St Marys Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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St Marys Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: St Marys Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Queen Street, St Marys, NSW 2760
Parish: Castlereagh
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Penrith

Boundary:

North: RailCorp property boundary to Forrester Road and to the rear of property boundaries fronting Harris Street; South: RailCorp property boundary to Queen and Station Streets incorporating the goods shed and crane paved area (excluding bus terminal and properties to the east along the railway corridor); West: Western edge of Forrester Road and Queen Street; East: 5 metres from the edge of the platforms.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Queen StreetSt MarysPenrithCastlereaghCumberlandPrimary Address
Forrester RoadSt MarysPenrith  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

St Marys Station Group is of state significance as an early station opened in the 1860s when the Great Western Railway was extended from Parramatta and for the role it played in handling the increased traffic for the American ammunition and general store built at Ropes Creek during World War II. The station, in particular the signal box, has strong associations with the operations of the once important rail system to Dunheved and Ropes Creek, and with the development of local industry and residential expansion of St Marys after 1942. The place has research and technical potential for its ability to provide evidence on the construction techniques and operational system of the NSW Railways in the 1880s and during the World War II period.

St Marys Station Group has representative significance combining a range of buildings and structures dating from the 1880s and World War II period to the present day including the station building, goods shed, signal box, crane and footbridge substructure. St Marys Station Group features a number of rare structures including the goods shed, the only brick example of its type in the state and the associated crane, one of a few remaining cranes in the Sydney area. The signal box is one of few remaining such structures using utilitarian materials in a non-standard style.
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
Construction years: 1862-1995
Physical description: BUILDINGS
station building on Platforms 3/4, type 3, brick, second class (1888)
signal box - non-standard, platform structure (1942)
goods shed - subtype 2, brick, side shed without awning (c.1880)

STRUCTURES
2 x island platforms (1942-3)
Footbridge - steel, beam and column structure over the platforms (1942, 1994/5)
Crane - type 1, jib crane - 5 ton, iron, Gregory & Co, San Francisco (1943)


PLATFORMS 3/4 BUILDING (1888)
External: St Marys station building is a type 3 second class station building and is constructed of brick with centrally located waiting room flanked by attached two small wings on both ends. The waiting room has no wall on the rail side and extends by a wide corrugated metal awning supported on timber posts and beams featuring exposed rafters and decorative timberboards at both ends. The street elevation of the waiting room consists of four vertically proportioned timber box framed windows and a door opening with no glass or door panels. Both wing rooms are locked and secured by security grills installed on both window and door openings. Each wing features one face brick tall chimney with corbelled top above the relatively new corrugated metal roof of the building. A pitched modern metal canopy with awnings on both elevations supported on steel frame and columns extends on Down and Up ends of the building.

Internal: Internal access to the enclosed side wings was not possible, however they could be viewed from the windows and appear to have remained relatively intact. The central waiting room features painted brick walls, timber board ceiling lining and tile floor finish.

SIGNAL BOX (1942)
External: A two-storey signal box accommodating the control room on the first floor level with staff amenities and the relay room on the ground floor. The timber framed walls are clad in flat asbestos cement sheets. The first floor roof, which is extended over the roof of the relay room together with the top roof are of flat membrane concealed behind wide moulded fascias that project over wide eaves. The control room has curved walls and aluminium curved windows at the western end. Ground floor doors and windows are timber framed. The box is situated at ground level a short distance from the western end of the station island platform. Designed by New South Wales Government Railways.

Internal: The spaces are original but the electric control console and wall panel have been replaced in recent years by computerised console system placed behind a high bench. Access to the ground floor and relay room was not available. The curved observation windows of the control room have been covered by blinds from inside and metal sun control panel from outside as direct visual communication is no longer required.

GOODS SHED (c.1880)
External: A Subtype 2 rectangular face brickwork goods shed with corrugated metal pitched roof. It is the only brick example of a Subtype 2 shed and remains relatively intact. The shed features simply detailed timber bargeboards at both gable ends, semi-circular arched tall window openings (boarded externally) with cement rendered sills, flat cement rendered lintels and timber thresholds to two-panel timberboard loading doors on both station side and street side elevations, and a single segmental arched door on the western side facing the bus interchange. Facades of the Goods Shed are emphasised by recessed bays with dentilated tops around the arched windows. A brick platform with bullnosed capped brick retaining walls along the edges and the sides of brick steps is located on the rail side of the Goods Shed.

Internal: The Shed is essentially a large single space with exposed timber framed truss roof underneath of the corrugated metal roofing visible and timberboard flooring. Configuration of the multi-paned steel windows with fanlights and toughened glazing is evident from the interior. The brick walls are painted. Horizontal steel mechanisms for the sliding loading doors cross over the fanlights of the windows.

PLATFORMS (1942-3)
2 island platforms that consist of steel post with in situ concrete panels and concrete coping. Corrugated metal pitched canopies supported on a steel beam and column frames provide protection over both platforms with the canopy on Platform 3/4 extending around the existing 1888 Waiting Room roof and awning, which remain visible above the new canopy. Modern timber bench seating, lighting, amenities, vending machines and aluminium palisade fencing are other features on the platforms. Platforms are accessible via stairs and lift towers leading to the footbridge, where the 1995 overhead booking office and concourse are located. The 1995 corrugated metal canopy replaced the 1942 brick station building on Platform 1/2.

FOOTBRIDGE (1942)
A modified standard footbridge with 1942 steel structural frame supported on steel columns. Sets of stairs to each street and platform provides access together with two modern lift towers at either end of the footbridge. Both sides of the footbridge, which accommodates the concourse and the overhead booking office, are enclosed by steel framed glass panels. The main space of the footbridge is covered by a corrugated metal hipped roof punctuated by ventilation gables and a central tower element creating a common architectural language with the motor towers of the station lifts.

CRANE (1943)
A type 1 jib crane that was manufactured by Frederick Gregory & Co and placed at St Marys on the 24th August 1943. It is of five ton capacity with official number of "T 166". It is placed on an octagonal concrete foundation and currently preserved as an industrial archaeological item within a brick dwarf wall and aluminium palisade fencing around its perimeter. A mature tree is also located within the protected space. It is one of approximately 8 jib cranes remaining in the Sydney area, other cranes also remain at Fairfield and Windsor.

LANDSCAPE FEATURES
Other than a couple of trees within the forecourt of the Goods Shed there are no landscape features. These trees appear to date from the early 1990s.

POTENTIAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL FEATURES
There is no visible evidence of the 1942 brick station building that was removed from Platform 1/2 or other previous structures. St Marys Station has therefore low archaeological potential.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station Buildings: Both of the station buildings are in good condition.

Signal Box: The building is generally in good condition with some rusting at the metal fascia of the parapet and broken window glass (appears to be vandalised).

Goods Shed: The goods shed is vacant and is in relatively poor condition though structurally appears to be sound. Significant rising damp and salt problem is evident throughout the base of the walls both externally and internally, which requires immediate attention to halt further deterioration and prevent any structural damage. A number of timber floorboards are broken or missing. Internal wall painting finish is flaking.

Platforms: Both of the platforms are in good condition.

Footbridge: It is in good condition.

Crane: It is secured by metal fencing and is in good condition.
Date condition updated:02 Dec 08
Modifications and dates: 1994-95 - major upgrading work to footbridge, including covering footbridge deck and stairs.
1995 - Overhead booking office designed by Spooner Harris & Associates - builder unknown - erected on 1943 steel beam sub-structure
1995 - 1942 station building on Platforms 1/2 (type 13, brick, standard roadside) has been demolished and replaced by a canopy
2001 - original electric control console and wall panel of the Signal Box have been replaced, and additional platform canopies installed.
2010 - commuter carpark constructed to North of station
2011 - Replacement of modern hydraulic lifts with electric lifts in same lift shaft.
20017 - Bird Proofing, Landscaping improvements, Toilet refurbishments, Lighting LED replacements – All Vandalux and Pole top lights fittings replaced to LED fittings, KOP – Seats and Bins changed in accordance with KOP Catalogue
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Railway Station, Goods Yard, Signal Box

History

Historical notes: St. Marys station opened as South Creek when the Great Western Railway was extended from Parramatta in 1863. On August 5, 1885 it was given its present name and prior to this a brick goods shed was built in the yard, which remains in the station precinct. A crane is also extant.

The line was duplicated in 1886. The Platform 3 & 4 building dates from 1888 and the contractor was John Ahearn & Wm. King.

Major changes were made to the site in 1942-3, which included construction of the present signal box, the Platform 1 & 2 building, and the islanding of both platforms as well as the opening in stages of the branch line to Ropes Creek. These changes were 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.

The signal box is of a select non-standard elevated electric power operated type and is only the second to be built at the station. It was constructed in 1942 to provide signal and track control on the main line and the then new branch line serving the wartime munitions factories at Dunheved and Ropes Creek. The signal box was the only example built during World War II to have a flat roof. The original electric control console and wall panel have been replaced.

The 1943 footbridge underwent major upgrading work in 1994-95, including covering the footbridge deck and stairs and a new overhead booking office designed by Spooner Harris & Associates. The 1995 works also involved replacing the canopy on the Platform 1 & 2 building.

In 2001 additional platform canopies were constructed.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Transporting agricultural supplies-
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 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. Evolution of design in railway engineering and architecture-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
St Marys Station Group is of historical significance as one of the early railway stations opened when the Great Western Railway was extended from Parramatta and for its role during World War II in handling the increased traffic for the American ammunition and general store built at Ropes Creek.

The signal box is also of historical significance as a wartime box built as a result of the important branch line workings to the Ropes Creek munitions factory.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
St Marys Station Group is of aesthetic significance for its collection of railway structures including an early station building, goods shed and crane dating from the 1880s and 1940s featuring typical architectural elements of their types. The aesthetic significance of the station, however; has been reduced by the addition of extensive metal canopies on both platforms affecting the visual quality of the 1880s building and the overall station. The goods shed is aesthetically significant as a good example of its type and dominant feature within the station precinct. The signal box is a good example of the Inter-War period 'Modern' design box built with utilitarian materials in a non-standard style.
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 past.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
St Marys Station has research and technical potential for its ability to provide evidence on the construction techniques and operational system of the NSW Railways in the 1880s and during the World War II period.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
St Marys Station Group features a number of rare items in that the goods shed is the only brick example of a side goods shed in NSW. Furthermore, the goods shed is rare, as only a few goods sheds remain in the Metropolitan area, being once a common structure at all major railway station sites. The signal box is rare as one of a few such signal boxes left in the state.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
St Marys Station Group is a representative example of railway station arrangements combining a range of buildings and structures dating from the 1880s and World War II period to the present day including the main station building, goods shed, signal box, crane, footbridge substructure and overhead booking office. It provides physical evidence of railway operations and policies that were established and shaped in accordance with the politics and war industries. The station building is a representative example of 'type 3' second class railway station buildings.
The footbridge was identified as an item of little heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. However, the strategy recommended detailed physical analysis prior to any change to confirm the significance of the structure.
Integrity/Intactness: St Marys Station Group is a relatively intact example of a station group. However, removal of the 1940s Platform 1/2 building and signal equipment of the signal box reduced its integrity. The station building is relatively intact both externally and internally and maintains its integrity. The goods shed has high integrity. The crane is intact. The footbridge has low 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.

Listings

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 Study1999SRA36State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW1993298Paul Davies for SRA  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
WrittenARHS2009Historical information prepared for S170 update project
WrittenForsyth J.H1974Historical Notes on Railway Lines
WrittenSchwager Brooks and Partners1995St. Marys Railway Station
WrittenSharp, S.1984Survey of Railway Structures in NSW
WrittenSingleton, C.C.1963‘Centenary of the Opening of the Western Line to Penrith’Bulletin No.303, Jan
WrittenTaaffe, R.T.1990The Use and Selection of Materials in Railway signal Box Construction

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: 4801036


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