Killara Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Killara Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Killara Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Werona Avenue, Killara, NSW 2071
Local govt. area: Ku-Ring-Gai


North: a line crossing the tracks at a distance of 20 metres from the end of the platform;South: a line crossing the tracks at a distance of 20 metres from the end of the platform;East: the property boundary at Werona Avenue;West: the property boundary at Wade Lane.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Werona AvenueKillaraKu-Ring-Gai  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Killara Railway Station has heritage significance at a local level. It is a typical suburban station with associated ornamental gardens, and one of the few stations in the region where there has been relatively little change to the appearance of the overall setting. It is one of a number of stations that demonstrate the significant impact of the railway in facilitating settlement in the northern suburbs of Sydney and is an important station on the first purely suburban line in NSW. The station has local significance in terms of its association with the formerly prestigious Railway Stations Gardens Competition. It is one of the most important and intact railway gardens in the region. The grouping of the station building, platform and footbridge in their landscape setting, contribute to the characteristic nature of the North Shore line, with its homogenous early twentieth century station designs and garden settings. The replacement of the original roof form of the station building with a poorly designed substitute structure detracts from the overall setting and significance.
Date significance updated: 11 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: New South Wales Department of Railways
Builder/Maker: New South Wales Department of Railways
Physical description: Station Building, type 11 (standard A8) (1906)
Footbridge, (c.1910)
Platform, (1909)
Platform Awnings

Killara Railway Station is located in a suburban setting away from the Pacific Highway between Werona Ave and Culworth Ave and is enclosed by mature trees that line both of these roads. The station consists of an early twentieth century station building, modern steel awnings, island platform, footbridge, and a well maintained ornamental garden on the eastern side. The garden is the key feature of the site, and with the former Killara Post Office on Werona Ave, the station forms part of a small but significant suburban heritage precinct.

External: Killara Station is a modified example of a standard (type A8) railway station building dating from 1906. The building is of the standard island type and was built in anticipation of the future line duplication which did not occur until 1909. The building is of red face brick, tuck pointed, with moulded render string course, architraves and sills. Walls have been painted with a clear, anti-graffiti paint to dado height. The roof has been extensively modified, the original gable form being removed to create a gable of much lower pitch that is a continuation of the awning. The roofing material is a modern steel profile. Curved, cast iron, cantilevered brackets support the timber framed awning. The building does not retain original timber gable ends, bargeboards and valances, or chimneys. The northern end of the building has been modified to incorporate two doors for passenger toilets (carried out in a sympathetic manner).

Interior: The interior of Killara station, whilst retaining most of its original plan, has been modified to a large extent. Walls are rendered and have no dado. Fireplaces have been infilled and ceilings replaced. Some original features remain, including original window joinery of double hung sash windows with 16 pane coloured glass. A secret lockable floorsafe remains in operation (similar examples are said to remain at Denistone and Normanhurst stations).

The footbridge, c.1910, is one of few such structures on the North Shore line that have not had an awning installed. Star type newell posts are located at the base of each stair. Original steel balustrades and handrails remain, although steps and decking are modern concrete poured on metal sheet construction. Original Frodingham steel remains on the stairs, whilst the upper deck is Glengarnock steel (modern). A small timber and metal framed kiosk is cantilevered from the footbridge and is a later addition.

The island platform at Killara is unusual in that it was built after the island type station building. The platform was built in 1909 as part of the line duplication for the Northern line, and has brick faces and an asphalt platform surface. Original coping has been raised, cut back, and rendered. There is a small garden at the northern end of the station.

Modern steel framed shelters form an extension of the platform awnings at both the north and south end of the station building. The roof line follows that of the station building and the structures feature lantern lights along the ridge line.

Killara station is located in a garden setting remote from commercial activities. The eastern side of the line features a long established garden of good quality. A lawn runs the length of the platform and is interspersed with yuccas, camellias, azaleas, lantana, jacaranda and aloe vera. The garden is very much of an ornamental scale and quality.

The station building contains an original Milner's Patent Fire Resisting type safe (operational). The safe has been painted yellow. Wooden roll-over indicator boards remain on the platform.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station Building (1906) - Good Condition
The station building is generally in good condition, although it appears to have been somewhat neglected in recent times. The tuckpointing of the exterior brickwork is in poor condition, particularly at the lower levels, and the painting of the external walls in anti-graffiti paint has led to the brickwork having a somewhat blotchy appearance. Internally, the station is in need of repainting generally.

Footbridge (c1910) - Good Condition

Platform (1909) - Good Condition

Landscaping - Very Good Condition

Archaeological Potential - Low
Date condition updated:08 May 09
Modifications and dates: c1928: electrification and the installation of automatic signalling, signal frame removed. Extension of the awning.
N.d: recent modifications to the original roof.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Present day Killara Railway Station is located on the North Shore line.

The ‘North Shore’ of Sydney can be defined as a relatively narrow strip of land extending from Milson’s Point to Waitara, a distance of approximately 20km.

In 1887, tenders were called for construction of a branch line extending south from Hornsby to the North Shore. The 16.8km section between Hornsby and St. Leonard’s was opened on 1 January 1890. Stations provided at the opening of the line included Chatswood and St. Leonard’s. A single line was constructed at the time. The line between St. Leonard’s and Milson’s Point (the terminus at the edge of the harbour) was completed 1 May 1893.

Killara Railway Station was opened between Lindfield and Gordon on 10 July 1899.

A single line was built from the outset, with the single platform constructed on the Down side of the line, in such a way that it could easily be modified to become part of an island platform arrangement when duplication was carried out. A temporary timber building was provided initially, but a standard island platform type brick building was built in 1906 in anticipation of the future duplication.

In 1909, duplication had been completed between Hornsby and St. Leonard’s, including through Killara Station. At Killara during the duplication, the original single platform was replaced by a new island platform with the new Down main line running behind (western side) of the brick station building, which had been provided in 1906.

A signal frame was placed at the Milson’s Point-end of the building and a footbridge spanned both tracks, allowing access to the platforms by a set of stairs.

Electrification of the North Shore line had been completed by 1928, including through Killara Railway Station. During the electrification and the installation of automatic signalling, the signal frame was removed. An extension of the awning then allowed weather protection for customers at the booking office window. In addition, a number of timber overbridges and underbridges were replaced by brick or steel structures.

With the general upgrade of CityRail stations in recent years, some changes have been carried out at Killara, although the 1909 station building remains.

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-
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. Railway Gardens-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Killara Railway Station has historical significance at a local level. The station was a later addition to the North Shore line. Opened in 1899 it is one of a number of stations that demonstrate the significant impact of the railway in facilitating settlement in the northern suburbs of Sydney. The garden, in association with the grouping of the station, footbridge and platform evokes a former era of travel and civic pride in railways that no longer exists.

Killara station has local significance in terms of its association with the formerly prestigious Railway Stations Gardens Competition. The gardens at Killara station have long been a key feature of the station and were featured on the cover of Sydney metropolitan railway timetables for many years.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The garden is a largely intact typical railway/municipal ornamental garden, one of the most important railway station gardens in the region. It has significance due to its rich collection of historic exotic plantings, and is held in high regard by the local community. The garden contributes strongly to the significance of the station group, providing a setting that evokes a past practice of station garden design. The railway station building has aesthetic qualities as an example of early twentieth century railway station design with fabric and details typical of this period and similar to other rail buildings of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in Sydney and on the North Shore line in particular. The aesthetic significance of the station building has been compromised however, by major changes to the roof structure and later changes internally.

The Killara station precinct has aesthetic significance for its contribution to the characteristic nature of the North Shore line - one of homogenous station design and landscaping. With the former Killara Post Office and the treed setting, Killara railway station contributes to a small but significant suburban heritage precinct.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Killara station is considered to have social significance at a local level. Killara railway station possesses a largely intact railway/municipal ornamental garden on its eastern side, and is one of the most important railway station gardens within the metropolitan network. The garden is a strong source of pride in the local community and has a strong association with the once famous Railway Stations Garden Competition. The garden also featured on the cover of Sydney metropolitan railway timetables for many years. The location of the former Killara Post Office at the corner of Locksley St and Werona Ave opposite the garden reinforces the civic nature of this precinct.
SHR Criteria f)
Killara station is considered to be rare at a local level. The station possesses a largely intact garden on its eastern side, which is one of the most impressive in the region with the exception of the Wahroonga Station garden. The civic pride which was once associated with the coming of the railways and the station as a major landscape and social element within the community is evident in the garden at Killara station, one of very few on the metropolitan network to remain. The station contributes to the overall character of the Northern line.
SHR Criteria g)
Killara Railway Station has representative significance at a local level. The garden represents the practice of railway station gardening that was once common throughout the network. It is an excellent example of its type due to its integrity and grouping with the original station building, platforms and footbridge.
The footbridge was identified as an item of moderate heritage significance in the comparative analysis from the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’.
Integrity/Intactness: Killara station has a largely intact garden setting which adds greatly to the heritage significance of the place. The station building and footbridge however, have undergone a number of changes that have resulted in a significant loss of both integrity and intactness. The removal of the original roof on the station building has had the most detrimental effect on the site and results in the station being a poor example of its type along the North Shore line.
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 Study1999SRA66State Rail Authority  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 NSW Department of Commerce  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
WrittenC. C. Singleton The Short North. The Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin. Various issues.
WrittenJohn Forsyth Line Histories
WrittenLongworth J1998The Patterned Landscape: A History of Gardening in the N.S.W. Government Railways.
WrittenRay Love2009Historical Research for RailCorp s170 Update
WrittenState Rail Authority of New South Wales1995How and Why of Station Names. Fourth Edition

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: 4801066

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