Milsons Point Railway Station | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Milsons Point Railway Station

Item details

Name of item: Milsons Point Railway Station
Other name/s: Kirribilli Railway Station, Sydney Harbour Bridge Approaches
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Alfred Street, Milsons Point, NSW 2061
Local govt. area: North Sydney


North: The Down side of the Lavender Street underbridge abutmentsSouth: The Up side of the Fitzroy Street underbridge abutmentsEast: To the fence line bounding the railway corridor and the Bradfield HighwayWest: To 5 metres from the wall of the Sydney Harbour Bridge approachNote the Milsons Point Station is also within the curtilage boundary as defined for the Sydney Harbour Bridge Approaches (road and rail) SHR listing (5045703).
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Alfred StreetMilsons PointNorth Sydney  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Milsons Point station has state historical significance as an essential component of the northern approaches to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The form and detail of the subway and tunnels in particular are significant as part of the overall design and specifications for the bridge as set down by Chief Engineer JJC Bradfield. The Milsons Point station retains a number of original features and decorative elements from its original construction phase including the platform building and entrance way awning from the Alfred Street side.
Date significance updated: 14 May 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: Sydney Harbour Bridge Branch Department of Public Works
Builder/Maker: Sydney Harbour Bridge Branch Department of Public Works
Construction years: 1928-1932
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Platform office and shelter, (1932)

Platform faces, (1932)
Subway entrances, (1932)
Concourse, (1932)
Walls and abutments, (1932)
Burton Street Underbridge, (1932)

Platform structures include a platform office and shelter awnings over. The platform office retains timber double-hung sash windows.

The island platform configuration is accessed via concrete stairs and a recently installed elevator. It is straight on the Platform 1 side with brick and cement render and has been extended at both ends. Platform 2 is convex made of concrete. Walls have been anchored.

The Alfred Street entrance retains its 1932 decorative awning and original light fittings either side. The Broughton Street awning has been replaced (date unknown) with a modern awning that extends over the entrances to shops that face Broughton Street. Above each entrance is fixed a cartouche with '1932' written on it.

The concourse level includes station managers office, ticket and booking offices, amenities and a series of small shop outlets on the northern side. Access is via covered subway entrance ways in Alfred and Broughton streets. The stairs and walls of the concourse are tiled in cream-coloured ceramic tiles with maroon bands as top courses. The concourse includes a number of small shop fronts used for take away and small businesses, with shops facing Broughton Street. These were included in the original 1932 layout.

The external walls and abutments are finished in rendered concrete in keeping with the overall bridge design.

The south end of the Station group area includes the Burton Street Underbridge (4.340km), a high arch reinforced concrete underbridge constructed as part of the northern approaches to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and a similar design as the neighbouring Fitzroy Street Underbridge (4.250km). The northern end is defined by the Lavender Street Underbridge. This is a reinforced concrete bridge with open spandrels. It is a unique design among the Sydney Harbour Bridge approach underbridges.
These underbridges are dealt with as individual items on separate listings (See Listing No's 4801823, 4801822)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station Building: good condition
Platform: good condition
Entries: Some small cracks are visible in the external render around both the Alfred and the Broughton Street entries
Underbridge: good condition
Date condition updated:24 Jun 09
Modifications and dates: c1980s: Shop and entrance awnings replaced on Broughton Street side
c2006: Platform elevator installed.
N.d: Internal walls in the concourse, stairways and subway areas painted.
Further information: Historic photos of the station construction in 1932 indicate that the fasciae of the station platform shelter are original, as is the decorative awning for the Alfred Street entrance. Tiles are as specified in Bradfield's colour scheme for the city railway.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: In 1815 government architect Francis Greenway, in a report to Governor Macquarie, proposed the building of a bridge from Dawes Point at the city's edge to the northern shore. However it was not until 1922 that legislation was passed and acted upon, authorising the construction of a bridge. Tenders were invited in 1923 in accordance with general plans and specification prepared by Dr JJC Bradfield, Chief Engineer, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Railway Construction. The plans and specification provided the alternatives of a cantilever or an arch bridge.

Twenty proposals were received from six different companies of various types of design. The tender of Dorman Long & Co Ltd, of Middlesborough, England, for an arch bridge was accepted, the design being substantially in accordance with one of Dr Bradfield's proposals. The detailed design was carried out by the contractor's consulting engineer, Sir Ralph Freeman, and the fabrication and construction were under the direct charge of Mr Lawrence Ennis, a director of the firm. The design and construction of the bridge were supervised at all stages by Dr Bradfield and his staff.

First work on the bridge commenced in 1924 with construction of the bridge approaches and the approach spans. Construction of the approach spans was undertaken concurrently with erection of the steelwork for the actual bridge structure. The building of the approaches on the north side included the construction of North Sydney Station, Milsons Point Station and a number of underbridges to carry the railway. The approaches were designed and built by the Sydney Harbour Bridge Branch of the Public Works Department and the Metropolitan Railway Construction Branch of the NSW Government Railways. The northern approaches were built using spoil from the excavation of the North Sydney station site to build a ramp up to the main bridge level. Retaining walls of concrete, built by Monier Concrete, were built along Broughton and Alfred Streets and Bradfield and Pacific Highways.

Concrete had been extensively used for foundations and walls since the 1890s. By 1910 reinforced concrete was in use, but not for superstructures directly supporting railway tracks. The Bellevue Street underbridge at Glebe was the first to use it for this purpose, in 1919.

The Milsons Point station was constructed between 1929 and 1932 as part of the northern approaches. It was initially called Kirribilli Station, but was changed to Milsons Point before its opening. By June 1931 the station platform had been completed and a portion of the platform awnings had also been erected. The railway decking had advanced as far as Milsons Point, tracks had begun to be laid and the transoms delivered for installation. By January 1932 the platforms had been covered with asphalt, the brickwork of the shops in the arcade below the station was completed as was the tiling, the laying of magnesite flooring in the station office, terrazzo flooring in the lavatories, the erection of the metal awnings at the Alfred Street and Broughton Street entrances, terracotta facing to the station and installation of gates and barriers. Trackwork was completed and ballast laid along the tracks at the same time.

On 19 March 1932 the Milsons Point station was officially opened as part of the larger bridge opening celebrations to roadway, railway and pedestrian traffic by the then premier of NSW, JT Lang.

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-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Milsons Point Station has state historical significance as an essential component of the northern approaches of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and as a linking station in JJC Bradfield's city railway network. The station is unusual on the NSW system for being constructed by the specially created Sydney Harbour Bridge Branch of the Department of Public Works rather than NSW Government Railways.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Milsons Point Station is significant for its association with JJC Bradfield, chief engineer and designer for the Sydney Harbour Bridge and his wider Sydney Harbour Bridge and city railway network scheme.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Milsons Point Station has aesthetic significance for its retention of the original design's decorative features such as the Alfred Street awning, Alfred Street light fittings and cream and maroon tiling on the platform access stairs. The use of reinforced concrete for the construction of the station building is an early example of this construction technique on a large scale.
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 f)
Milsons Point Station is the only intact station built as part of the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It retains original features of the 1932 design which have been completely removed from its sister station at North Sydney.
SHR Criteria g)
Milsons Point Station is a representative externally of the Sydney Harbour Bridge architectural style and internally representative of the City Underground finishes as displayed in Museum and St James Stations.
Integrity/Intactness: The Milsons Point Station group is largely intact and retains a high 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 registerSRA s.170 Register    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA26State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW1993251Paul Davies for SRA  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 Godden Mackay Logan  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenNSW Department of Public Works Annual reports 1928-1932
WrittenRichard Raxworthy1989The Unreasonable Man: The life and works of JJC Bradfield

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: 4801026

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