Lithgow Railway Station Group and Residence | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Lithgow Railway Station Group and Residence

Item details

Name of item: Lithgow Railway Station Group and Residence
Other name/s: Eskbank East
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Railway Parade, Lithgow, NSW 2790
Parish: Lett
County: Cook
Local govt. area: Lithgow

Boundary:

STATION:North: RailCorp property boundary to Railway Parade (excluding remains of substation and carparking); South: RailCorp property boundary to the rear boundaries of properties fronting Main Street (excluding carparking); West: East side of Sandford Avenue overbridge (bridge excluded); East: East side of Eskbank Street overbridge (bridge included). RESIDENCE:North: RailCorp property boundary to Railway Parade; South: Boundary to rail corridor; West: 20m from building; East: 20m from building. The site is also within a larger Conservation Area listed on Lithgow Council LEP 2014 - see Listings section for details.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Railway ParadeLithgowLithgowLettCookPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Lithgow Railway Station is of state significance as an important regional headquarters for the NSW Railways since the 1920s combining a range of buildings and structures dating from the 1880s to the mid-1920s and is significant for its strong associations with the rail and coal industry in the wider Lithgow and Eskbank area. Along with nearby Eskbank Station, the site provides physical evidence of the activities and development that occurred in the historic Lithgow railway corridor marking several important phases in the evolution of railway operations in the most western end of the upper Blue Mountains. The Station Master’s residence is a fine example of a grand two-storey railway residence with a prominent and landmark quality overlooking the railway corridor and is evidence of prosperity in the railways and the importance given to the railway staff in the 1880s.
The overhead booking office and goods lift tower has aesthetic and technical significance. The goods lift tower is a unique element, and possibly the first example of this form of platform access in the railway network.
Date significance updated: 17 Feb 17
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: 1924-1925
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Station Building - type 11, island building, brick (1925)
Former Booking/Parcels office & Goods lift tower - timber (1925)
Station Master's residence - 6 Railway Parade (c.1880)
Hayley Street Footbridge and Overhead Booking Office (1993)
Canopy (2015)

STRUCTURES
Island platform - brick faced (1925)
Old Station Platform - levelled rock face (1877)
Eskbank Street Overbridge (1924)

STATION BUILDING (1925, extended 1961)
External: Constructed of face brick with a corrugated metal gabled roof extending as an awning to both platforms, the Lithgow station building is an island platform building in standard 'A10' Federation style design. It features 10 bays with a linear arrangement along the platform with tuckpointed brickwork and engaged piers between the bays. The eastern (Up) end of the building has been extended approximately one bay in 1961 (formerly used as Railway Refreshment Room) with a matching gable end detailing featuring large metal box-framed window openings supported on with brick brackets with security mesh and a single door with side windows and fanlight on the east side. A narrow awning provides protection over this door. Other features to the original bays of the building include standard iron brackets over decorative corbels supporting the ample platform awnings, fretted timber work to both ends of the awnings, timber framed double-hung vertically proportioned windows with multi-paned upper sashes, timber panelled doors with multi-paned fanlights, and a brick chimney with corbelled top and modern roof vents to toilets. The wall mounted clock on No.1 platform next to the Station Master’s office appears original. Windows on the platform elevations of the two most eastern bays have been enlarged and covered by security mesh or grills. Another single door with windows on each side is also located on the west end of the building and provides access to the gent’s toilets. There is a modern canopy extension at the western end of the station building, where the new platform canopy extends from the footbridge stairs access to the station.

Internal: Although the station building generally appears intact externally its internal room layouts and divisions have been modified. The original floor layout included (from west to east) an SM’s office, telegraph office, general waiting room, ladies room & lavatory, store and gent’s room. The current floor layout consists of a locked room, SM’s office, waiting room, ladies toilets, staff meal room and gent’s toilets. Apart from the toilets and the waiting room the rest of the rooms are kept locked. The interiors have been refurbished with only plasterboard ceiling panelling, simple moulded cornices and high wall vents appear to remain from the original phase. The floors are tiled.

FORMER BOOKING/PARCELS OFFICE & GOODS LIFT TOWER (1925)
External: The former booking office is located on the western side of the Eskbank Street overhead bridge at the Up end of the station. Constructed of timber with weatherboard cladding the building is now partially utilised as ladies waiting room and public toilets. It is elevated on a steel beam and trestles structure with concrete deck and adjoins the arched road overbridge on the eastern side. The former booking/parcels office also adjoins the timber goods lift tower on the north side. The street elevation of the building has been faced with a brick wall and a flat awning along the street frontage. A timber panelled balustrade with artwork reflecting a coal mining theme completes the remaining portion of the overhead bridge on the north side of the tower. The door and windows on the street elevations are of later modifications with metal frames and security mesh. The large gates to the former parcels office and the goods lift have been blocked with metal panels. Original timber framed double-hung windows with multi-paned upper sashes are located on north, east and western elevations of the booking/parcels office. A shallow pitched gabled red corrugated iron roof covers the building. The timber goods lift tower is the dominant element of the former booking/parcels office building and has a hipped corrugated metal roof. The goods lift is not in operation, and it is not clear if the original lift survives. However; existence of few safety signs indicates possible uses for maintenance or similar activities. The timber tower extends down onto the platform with a timber panelled out-of-shed building on the platform. The southern leg of the steel trestles sits within the out-of-shed.

Internal: Access only was available to the open ladies waiting room and toilets. The interiors of this former booking office are simple with plasterboard wall and ceiling panelling decorated with plain timber rail at lintel height and timber skirting. Floors are tiled. The original ticket window survives.

Booking office function removed from building and space converted to toilets or unused; pedestrian ramp removed and as such no pedestrian access to platforms; Roof replaced with corrugated iron; East facade along Eskbank Street faced with brick, with flat awning over the footpath; unsympathetic to original style and character of building; Doors and windows along street elevation replaced with unsympathetic equivalents; gates to the former luggage galley blocked with metal panels; Internal fixtures and fittings removed; partially refurbished as ladies waiting room and public toilets.

Notable original attributes: weatherboard siding; multi-pane sash windows; multi-pane fanlights; Dutch gable roof line, louvred gable vents, brick chimneys; ticket window; luggage lift tower and out-of-shed (unknown if lift is intact and/or operational).

STATION MASTER'S RESIDENCE (c.1880)
External: Located at 6 Railway Parade to the eastern side of Lithgow Station, the Station Master's residence is a fine example of a grand two-storey railway residence. It is constructed of brick and stone, with rusticated render to the main railway facades and a slate tiled roof. The residence is located on the northern side of the railway line with a projecting faceted observatory room over the entrance portico. The distinctive Victorian features include arched windows with contrasting rendered moulded trims and sills, projecting keystones, rendered contrasting string band at the first floor slab level, decorative moulded brackets supporting the wide eaves, a rendered chimney with corbelled top, timber framed double-hung windows with two-pane upper sashes, timber panelled entrance door with sidelights and fanlight, and an arched two-storey high decorative portico with tessellated tile flooring over the front entry dominating the railway façade. A highly decorated drawing room bay on the ground floor level dominates the Sydney side elevation of the building and features a series of segmental arched tall windows with moulded sill course and label panels below the sill, pitched slate roof with lead capping and flashing, decorative moulded brackets supporting the awning, and moulded trims and keystones to the arches. Access to the residence is via a porch from the face brick two-storey wing on the Railway Parade elevation. A later skillion roof utility room addition is located on the western side of the residence. The orientation of the building’s openings including the architectural detailing and embellishment provide evidence of the close relationship between the Station Master’s residence and the Station as well as the importance given to the railway staff at the time.

Internal: The former Station Master’s residence is still in use as guest accommodation and generally maintains its original layout and detailing despite the refurbishments over time. The main original features include timber board ceiling lining to the refurbished kitchen, timber moulded architraves throughout, decorative high wall vents, timber panelled ceilings with decorative ceiling roses to main ground floor rooms and upper floor bedrooms, an original light switch, timber decorative stair with turned balustrade and newel post, and fireplaces with simple timber surrounds. There is only one fireplace with a cast iron grate, the remainder of the fireplaces having been blocked. The kitchen features an old style Bega brand stove in the fireplace. The bathrooms and kitchen are relatively new fit-outs while the floor finishes are generally carpet to the rooms and tile to the wet areas. A small laundry and a toilet are located in the later skillion addition.

ISLAND PLATFORM (1925)
Lithgow station is a typical island platform, curving slightly along the Up end. The platform is brick faced with concrete deck and asphalt finish. Platform has been raised and resurfaced. Modern light fittings, illuminated signage, timber bench seating, small planters, and a central garden bed (which appears to be the former location of the access ramp/stairs from Eskbank Street) comprise the platform furnishings. The platform is set within the rock cutting lower than the adjoining street levels and accessed from the western end via concrete stairs and U-shaped tube-like ramps leading to the footbridge linking the station to both Railway Parade and Main Street. A contemporary canopy provides weather protection between the station building and the footbridge through the stairs.

HAYLEY STREET FOOTBRIDGE AND BOOKING OFFICE (1993)
The Hayley Street Footbridge is a modern concrete deck footbridge suspended over steel beam and trestles over the station platform and the railway tracks to both side streets leading to the bus interchange on Railway Parade. It has a simple arrangement with the Station Master’s office and the booking office on the northern half featuring a gabled corrugated metal roof with a small series of skylights. The remainder of the footbridge is covered with the same roof with no skylights and features steel pipe-rail balustrades with glazed enclosures. It is linked to the platform by the tube-like ramp and the stairs. A lift tower is located at the ramp entrance of the footbridge. The footbridge, overhead booking office and Station Master’s office are typical of modern structures with simple detailing and no architectural merit. Excluded from listing.

OLD STATION PLATFORM (1877)
This former platform is evidence of the first Lithgow Station and is a levelled railway platform over the rock cutting. It is located further to the west of the present station at the southern foundation of the Sandford Avenue overbridge. Access to the redundant platform was not available for close inspection. The former station building no longer exists.

ESKBANK STREET OVERBRIDGE (c1924)
Two rendered segmental arch spandrels with rock cliff abutments on both sides of the former overhead booking/parcels office structure.

MOVABLE ITEMS
Please note: this list is not complete.
- A Seth Thomas clock at overhead Station Master’s office (no number).
- Wall mounted clock on Platform 1 elevation of the Station Building next to the former Station Master’s office door.
- Various early timber station signs depicting the station building room and platform names.
- Old Bega brand stove in the kitchen of the SM’s residence.
- Early light switch on the upstairs main bedroom of the SM’s residence.
- Double set of timber rollover indicator boards without clock faces.

LANDSCAPE FEATURES
Apart from a couple of garden beds with shrubs and small planting along the eastern portion of the platform there is no landscaping at the station. The existing landscaping is not considered significant. However, the setting of the station within the rock cutting provides a distinctive landscape presentation to Lithgow Railway Station. During 2014 a dry stone retaining wall (c1925) was unearthed in the cutting during removal of vegetation, on the southern side of the embankment near the station. It is made of roughly shaped sandstone blocks extending from the overhead footbridge for approximately 20 meters and ranging in height up to 2 meters. The wall is believed to be part of the original station design (Australian Museum Consulting, 2014). The wall has been stabilised by covering in shotcrete.

POTENTIAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL FEATURES
The former 1877 railway platform of the first Lithgow Station is the only known potential archaeological element at the Lithgow Railway Station Group.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station Building - Generally in good condition with minimal missing mortar joints that present no structural danger.
Former Booking/Parcels office & Goods lift tower - In good condition
Station Master's Residence - Generally in good condition externally with cracks on the
rusticated render along bottom portion of the railway elevation. However, this is not considered as a structural issue. Natural wear and tear throughout the exterior evident. Internally the residence is in very good condition.
Island Platform - Good condition.
Hayley Street Footbridge - Very Good condition.
Old Station Platform - Access was not available for close inspection, however appears to be
in moderate condition due to overgrown grassed environment.
Date condition updated:25 Aug 09
Modifications and dates: Externally, the main platform building appears as it was constructed with additional bay on the Up end.
1929 - an awning was erected over the footpath of Eskbank Street.
1948 - the overhead booking office on Eskbank Street was extended.
1977- Office Building - air-condition units installed to the district engineer's, officer and clerk offices.
1983 - the Eskbank Street booking office was modernised.
1990 - a new ‘bus/rail interchange’ was erected at the western end of the platform with the footbridge over tracks. The Eskbank Street access ramp was closed and a new booking office was opened on the footbridge.
1994/95 - a lift was installed at the new ramp.
N.d- The former brick subtype 1 through shed (goods shed) could not be located and appears to have since been demolished.
N.d - Foot warmer and out-of-shed removed.
2011 - Upgrade of lift-tower and overhead booking office, including removal of hazardous materials
2014: Dry stone wall uncovered and stabilised with shotcrete.
2015: Modern canopy constructed along platform.
Further information: The Lithgow Coal Stage Signal Box, Eskbank Railway Station, and Lithgow (James Street) Underbridge all have separate listings. The site is included within a larger Conservation Area listed on Lithgow Council LEP (item C7) see LEP for mapping details.

The following item is located adjacent to the station but is excluded from the listing as it does not warrant listing:

Office Building - c.1955 large two-storey office building of face brick construction. It is located to the west of the Station Master's residence at the corner of Railway Parade and Eskbank Street. The building combines three adjacent wings, one of which has a higher sill level to the upper storey windows resulting in a higher eaves and ridge level than the other wings. They form a stepped complex building. The overall fenestration of the building is typical of post-war period office building façade articulation featuring large 12-pane metal windows with three casement windows, with dominant mullions emphasised. A rendered string course forms a hood along the lintel height of the ground floor and is the only decorative element on the main façade that provides continuity between the wings beside the windows. The main office block entry is from the eastern smallest wing via a recessed porch with large multi-paned floor to ceiling glazing and a single door opening. Three doors with a utilitarian appearance (one to the main large building and the others in group to the central wing) provide separate access to the individual wings. The roof is hipped with terracotta tiles. A single flight later addition steel fire stair is attached to the west elevation of the large wing, which required creation of a new door opening on the upper level elevation. These are the only visible major modifications to the exterior of the building. Security grills to ground floor doors and obscure glazing to some windows are the other minor changes.
Current use: Railway Station, Guest accommodation
Former use: Railway Station, SM residence

History

Historical notes: With the completion of the Lithgow Zig Zag in 1869, the Western railway's terminus moved from Mt Victoria to Bowenfels, signifying the successful crossing of the Blue Mountains. Whilst the railway would continue west, Lithgow proved to be an important destination in itself due to coal & iron ore deposits.

The line opened in 1869 but there was no station for Lithgow until 1877. The first station at Lithgow was located just to the west of the present station. The former 1877 railway platform is still extant.

In the first half of the 1920s, it was decided to expand Lithgow as a regional headquarters for the NSW Railways. Apart from the new large locomotive depot, the Railways selected a new site west of Eskbank station for the development of a new passenger station.

The new station site featured two new buildings, both opened in 1925. The first was a timber booking and parcels office elevated on a steel beam frame with a concrete deck that was located adjacent to Eskbank Street. Access from this entry point was by a ramp and stepway to the island platform. One unusual feature was the installation of a lift for staff use only to handle baggage, parcels and 'out-ofs'.

Like most stations between Emu Plains and Lithgow, Lithgow received a standard Federation style set of two platform structures, a main face brick building and a detached brick 'out-of' shed. There was also a footwarmer shed on the western end of the platform. In 1961, the last traditional Railway Refreshment Room was built and opened in the Sydney end of the building, following the closure of a similar facility at Mt. Victoria.

A two-storey face brick office building for train controller and western communications was constructed at 12 Railway Parade at the corner of Railway Parade and Eskbank Street in 1954-56, and is still in use in 2009.

The overhead station offices and footbridge were constructed in c.1993 and access has been relocated to the western end of the station.

The former overhead booking office and parcels office was upgraded in April 2011, with the removal of internal asbestos fibro cement sheeting and replacement with non-hazardous modern plasterboard. The former corrugated asbestos roofing of the building was also replaced with a modern equivalent, in the form of corrugated metal sheeting and sections of lead paint encapsulated with a new heritage paint scheme. Reconstructing matching bargeboards and timber finials to conserve its heritage character completed the external works. Although the former goods lift from the platform to street level is no longer in service, the building is partially leased to Lithgow Council for use as public amenities. The project was reported in the Lithgow Mercury as “one of the most environmentally pleasing projects in the Lithgow CBD in years”.

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 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-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Servicing and accomodating railway employees-
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 Shaping inland settlements-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Railway Administration-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Lithgow Railway Station Group is of historical significance for its role as an important regional headquarters for NSW Railways combining a range of buildings and structures dating from the 1880s to the mid-1920s and for its association with the rail history and the coal industry in the Lithgow and Eskbank area. The site provides physical evidence of the activities and development that occurred in Lithgow railway historic precinct and marks an important phase in the evolution of railway operations in the most western end of the upper Blue Mountains and the Metro West railway region.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Lithgow Railway Station Group is of aesthetic significance as it comprises a number of buildings that are individually good examples of their type. The station building is a good example of the standard island building style with a sympathetic addition to one end and features typical characteristics elements of the Federation design railway building. The weatherboard overhead booking and parcels office building and the goods lift tower display both aesthetic and technical achievements in design and construction. Although it is unclear it appears that the original lift may still be in use. The Station Master’s residence is a fine example of a grand two-storey railway residence with a prominent and landmark quality overlooking the railway corridor. Its distinctive architectural detailing and fenestration is evidence of prosperity in the railways and the importance given to the railway staff in the 1880s.
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]
Lithgow Railway Station Group has research potential at local level due to its relatively intact complex of buildings that generally maintain their original relationship and layout. The group also has the ability to provide valuable information on railway design for the local coal industry as part of the larger rail network.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Lithgow Railway Station Group comprises a rare goods lift tower from the street down to the platform. The 1925 goods lift tower is a unique arrangement and possibly the first example of providing this form of platform access in the railway network.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The Station Group as a whole is a representative example of a larger station design incorporating standard design buildings and structures associated with the coal industry goods traffic that is still an important railway activity in the region.
The Overhead Booking Office at Lithgow was identified as an item of high heritage significance in the 2014 ‘Railway OHBO Heritage Conservation Strategy’ and an integral component of the heritage precinct. The overhead booking office and goods lift tower has aesthetic and technical significance as part of a cohesive group of standard Federation period railway station structures, representative of urban station design in the early twentieth century. The goods lift tower is a unique element, and possibly the first example of this form of platform access in the railway network. However, the building is no longer used as booking office and may be difficult to interpret.
Integrity/Intactness: The overall integrity of the Railway Station Group including the station building, the residence, and the overhead booking /parcels office and goods lift tower is high. The buildings are relatively intact externally.
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 register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA25State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW1993238Paul Davies for SRA  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW1993 Paul Davies for SRA  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 City Plan Heritage  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenARHS2009Historical information prepared for S170 update project
WrittenAustralian Museum Consulting2014Letter regarding Dry Stone Retaining Wall at Lithgow Railway Station
WrittenMuseum Consulting Services2014Railway Overhead Booking Offices Heritage Conservation Strategy
WrittenSharp, S.A1982The Railway Stations of NSW 1855-1980

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

rez rez rez rez rez rez
rez rez rez rez rez
(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4801025


Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.