large post World War II period Functionalist style group of station buildings, and for its ability to demonstrate railway design and construction techniques of the mid-20th century. Despite changes to their visual integrity, the platform buildings and adjacent parcels office have historical value as part of a larger group of similarly designed buildings constructed along the line as part of line amplification during the 1950s. The Granville signal box is of significance as the last of five post World War II period Functionalist brick signal boxes built between Auburn and Blacktown. The signal box, although altered internally with the original equipment removed, remains operational and maintains its historical context and visual relationship with the station.
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.


Designer/Maker: NSW Department of Railways
Builder/Maker: NSW Department of Railways
Construction years: 1950-1960
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Station Buildings:
- type 13, island buildings brick, Platform 1 & Platform 2 (1950's)
- type 13, island buildings brick with refreshment room, Platform 3/4 (1950's)
Overhead Booking Office and Footbridge - (c.1950, modern modifications)
Parcels office - on separate platform to parcels loop off up main (c1951)
Substation (1929, c1956)
Signal box (1960)
Footbridge at Up end of Platform, and Canopies (modern)

External: The station building on Platform 1/2 (Up main platform) is of masonry construction with a low pitched, gabled roof and curved parapeted ends. The exterior of the building is defined by the use of face brickwork laid in a combination of stretcher, perpendicular stretcher and recessed header bonds. The overall effect is simple and elegant with its monochromatic colour scheme and varying textures. The east and west elevations of the building are defined by a circular bay constructed of bullnosed bricks and is a typical feature of railway Functionalist stations, particularly on the Western line. The western elevation is of solid masonry construction whilst the eastern elevation is defined by a series of curved glass panels set on a recessed stretcher bond base. The exterior form of the building is largely symmetrical with regular fenestration interspersed with recessed bullnosed brick panels. The building is divided into four distinct bays, with 2 bays to each side separated by a covered passage allowing through access to both sides of the platform. The building is further defined by a cantilevered steel awning to both sides, which follows the curve of the east and west elevations in a hexagonal sweep. The construction of a new steel canopy at the western end of the building has obscured the original awning and detracts significantly from the building's powerful, streamlined aesthetic.

Internal: Internally the building consists of a number of discrete spaces arranged on a linear floor plan. From west to east these spaces comprise a men's toilet (in the curved projection), store room and ladies' toilet (side by side), ladies' waiting room, staff meal room, staff locker room, traffic inspector's room, covered passage, porter's control room, general waiting room, combined staff store/kitchen/locker room, transitional space and refreshment room. The ladies' waiting room is now a general waiting area and the traffic inspector's room is now a general staff room. The former refreshment room is now a concession stand since c1990 with adjoining rooms used as ancillary and storage rooms for the stand. The concession stand which is at odds with the remainder of the building and obscures the finely detailed bond work of the curving wall. All of the original interior fitout has been removed with the exception of some aluminium window frames. The surviving window frames are particularly important as the majority of similar buildings employed timber framed windows. The use of aluminium framed windows was an innovation at the time and represents a technological breakthrough.

External: The station building on Platform 3/4 (suburban platform) is of identical construction to the station building on Platform 1/2. All of the exterior details are the same with the exception of the painted end. Similarly, the eastern end of the building has been obscured by a new steel canopy reducing the visual impact of the building's strong horizontal lines and definitive geometry.

Internal: The interior layout of the building is identical to that of station building on Platform 1/2. All of the original interior fitout has been removed with the exception of some aluminium window frames.

The 1958 station footbridge is a modified standard structure with refurbished booking office and ramps to the street. It consists of two steel beam structures over platforms and tracks, one for street access, the other for platform interchange. A small section has a flat roofed infill creating a space which is now occupied by a police station. The roofing over the ramps is Colorbond finished spandeck roof sheeting in a gabled form. The refurbished booking office uses similar roofing in gable form with a large bay of skylights. Dormer style gables with ventilators are located at appropriate intervals over the reroofed stairs to the platforms and the street. The walls are constructed of pressed composite sheeting. Internally, the overbridge and booking office are tiled. The booking area is partitioned, some of which is glass, to create ticket offices, shops, station managers office and utility rooms. Lift access is provided from the footbridge to the street and platforms via recent lifts encased in clear glass lift wells. At the opposite end of the platforms is an additional footbridge of a similar style that also provides access between the platforms and the street.

The former parcels building is located on a separate loop line adjacent to the main line and on a separate platform. Access to the platform has been blocked through the erection of an aluminium palisade fence and it appears that the building is no longer used. The building is of masonry construction (face brick) in stretcher bond with a square parapeted roof. Cantilevered steel awnings project on the platform and street elevations. The building is simple in its design and detail but works well with the overall station precinct and appears to have been erected at the same time as the passenger buildings, as it appears on the same plans.

External: The signal box is a 1960s, post war period Functionalist style elevated two-storey face brick building. It is located down the line towards Parramatta. Designed by New South Wales Government Railways, Granville signal box operates as an electric power signal box and staff amenities. The corners of the building are curved with steel-framed windows on the ground floor and timber framed sash ribbon windows on the first floor, and are mirrored. The upper storey windows have reinforced concrete sun hoods and the flat roof is concealed by parapet walls.

Internal: Internally the new control room uses 1990’s contemporary electronic signalling (CTC) control panels and displays. The original features include plaster ceiling to the original signal room with corbelled cornices, aluminium frame windows and timber staircase. The remainder of the building features acoustic panelled ceilings with modern light fittings and carpet flooring. The basement, signal sectionman area, is used as a workshop and storeroom featuring painted brick piers and concrete slab ceiling.

A single-storey concrete workshop is located between the signal box and the substation. It is an ad-hoc style structure with a series of small rooms connected by corrugated metal awnings including a carport. Sections of the workshop appear to date from the construction of the signal box or earlier.

Granville has two double island platforms (c1959?). Platform 1: From country end 0-26m brick construction, 26-198m steel post/insitu panel construction. Country end wall cracked. Coping chipped. Platform 2: From city end 0-155m steel post/conc panel, 155-198m brick construction. Platform 3: Platform is of brick construction with concrete coping. Both end walls are cracked. Platform 4: Platform is of brick construction with concrete coping. The Sydney End wall is heavily cracked with the coping propped by timber.

- CTC control panelling at signal box.
- Seth Thomas Clock (no.1737) at the Station Master's office on the footbridge (restored and said to be relocated to Parramatta Railway Station)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The platform buildings are in generally good condition.

The condition of the Parcels Office could not be fully assessed but it appears to be in moderate condition due to limited use, although structurally sound. The interior of the building was not available for inspection.

The signal box is in good condition.

PLATFORMS: Good (2015)
Date condition updated:06 Jul 09
Modifications and dates: 1882 - Well sunk in Duck Creek for a water supply, a 5-tonne crane erected and gas laid on to the station.
7 Oct 1884 - Station interlocked.
1885 - New turntable and an additional coal stage and water tank erected.
1898 - Local residents requested for the provision of an overbridge at the station.
1900 - Footbridge erected at the eastern end of the platform, and a loading bank built at the stockyards.
1917 - Refreshment rooms provided.
1921 - Stepway to the overbridge at the western end of the station provided.
1923 - Removal of the 90kL water tank from the Up side.
1928 - Centre island platform demolished.
1959 - New overbridge at Carlton Street, and double island platform opened.
1960 - Signal box renewed. (Probably when originally constructed with two storey (signal box) and single storey (relay room at western end) sections, was converted to two storeys. The new signal box is at the western end, the original box being converted to staff offices and amenities)
1968 - Railway Centenary Memorial relocated to the west of Woodville Road underpass.
1979 - Bold Street overbridge constructed
c1984 - air conditioning installed in signal box
1990 - First floor of signal box extended for full length of building and signalling part relocated with new equipment to opposite end circa 1990.
c.1990 - Station upgrade, including upgrade to overhead booking office
n.d. - The 1951 timber overhead booking office has been removed but the steel substructure, which was built in 1958, is extant.
N.d - Station footbridge upgraded and covered.
(Forsyth, 2009)
Further information: Up the line from the station towards Sydney is an overbridge of pre-stressed concrete spanning the railway line, which is known as the Bold St overbridge and constructed in 1979. It includes brick walls to either side of the bridge, which date to c.1950 and probably relate to the quadruplication works. The bridge is excluded from the listing.

Located within the triangular precinct of the signal box towards the Mort Street end, the substation is a large rectangular building with cyclone wire and pipe security fencing around its perimeters. It is of a face brick masonry building with brick piers and concrete slabs. The upper half of the building and the original roof was removed c1956 and now features custom orb metal cladding to the top with a gabled metal roof. A loading dock dominates the upper level, which has an external separate access via a steel staircase. The building exhibits a utilitarian appearance. Excluded from listing.
Current use: Railway Station and Signal Box
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: The first section of NSW railway network to be completed was between Sydney and what was known as Parramatta Junction, located to the west of the present site of Granville Station. This section of railway line opened on Wednesday, 26th September 1855. In 1880, the station was relocated approximately to its present position and named Granville Station (There are only potential archaeological remains of the original ‘Parramatta Junction’ station).

The existing arrangement of buildings dates from c1960 and the quadruplication of the Main Western line. It comprises four brick island platform structures and a brick parcels office on a then adjacent siding. There was a nine year lapse between planning and construction of the station, as quadruplication had to be completed before construction of the new station could begin.

The present platform buildings feature post-war period railway Functionalist style architecture and were the last to be built of that design on the NSW railways. They are the very last structures to feature traditional railway room arrangements for platform buildings featuring toilets at the building ends. They also are the last large brick platform buildings to be erected on the NSW railways.

The signal box at Granville, built in 1960, was the last of four constructed between Auburn and Blacktown as part of the major track amplification works along that section of track from 1948 to 1960. This saw the number of main line tracks increased from three to five. Similar style boxes were also constructed at Auburn, Clyde and Blacktown, the first being completed at Auburn in 1954. As an elevated power signal box, it controlled the busy section of line between Clyde and Parramatta as well as the junctions with the Southern and Carlingford Lines. It was one part of a much larger scheme to increase the tracks to four main lines between Lidcombe and St. Marys during World War II in order to provide maximum track capacity to the American ammunition and general store built at Ropes Creek. It took over 32 years until all aspects of the quadruplication were completed between Westmead and Blacktown. Quadruplication reached St. Marys in 1978, while the Granville to Westmead section was finally completed in 1986.

With planning and operations for the Parramatta ‘Y’ link lines the signal box was substantially altered c1990 and completely new signalling equipment installed. The design is an architectural departure from all other signal boxes apart from its own select family of 3 other similar boxes and was one of the last of the ‘standard’ types built.

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 Communication-Activities relating to the creation and conveyance of information Mail trains and parcels service-
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 architecture-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Granville Railway station is of historical significance through its relationship to the suburb of Granville and the broader Western Sydney region. Granville Railway Station is of significance for its ability to demonstrate railway design and construction techniques of the mid-20th century. Despite changes to their visual integrity, the platform buildings and adjacent parcels office have historical value as part of a larger group of similarly designed buildings constructed along the line as part of line amplification during the 1950s.

The signal box is significant as the last of a series of four built between Auburn and Blacktown between 1954 and 1960 to assist traffic management between Auburn and Granville when the number of Main lines was increased from three to five as part of the rebuilding of the Main Western line after 1948. The signal box is part of the last select group of a standard type of elevated power signal box design used in NSW. The signal box has played and continues to play an important role in controlling the busy section of line between Clyde and Parramatta, and the junctions with the Southern and Carlingford lines.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Granville Railway Station is of high aesthetic significance as an example of larger post-war period railway Functionalist style station buildings in an urban setting. The buildings are noted for their use of finely detailed bonded brickwork and parapets, strong horizontal and curved planes and cantilevered steel awnings. The station buildings are further noted for their cohesiveness as a group of railway Functionalist station buildings. However, the addition of steel canopies over the platforms has reduced their aesthetic and visual qualities as well as integrity.

The signal box retains a high degree of architectural distinction despite its modification to create a mirror space at the upper level. It is a good example of post -World War II Functionalist style railway architecture that was limited to the railway system between Auburn and Blacktown due to most of the railway system already being in place.
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 e)
[Research potential]
Granville Railway Station is of high technical significance for its ability to demonstrate design and construction techniques of the mid-20th century station buildings, and for its ability to demonstrate the use of Functionalist elements in a railway setting.

The signal box has a low degree of both technical and research potential as no original signalling equipment remain.
SHR Criteria f)
The station buildings, whilst not rare, are unusual in their relationship to one another and degree of intactness despite the changes to their visual integrity.

The signal box is part of a series of five similar signal boxes built in the Functionalist style, the others being Granville, Clyde, Blacktown and Penrith.
SHR Criteria g)
Granville Railway Station is a good representative example of a mid-sized, mid-20th century railway station demonstrating architectural elements of Functionalist style architecture in a railway setting.
The 1958 footbridge was identified as an item of moderate heritage significance in the comparative analysis from the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The other footbridge on site is not of heritage significance.
The signal box is representative of the style of signal boxes built between Auburn and Blacktown after World War II.
Integrity/Intactness: The station buildings have retained a relatively high degree of integrity externally. However, the erection of new steel canopies at the both ends of both passenger buildings and the painting of the curved parapets detract significantly from their aesthetic presence and reduce their visual integrity. The overhead booking office has a low level of integrity, and does not warrant heritage management.The signal box retains much of its original character externally despite its sympathetic extension at the upper level. Internally there have been a number of alterations and the original equipment removed. Thus it has a moderate 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 register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA19, SRA659 (footbridge)State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW1993207Paul Davies for SRA  No
Interwar Station Buildings: Analysis and Significance2001 Andrea Humphreys and Donald Ellsmore  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 City Plan Heritage  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
WrittenBill Jordan & Associates Pty Ltd2001RIC Sites in Metro West - Assessment of Cultural Signifcance - 3 Oct 01
WrittenEllsmore, D. & Humphries, A2002Inter-War Station Buildings
WrittenForsyth, John2009New South Wales Railway Stations: An Alphabetical Arrangement of Railway Station and Place Names Excerpts for Stations in the Metro West Region
WrittenJohn Forsyth1974Historical Notes on Railway Lines
WrittenSharp, S.1984Survey of Railway Structures in NSW
WrittenSharp, S.A1982The Railway Stations of NSW 1855-1980
WrittenSingleton, C.C.1960‘Centenary of the Opening of the Western Line to Blacktown’ ARHS Bulletin No.273, July
WrittenTaaffe, R. T1990The Use and Selection of Materials in Railway signal Box Construction
MapVarious Maps and Plans of Granville railway Station

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: 4801019

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