Wentworth Falls Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Wentworth Falls Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Wentworth Falls Railway Station Group
Other name/s: Weatherboard
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Station Street, Wentworth Falls, NSW 2782
Parish: Jamison
County: Cook
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains

Boundary:

West: 5 metres from edge of rail corridor along Station Street; East: 5 metres from edge of rail corridor along Railway Parade (excluding carpark) and to the side road off Railway Parade; North & South: 5 metres from each end of the platform.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Station StreetWentworth FallsBlue Mountains JamisonCookPrimary Address
Railway Parade Unknown  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Wentworth Falls Railway Station Group is of local significance demonstrating two major building construction phases on the upper Blue Mountains including the technological and engineering achievements in railway construction at the end of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The Station was the terminus of the Blue Mountains railway from July 1867 until the Mount Victoria section of the line opened in May 1868. The Wentworth Falls Station Group is an excellent example of a Federation free classical railway station combining architectural features of two distinct standard railway designs in order to adapt a roadside building into an island platform building. It is a focal point within the Wentworth Falls village contributing to the urban character and setting of the town.
Date significance updated: 17 Jun 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.

Description

Designer/Maker: NSW Department of Railways
Builder/Maker: NSW Department of Railways
Construction years: 1890-1891
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Station Building - originally type 4 (to type 11) (1890, 1902)
Lamp Room - detached, brick (1890, 1902)
Out of Shed - brick (1902)

STRUCTURES
Island platform - brick faced (1890 & 1902)
Footbridge - steel beam & column structure over tracks and platform (1994)

STATION BUILDING (1890)
External: Wentworth Falls station building was originally constructed as a side platform building in the form of a 'type 4' standard roadside station building. It was converted into an island platform building when the line was duplicated in 1902. The existing building essentially presents architectural elements and design of a 'type 11' island building and differs significantly from its original design externally. It however, maintains the original main station building with a brick wing at one end linked by a lower pavilion. The station building is constructed of red painted brickwork with corrugated metal gabled roof extending as an awning to both platforms and features timber framed windows and doors with contrasting decorative rendered trims and sills, standard iron brackets over corbels supporting platform awnings, fretted timber work to both ends of awnings, flying gable with double ventilation windows and timber finial, three tall corbelled chimneys, timber framed sash windows generally with obscure glazing, and timber door openings with fanlights. The brick wing is located at the Sydney end of the main building and features the same design and architectural elements with gabled roof in the opposite direction of the main building. This end of the station building together with the pavilion accommodates the men's toilets. It appears that the original privacy wall on the western side of the pavilion has been removed creating a more distinct form to the overall setting of the buildings. All of the windows and some doors have been fitted with security grills. Some of the fanlights have also been enclosed for an air-conditioning unit.

Internal: The station building appears to have maintained most of its original detailing and finishes. The original floor layout remains including ticket office, general waiting room, ladies waiting room with toilets for ladies in the pavilion, and men’s toilets in the western wing. The interiors, depending the use of the room, generally feature plaster ceilings with moulded plaster cornices and ceiling roses, plaster board ceiling panels with beading, and timber board ceilings with simple moulded cornices, enclosed or adapted fireplaces, later floor tiling or carpet finish, and timber skirting to waiting room and ticket office. All toilet and light fittings are relatively new.

LAMP ROOM (1890)
External: Constructed as part of the original station building with enclosed yard at the eastern end, the former lamp room is a polychromatic face brick small rectangular shed with corrugated metal gabled roof. The original yard enclosure is no longer extant and the shed stands separate from the main building at the stairs end of the platform. The fenestration includes symmetrically positioned, tall, vertically proportioned, double hung windows with contrasting rendered trims and sills on both shorter sides, and timber panelled doors with the same trims on both long sides. Other features include timber wide bargeboards, gable windows and concrete base. Windows are secured by grills.

Internal: The former lamp room now is used for storage and has painted brick walls and timber board ceiling. Lower sashes of the double hung windows have been blocked at one side while the other windows are fitted with toughened mesh glazing.

OUT OF SHED (1902)
External: A small square shaped polychromatic brick shed featuring two rows of moulded string course detailing around the shed below the moulded and rendered trims of the door and windows. It is located on the south side of the station building opposite the men's toilets. The shed features a gabled corrugated metal roof with timber bargeboard and narrow eaves, a single door on the south elevation, decorative rendered sills, and rendered plinth course. The timber sash windows are fitted with security grills the same as the other windows at the station.

Internal: Internal access was not available for the shed (2009).

ISLAND PLATFORM (1890 & 1902)
Wentworth Falls Station Group has an island platform in elliptical shape curved in accordance with the deviation of the line. It was originally constructed as a road side platform in 1890 and reconfigured to form an island platform in 1902 when the line was duplicated. The platform is brick faced with a concrete deck and asphalt finish. A number of kerbed garden beds with plantings and small trees are scattered along the central line of the platform and the bases of buildings at some elevations. Modern light fittings, signage, a water fountain, timber bench seating and aluminium palisade fencing at both ends of the platform are other features along the platform. Access to the street level is provided by a set of stairs leading to the footbridge at the northern end.

Platform 1 (1902): Original platform is unreinforced concrete cast in situ, with stepped coping and rectangular weepholes. Platform has been extended at both ends in brick with corbelled coping.

Platform 2 (1890): Platform originally brickwork, laid in English bond, with a battered profile. Platform has been extended at both ends in brick with corbelled coping. Coping has been raised and cut back, particularly around the centre of the platform.

FOOTBRIDGE (1994)
A steel beam structure with concrete deck and stairs supported on slender steel columns. Metal bar balustrades secure the edges of the bridge and the stairs. The footbridge is located towards the northern end of the platform and provides access to and from both streets. It is the most recent addition to the station.

MOVABLE
Fitted cast iron sink in lamp room (Comms room)
Fitted wooden shelves in both lamp room and out of shed
Red fitted timber ticket bench in lamp room
Loose timber door, possibly from ticket bench
Timber platform luggage trolley
Red and white emergency equipment board
Timber ticket stock cabinet with four doors and 5x7 internal pigeon holes
Loose cast iron stormwater grates
Fanlight from Waiting Room entrance door
Three timber ladders
Two timber-framed backboards, white with piece of frame missing
Timber framed blackboard with black timber panelling (rare)
Timber noticeboards with hinged glazed door (glass broken) (rare)
All station signage in situ, including two “Wentworth Falls” white line platform signs on lamp post
Signage in storage including two black and white reflective “Wentworth Falls” station signs, one “Wentworth Falls” white line platform sign in storage, SRA / CityRail W-Falls Station Upgrading sign, two men’s toilets signs, ticket office, waiting room, booking office signs in storage.
Timber desk with turned legs and more recent tabletop used in staff room
Wooden chair
Dispatch bags
Collection of framed staff service awards
Collection of framed artwork in original waiting room, including oil painting of Darcy Wentworth with Wentworth Falls behind (this painting is by local Blue Mountains artist, Vernon Treweeke and part of a group of artworks by the same artist at Blaxland, Blackheath, Wentworth Falls, Lawson and Woodford Railway Stations).
Cast iron safe
Two wall-mounted timber-framed noticeboards in original waiting room
Fitted timber benches in original waiting room
Fireplace hearth and chimney in original waiting room
Cast iron and concrete door threshold and bootscraper
Remnant iron rail fencing within precinct
Wall-mounted commuter telephone
Wall-mounted steel vent hoods
Pair of timber rollover indicator boards with clock faces and without pedals

WAR MEMORIAL 1921 / CORONATION PARK 1953
In front of the station is a community war memorial and garden. It comprises a tall sandstone column set into a carved sandstone plinth, seated on a four stepped sandstone platform, with a carved sphere and wreath at the top and plaques attached and two flagpoles in a garden. One bronze plaque list Wentworth Falls community veterans names who gave their lives in WWI, and a second bronze plaque Wentworth Falls community veterans names who served in WWI, and a trachyte tablet was inscribed with Wentworth Falls community veterans names who gave their lives in WWII, and a third bronze plaque commemorates the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The memorial was initiated by the Wentworth Falls community and designed by prominent architect John Burcham Clamp. It was originally located at the corner of Great Western Highway and Station Street and unveiled by Governor Walter Davidson in 1921. It was relocated to Coronation Park in front of the railway station in 1984. Around the edges of the outer garden beds are set engraved plaques on concrete plinths commemorating local service men and women. The memorial is maintained by the Blue Mountains City Council.

LONE GRAVE – JAMES FERGUSON
Within the rail corridor near the road overbridge and 220m west of the station lies the sandstone headstone and footstone of James Ferguson who was killed by lightening on 21 December 1859 aged 22 years and 10 months. When the Blue Mountains railway line was built it traversed the burial spot and the headstone was moved and moved again further east when duplication of the line took place. As a colonial gravestone and marker of an early lone burial site, the headstone and footstone are of very high significance.

LANDSCAPE FEATURES
The setting of the station within the tree lined escarpments is typical of the natural setting of the Blue Mountains stations although it is within a more urbanised town centre. The station features a small number of garden beds with plantings on the platform that enhances its overall presentation. However, none of these plantings have significant landscape value.
Sandstone/concrete rusticated garden beds on platform
No 2 Road Depot marker within Coronation Park – a Blue Mountains Historical Society marker indicating William Cox road depot used for the construction of the road over the Blue Mountains in 1814.
Established trees in Coronation Park, on the platform and within the rail corridor.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station Building - generally in good condition externally and internally. Evidence of water penetration from the open bottom of the downpipes observed. External paint finish on the walls of the main building is also flaking in many locations and requires regular maintenance.

Lamp Room - Externally Good; internally Moderate

Out of Shed - Good

Island platform - Good

Footbridge - Good
Date condition updated:10 Sep 08
Modifications and dates: 1902: platform and building were converted from a side to an island arrangement.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: The Great Western Railway went through Wentworth Falls in 1867 and the platform opened at this location in the same year, though it was named 'Weatherboard' until 1879. This was the terminus of the Blue Mountains railway from July 1867 until the Mt Victoria section of the line opened in May 1868.

In 1891, the station received its present composition of a main structure and two pavilions, one attached and one detached. It was one of the very last standard roadside stations to be built on the NSW rail system.

The 'out of' shed was erected in 1902 when the platform was converted from a side to an island configuration with the duplication of the line. The station is externally in very much original condition but a number of changes have been made internally including new toilet fittings, floor finishes and enclosed or adapted fireplaces.

The present pedestrian bridge dates from 1994.

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-
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 Pioneer Lines-
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]
Wentworth Falls Station Group is of historical significance demonstrating two major building construction phases on the upper Blue Mountains demonstrating the technological and engineering achievements in railway construction at the end of the 19th Century and early 20th Century. The station was the terminus of the Blue Mountains railway from July 1867 until the Mount Victoria section of the line opened in May 1868.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Wentworth Falls Station Group is an excellent example of a Federation free classical railway station combining architectural features of two distinct standard railway designs in order to adapt a 'type 4' roadside building to a 'type 11' island platform building. It is a focal point within the Wentworth Falls village contributing to the urban character and setting of the town.
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 f)
[Rarity]
The station buildings as a group are the only early example of a large scale standard railway design in Blue Mountains converted from a roadside station to an island platform station, which makes it relatively rare under this criterion.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The Station Group is a representative example of two major railway building construction phases in the Blue Mountains combining elements of two distinct standard designs at the end of the 19th Century.
Integrity/Intactness: The station is externally in very much original condition (as modified in 1902) but a number of changes have been made internally to the amenities and floor finishes in particular. Its integrity is high.
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 Study1999SRA39State Rail Authority  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
WrittenFraser, D1996Survey of Railway Footbridges
WrittenSharp, S.A1982The Railway Stations of NSW 1855-1980

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: 4801039


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