Newtown Railway Station Group and Former Tram Depot | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Newtown Railway Station Group and Former Tram Depot

Item details

Name of item: Newtown Railway Station Group and Former Tram Depot
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: King Street, Newtown, NSW 2042
Local govt. area: Sydney

Boundary:

North: Property boundary along the outer rail lineSouth: Property boundary to Railway Lane (including the Former Tram Depot.)East: The western side of the Erskineville Road Overbridge (excluding bridge)West: The western side of the King Street Overbridge (including bridge)
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
King StreetNewtownSydney  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Newtown Railway Station is of state significance, representing three significant historical phases in the development of the NSW railways. The original Newtown Station to the west of the existing site was one of only five original intermediate stations on the first railway line in NSW between Sydney and Parramatta Junction. The subsequent two stations built on the existing station site date from the 1891 quadruplication and 1927 sextuplication of the line representing the expansion of the railways in the late 19th and early 20th Century to accommodate increasing rail services.

The station is significant in terms of its 1892 overhead booking office which is an important and recognisable element in the streetscape, and is a rare structure being one of only three similar structures in the state representing the earliest use of above-platform buildings. The building along with the King Street overbridge collectively demonstrates a former era of travel.

The former Newtown tram depot has state historical significance as it formed an integral part of the electrification of the NSW tramway system which commenced in 1899. Being the second of the tram depots built to service the new electric tram fleet the buildings, it represents the high level of commitment by the government to providing a mass electric transit system service for Sydney’s suburbs at the start of the 20th century.

The tram depot site and its buildings are representative of the typical electric tram depot layout constructed as part of the NSW tramway system. The large tram shed and the associated tram offices exemplify the common architectural style of the NSW tramway buildings built during and just after the time of Federation. It is considered rare as it is one of the few NSW tramway buildings to survive and it is the oldest in essentially its original form.
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: 1891-1927
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Overhead Booking Office & Concourse, (Type 19) (1892)
Platform Building, Platform 1/2- Type 11 (1927)

STRUCTURES
Platform 1/2, (1927)
Platform Canopies & Stair, (1990s)
King Street Overbridge, (1892/1927)

TRAM DEPOT SITE
Tram Storage Shed, (1899)
Tram Offices, (1900)
Main Tram Track Area, (1899)
Secondary Tram Yard, (1899)

MOVABLE
ARCHAEOLOGICAL POTENTIAL

CONTEXT
Newtown Railway Station is entered from King Street via the overhead booking office or through the southern access onto the rear concourse. Stairs lead down from the booking office and concourse to the platform level. The railway station entrance forms an integral part of the Civic Square to King Street. Newtown Tram Depot is entered from King Street via gates located to south of the Newtown Station overhead booking office. There is also an entrance from Angel Street to the east of the site.

OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE & STATION CONCOURSE (1892)
External: The overhead booking office is constructed in English bond brickwork. On the King Street elevation, the brick walls are painted and have a cement rendered coating about 1500mm high along the footpath. Decorative engaged pilasters remain on either side of the original opening. The south and east elevations have been completely rendered. The hipped roof is covered in shingle terracotta tiles and surmounted at the centre by a square louvre-vented bellcote, which is clad with ribbed lead, and capped by a helmet dome. The finial from the top of the dome is missing. The eastern side of the hip (where the building meets Bridge House) is clad in corrugated steel roofing. A chimney is built at both ends and at the north this abuts the adjoining ‘Bridge House.’

The timber-framed windows are Edwardian double hung sash windows with large glass panes to lower sashes and multi-panel sashes with coloured glass. The semicircular window to King Street has anti vandalism reinforced fibreglass fitted to most of the panes and security bars to the inside. The northern window retains original glazing as well as hardware.

To King Street is a timber framed veranda, supported on six cast iron columns, with a skillion roof with corrugated steel sheeting. The columns have the name 'G.Fletcher and Son, Waverley' cast into the bases. The King Street veranda was built in 1902 as an early station building addition. It appears in its original configuration. Still present are early 20th century glass sphere incandescent pendant footpath lights as well as later fluorescent fittings. Early photos show a tram lookout on this elevation which no longer exists. To the railway side (east) is a small concourse, partly sheltered by a cantilevered awning with standard double bowed steel brackets supported on decorative cement haunches. The soffit lining of this awning is corrugated steel fixed to intermediate exposed purlins. Vertical timber boards form a valance at each end of the awning and a timber fascia runs along the front. There is also a simpler corrugated steel skillion roof awning, supported on steel posts, projecting out from the entrance to the Station Manager’s office adjacent to Bridge House.

The remainder of the area is covered by a flat roofed awning of ribbed steel decking supported on steel frames and circular steel posts. There is also a fire escape stair leading to the first floor of the adjacent building. The stair has a painted brick enclosure under the landing which is the toilet facilities for the shop (on the northern side of the booking office). It has aluminium framed windows and a flat steel roof. The concourse once contained the 1891 iron passenger footbridge leading to the platforms (which have now been removed) and it was replaced in 1927 by the present concrete deck on steel girders and a face brick balustrade. The edge of the concourse to the railway side is screened near the entrance with glazed aluminium framed panels and patent steel fencing (typical arched design) which extends along the edge of the concourse and out onto King Street to the south of the booking office. On the southern elevation, to the rear of the building, is an entrance directly onto the concourse. This elevation has a mass of poorly executed service runs and conduits which have an extremely negative impact on the building.

Internal: The building generally has painted brick walls laid in English bond, a concrete floor covered with a variety of contemporary finishes and painted timber boarded ceilings with stepped cornices between arched timber roof trusses (which appear to remain for the full length of the building). In the centre of each main ceiling space are original circular filigree-vented ceiling roses. Lighting generally is provided by either circular or strip tube type fluorescent fittings.

Booking Hall - Formerly the parcels and ticket office, and converted in 1927 into its present configuration with widened doorways each side which are now fitted with modern heavy hinged and fixed steel grilles. The north boarded wall has been fitted with two modern security ticket windows with 19th century inspired architraves to the public side. Services and conduits are fixed to the walls. The floor is covered in tiles and a large bookstall installation with shutters on the south side. An early 20th century indicator board is placed near the doorway

Ticket Office - Originally part of the main public booking hall, this space was converted in 1927 into the ticket office. Generally is a contemporary fitout. Carpets have been laid on the floor.

Staff Office and Kitchenette- it was originally part of the booking hall. Converted in 1927 into part of the parcels office and in recent years the staff office and kitchenette with contemporary fittings dating from c1990. Partitioning for new adjoining spaces and the false ceiling is formed by plasterboard sheeted timber studs. Above the staff office is a small mezzanine area for staff toilets and the housing of the computer rack. The plasterboard false ceiling to the mezzanine rooms allegedly conceals the higher original ceiling. The floor is finished with vinyl tiles. The toilet facilities have compressed fibre cement sheeting on timber framed walls and ceilings. The floor and skirtings are finished with ceramic tiles. The fittings are contemporary. The stair was built c1990 as a timber two-flight stair with a steel pipe handrail.

Shop to the north - Originally part of the booking hall and converted in 1927 into the parcels office, this space was converted (pre 1990) into a shop with modern sliding aluminium framed doors for the full width to the street. This space was unavailable for access. The brick walled addition to the east (under the fire stair) provides toilet facilities for this shop.

PLATFORM BUILDING (1927)
External: Rectangular (painted) face brick building, originally with a gabled roof and integral shallower sloped single cantilevered awning. The roof was replaced c1975 with the present ribbed steel roof which follows the low-pitched line of the platform awnings. The building is seven bays in length, with the bays defined by engaged brick piers which coincide with the awning supports. The original chimneys have been removed (presumably when the roof was replaced). The awnings have standard double bowed steel brackets supported on decorative cement haunches and bolt fixings to the station building brick walls. The soffit lining is corrugated steel fixed to intermediate exposed purlins and follows the roof slope. The building has simple bargeboards and fascias which have replaced the original vertical timber boards which formed a valance at each end of the awning. The awning roof is continuous from the main roof, and is corrugated steel.

The external walls rise from a projecting brick plinth three/four courses high with simple detailing, such as arched brick heads and brick on edge sills, to the doors and window openings. The original timber windows were double hung with a single paned lower sash and a six paned upper sash featuring coloured glass. A large number of the doors and windows have now been partially or completely bricked up, with some new windows and doors in existing, modified, openings. Most of these new windows have been painted out. Security grilles and flyscreen doors have been installed on the north elevation (Platform 1). Original door openings featured fanlights matching the upper window sashes. All the original timber panelled doors have been either removed or modified, and some original slate thresholds remain. The brick privacy screen to the eastern end of the building has been removed. The platform building was one of the earliest to have the face brickwork painted due to vandalism.

Internal: The original building comprised of an ‘out of’ room, a station master’s office; general waiting room; ladies room and ladies toilets, a store and men’s toilets. The internal usage has now changed and is predominantly storage. The toilets have a modern fitout and finishes. All of the ceilings and cornices were replaced when the roof was rebuilt. Original plaster wall finishes remain, with evidence of dado moulding in some instances, and with some original vents. The former Station Manager’s office has the original staff moulding to the chimney breast. The floor finish to the toilets is vinyl and is painted concrete in the other rooms.

PLATFORMS (1927)
Platform 1 (Up) and Platform 2 (Down) is an island platform arrangement. The platforms are brick faced with a concrete surface. There is painted signs on the platform surface (mostly directional). Platform 1: Platform of steel post/concrete panel construction. Coping raised and renewed. Platform 2: Steel UC Post and precast panel construction, being raised.

CANOPIES & STAIR (1990s)
Connecting the platform to the rear concourse is a steel framed stair with pre-cast concrete steps. The stair is contained within brick walls with a bull-nosed capping and has modern tubular steel handrails, which continue on to the platform.

The stair is covered by a 1990’s steel framed flat roofed awning. This awning continues along the platform, to meet the platform building, and is supported by a series of steel post and beams. The roof of the canopy is designed to line up with the building’s roof profile.

KING STREET OVERBRIDGE (1892/1927)
This large overbridge, constructed in 1892 and modified in 1927, carries in part the overhead booking office, King Street and part of the Enmore Road intersection over five railway lines. It is constructed of reinforced concrete decking supported on a combination of wrought iron and steel girders and at the western end pre-cast concrete beams. The beams and girders are supported in turn by a series of massive load bearing brick structures containing rooms now unused. These rooms would have been accessed from the previous platforms (now demolished). At street level the roads at the western end are screened by brick balustrades with sandstone cappings.

TRAM STORAGE SHED (1899)
External: This is essentially a large single storey structure with a major internal storage space and flanked on the north and south by small single storey annexes. Construction is of load bearing English bond face brickwork with attached piers to all four facades, the open end is supported now by steel RSJ posts and in-filled with corrugated steel vertical sheets on steel frames. The north and south brick gables enclose the iron sawtooth roof structure and has a series of large circular vents bordered by polychromatic brickwork.

The vents enclosing the interior roof structure are fitted with timber louvres while the adjoining ones are completely open. Windows to the south-west areas of the façade, in the area of the converter room, are generally steel-framed with cement rendered external surrounds. The main roof is of corrugated steel and the skylights are of original wire-reinforced glass in steel glazing bars, except where the roof is fire-damaged.

The annex buildings, where they have survived in near original form, are constructed of face brickwork in Flemish Bond with timber windows. The roofs are clad with unglazed terracotta tiles in Marseilles pattern, generally in a hipped form. Exterior detailing includes the use of bricks of special profile to give an ogee to the lower course under a window or an elegant scotia to the lower edge of an abutment.

Internal: The interior of the main spaces are formed by the iron framed sawtooth roofing, supported on four arcades of cast iron circular columns. The northern most row has had most of the columns replaced with fabricated welded steel RSJ posts. The surrounding walls are painted brickwork. The riveted frames are constructed of lightly framed roof principals spanning between lattice girders bracketed off stub posts, over the tops of the main columns. The floors are largely of reinforced concrete, or similar, with a long vehicle ramp at the west end in the centre. There are considerable areas of missing roofing (the total enclosed area of the former battery and converter rooms is roofless).

Former Battery Room (to the south-east corner): Built and partitioned within brick walls to roof for a battery room in 1914 as part of the system associated with the large sub-station installed. Roofing material is now completely removed.

Former Converter Room (to the south-east corner): Built 1914 as a substation occupying the same space as an earlier small sub-station. All equipment has been removed except for the overhead crane 6 ¼ tonne overhead crane which remains on its track. The substantial foundations for the rotary converters and the steel reinforced concrete sub floor remain. Roofing material is now completely removed.

Former Meal Room (to the south-east corner): Built shortly after opening of the tram depot in 1900 it remains largely intact as a single room accessed by a flight of stairs.

Staff Amenities Room and Passage (to the south-east corner): Built early 20th century to supplement the original meal room. The ceilings have been completely removed from this area.

Toilet Wing (to the northern elevation): Built as original staff toilets, now semi-demolished with no roof and the access from the tram shed bricked-up.

Electrical Stores (to the northern elevation): Built originally as stores and offices but now mostly demolished.

TRAM OFFICES (1900)
External: Originally built in 1900 as tram traffic offices with attached toilets in the Federation Period style with a single storey only. In c1914 another floor was added in a similar manner for additional office space. The building is constructed from English bond brickwork with a hipped form roof clad with Marseilles terracotta tiles. There are timber-framed double-hung windows, and a timber bracketed terracotta tiled awning survives at first floor level while the ground floor veranda has been removed. The attached toilet block has a skillion roof behind brick parapets. The veranda to the north of the 1900 building has an open deck of concrete on a brick base; the timber veranda has now been demolished. The single storey offices to the west were originally built c1905 as offices in Flemish Bond brickwork with red ‘rubbing’ brick voussoirs over the windows and doors. The building is now semi-derelict as the roof has been removed.

Internal: All of the ground floor offices are now used as storage areas. They have timber floors, painted brick walls (which were originally plastered) and a plaster ceiling with the original cornices intact. The stair hall to the eastern end was originally part of the offices but converted c.1914 to give access to the first floor. The stair is of timber construction with original boarded wall on the ground floor to the old storeroom. The open passage to the east of the stair is a concrete paved access way to the attached brick toilet block, which is reached by a steel stair. The offices on the first floor have timber floors, painted brick walls (which were originally plastered) and a plaster ceiling with the original cornices intact. Each of the rooms has an original fireplace. The eastern most room has been converted into a bath room with a tiled floor and shower bath.

MAIN TRAM TRACK AREA (1899)
This large open area was formed in 1899 with a series of 16 tram tracks fanning out from two tracks at King Street. Now partly paved over there is evidence of much of the original tram tracks remaining particularly obvious on the northern boundary with the railway line. A boundary wall on Railway Lane is part of the 1918 railway institute building now demolished while the other boundary brick wall is an original retaining wall. The main sewer line connecting to the station travels in a north-south direction from the station platform across the site to Railway Lane.

SECONDARY TRAM YARD (1899)
This is a slightly smaller yard leading off Angel Street which contains a later railway signal and communications building but now is virtually vacant. This area is accessed through chain wire gates from the street. It may contain the foundations of a number of buildings which were once on the site including the Mortuary Station, stables and Blacksmith’s shop. It also was on the north frontage of the tram storage shed with amenities and the electrical stores.

LANDSCAPE/NATURAL FEATURES
None identified.

MOVEABLE ITEMS
NSW Railway heritage listed sites contain significant collections of stored movable railway heritage, including furniture, signs, operational objects, ex-booking office and ticketing objects, paper records, clocks, memorabilia, indicator boards and artwork. Individually, these objects are important components of the history of each site. Together, they form a large and diverse collection of movable objects across the NSW rail network. Sydney Trains maintains a database of movable heritage. For up-to-date information on all movable heritage items at this site, contact the Sydney Trains heritage team.

Key items at this station include but are not limited to:

- Historic Post Box SW corner of Booking Office
- Safe in Ticket Office
- Indicator Board in Booking Hall

ARCHAEOLOGICAL POTENTIAL
Based on the surviving documentation and the evidence on site it is unlikely there would be any potential archaeological remains at Newtown Railway Station. However, a number of buildings that were constructed on the Tram Depot site have been demolished, including in the secondary yard, the Mortuary Station, stables and Blacksmith’s shop, and which may have remaining foundations and associated building fabric which contributes to the archaeological potential of the site. The Tram Depot property has the potential to yield archaeological remains which are likely to contribute to an understanding of living and working conditions in the Newtown area in the early 20th century.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE & STATION CONCOURSE
The overhead booking office and concourse are in good condition.

PLATFORM BUILDING
The platform building is in good condition.

PLATFORMS
The platforms are in good condition.

CANOPIES & STAIR
The canopies and stairs are in good condition.

KING STREET OVERBRIDGE
The overbridge is apparently in good condition.

TRAM STORAGE SHED
The building is dilapidated and is generally in poor condition both internally and externally.

TRAM OFFICES
The two storey office building is in moderate condition.
The single storey building to the west is semi-derelict and the roof has been removed.

MAIN TRAM TRACK AREA
The physical condition of this area is not known.

SECONDARY TRAM YARD
The physical condition of this area is not known
Date condition updated:08 Jul 09
Modifications and dates: c1914: First floor added to depot office building
1927: additions and alterations to overhead booking office in conjunction with new station arrangements.
1928: Local and Suburban lines electrified to Homebush.
1937: construction of bookstall for NSW bookstall.
1955: Main lines electrified to Homebush.
1960 - Internal tram rails and support piers removed, ramps provided and metal infill wall to the open track entrance.
c.1975: original roof of platform building removed and replaced with lower profile roof.
1989: refurbishment of station.
2000 - Electrical store and office wing partly demolished and roof removed from the toilet wing. Most machinery removed and loading dock door to Angel Street bricked up.
2010 – 2012: The whole station precinct was upgraded to provide accessibility and amenity for customers, including a new station building (ticketing functions and staff amenities), concourse and entry way from King Street; lift access from new concourse to platform level, and from Railway Lane to new concourse level; platform canopies; heritage interpretation panels; conservation works to former booking office at King Street frontage; and upgrades for retail facilities within the precinct.
Current use: Railway Station and disused Tram Depot
Former use: Nil/Tram Depot

History

Historical notes: The Main Western line to Parramatta Junction (Granville) was originally completed in 1855. The line opened on 26 September 1855 and was double track from Sydney to Newtown and then single track to Parramatta Junction (but duplicated in 1856). The line was built as a direct connection to Parramatta Junction and, subsequently, for the purpose of connecting Sydney with the major rural railways that were constructed across the Blue Mountains to Bathurst and across the Southern Highlands to Goulburn via Liverpool. There were few stops along the line between Sydney and Parramatta Junction and it was not the original intention of the line to serve suburban development. Changes to the line were more often related to the line’s long distance purpose than to the communities along it.

Traffic to the west and south (and later north) of the state brought the need to amplify the line, first in 1891 when it was quadrupled and later in 1927 when it was sextupled (to Homebush) and electrified. With both of these major changes the earlier stations were usually entirely demolished and replaced with a new station. The 1927 work completed this process with the complete replacement of Strathfield and much of Newtown Stations. During this time suburban development also extended west along the line and these new stations were thus specifically designed as full-scale suburban passenger stations rather than rural ‘halts’.

The Engineer for Existing Lines, George Cowdery (appointed 1863), was a particularly strong influence on the architecture of this line, building particularly elegant stations in the late 1880s ahead of the 1891 quadruplication, in addition to replacing the original stone arch viaduct at Lewisham with iron truss bridges. Sextuplication in 1927 brought less change to most local stations (which were on the southern side), the new tracks being express ones on the northern side.

The original Newtown Station, opened with the line in 1855, was located to the west of the present site, at Station Street. As a result of the 1891 quadruplication and the need for a better location next to King Street, a new station was opened at the present site on 10 January 1892. This comprised an island platform, two side platforms and an overhead booking office (the present building) on King Street.

In 1927 the line was further expanded to six tracks (four with electrification) and Newtown Station was demolished and replaced by the present station which served only the up and down local tracks. The new station was opened on 29 May 1927. The original overhead booking office was retained and its platform access was modified to serve only this new platform. The bookstall for NSW Bookstall was constructed in 1937. In c1975 the original roof of the platform building was removed and replaced with a lower profile roof. In 1989 the station was refurbished.

The NSW Government Tramway system, initially administered by the NSW Government Railways, opened in 1879. By the 1890s, several routes had been established running past Newtown Station to suburbs in south-west Sydney. In 1899, electric traction was introduced to replace the steam trams that had previously operated the services. In conjunction with this, several major new tram depots were constructed to store and service the electric tram fleet. The first of these depots were Ultimo (1899) and Newtown (1900). Every depot tram shed was built with its own distinctive parapet design.

Newtown Depot was built on land adjacent to Newtown Station. It contained a large 16-road tram shed and ancillary buildings. It supplied trams for services to Glebe, Canterbury, Earlwood and Tempe. The basic layout of the depot remained unchanged until tram services through Newtown were replaced by buses in September 1957 and the depot was closed. The property was transferred from the NSW Department of Government Transport to the NSW Department of Railways in 1960 and the depot was gutted of its trackwork and tramway fixtures. The site was subsequently used variously for bus parking, private tenancies and railway uses, but is now vacant. It was subject to a road reservation zoning for many years.

Elements of several Sydney tram depots survive but only those at Newtown and Tempe retain much in the way of ancillary buildings in addition to the tram sheds. However the large substation at Newtown is no longer extant.

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 Making Railway Journeys-
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 and Maintaining the Public Railway System-
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-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Birth and Death-Activities associated with the initial stages of human life and the bearing of children, and with the final stages of human life and disposal of the dead. Funerary trains-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Newtown Railway Station is historically significant as the existing station along with the former station which existed on site and the original one which occupied a site to its west, represent three significant historical phases in the development of the NSW railways. Established during the first phase of NSW railway construction in the 1850s the original Newtown Station is significant as it was one of only five original intermediate stations on the first railway line in NSW between Sydney and Parramatta. The subsequent (second) building of the station on the present station site was a result of the 1891 quadruplication of the line and the extant overhead booking office and King Street overbridge dating from this time period represent the expansion of the railways in the late 19th century to accommodate increasing rail services. The existing (third) station arrangement with its extant platforms, platform buildings and extensions to the overbridge dates from the 1927 sextuplication of the line and with the extant 1890s structures it collectively demonstrates a former era of travel, communication and trade.

Built to service the new electric tram fleet, the former Tram Depot at Newtown is of state historical significance for its association with the replacement of steam trams with electric traction in Sydney in 1899. Opened in 1900 the tram depot was the second built of the tram depots in NSW and together with the adjacent Newtown Railway Station represented in the late 1890s the coming of an integrated suburban transit system for Sydney.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Newtown Railway Station is significant for its association with railway contractor James Angus who was responsible for the design of the overhead booking office at the station. Angus set up the company Angus & Co. which played a major role in railway construction in New South Wales and Victoria notably the duplication of the Granville-Picton line in 1888-92.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Newtown Railway Station has aesthetic significance with its 1890s overhead booking office which has characteristic features of this type of station building namely the use of brick for construction, the smaller size of the building and its location above the platforms on the King Street overbridge. The overhead booking office is an important and recognisable element in the streetscape. The 1920s ‘initial island’ platform building is a typical but altered example of this type of station building, as the replacement of its original roof with a new roof with a gentler pitch has resulted in a single gable roof without the typical integrated awnings.

The tram storage shed at the former Tram Depot at Newtown is an attractive building of significant size, is well known in the community, and being highly visible from the railway line, Newtown Station and Erskineville Road has landmark qualities. The common architecture of the tramway buildings at the time, of which Newtown is an example, described loosely as the Federation style is exemplified in the main building and the adjacent tram offices.
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]
Based upon existing documentary evidence there is potential for the Former Tram Depot site to contain archaeological remains likely to contribute to a further understanding of early 20th century living and working conditions in the Newtown area. The site and the open yard areas also have potential to reveal information relating to early 20th century tram and electric power generation history.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Newtown Railway Station has rarity in terms of its 1892 overhead booking office which is one of only three known examples of similar pre1910 overhead booking offices in the state, the others being at Homebush and Redfern Railway Stations.

The former Tram Depot at Newtown is one of few such buildings of the NSW tramway system that survive in Sydney and is the oldest in its original form.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
While the platform building is representative example of a common railway standard design, the building has been altered with the replacement of its original roof with a new roof and the partial bricking in of its windows and doors, reducing its ability to represent this type of building.

The King Street overbridge with most of its original fabric intact is a good representative of deck-style plate girder bridge construction.

The site and buildings of the former Newtown Tram Depot are representative of the electric tram depot layout and design typical of the NSW tramway system. They generally represent the high level of government commitment to the provision of mass electric transport to Sydney's suburbs at the start of the 20th century.
Integrity/Intactness: The overall integrity of Newtown Railway Station and Former Tram Depot is considered to be high. Despite modifications to the station buildings, the unique context and style of the overhead booking office is considered to be of special significance. Newtown Tram Depot’s surviving buildings, although in poor condition are still able to provide the essential character of a relatively original tram depot of 1900. As the site has lost some of its associated ancillary buildings, such as the sub-station, and because a considerable amount of fabric has been removed from both the main shed building and the tram offices, the aesthetic significance of the site has been diminished and the ability to interpret the functioning of the depot has been reduced.OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE & STATION CONCOURSEDespite significant alterations over the life of this building, the overhead booking office maintains a high level of integrity due to the unique design and the original fabric that remains. The condition at the rear of the building impacts negatively on the integrity, but these intrusive alterations and additions could easily be remedied. PLATFORM BUILDINGThe platform building in its current form has been modified to such an extent that the building retains little integrity. The main issues being the replacement of the roof structure to the current pitch and the replacement or bricking up of most of the original doors and windows.PLATFORMSThe brick faced platform has been resurfaced in concrete. This has reduced the integrity of this structure.CANOPIES & STAIRSThe canopies and stairs are modern structures.KING STREET OVERBRIDGE The overbridge and brick support piers (although modified in 1927) are very intact and representative of their historic form. There is considerable extant fabric.TRAM STORAGE SHEDThe exterior form of the building is relatively intact, despite the building fabric being dilapidated.TRAM OFFICESThe removal of the veranda and alterations to the roof forms have reduced the integrity of these buildings.MAIN TRAM TRACK AREAThe integrity/ intactness of this area is not known.SECONDARY TRAM YARD The integrity/ intactness of this area is not known.
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    
Heritage studyNewtown Railway Station Group incl. Ticket Office    
Heritage studyNewtown Tram Depot Group (former)    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA93State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW1993266Paul Davies for SRA  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 OCP Architects  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  NSW Government Railways. Station expenditure cards: Newtown card nos. 1/1, 1/2
WrittenDavid Keenan1979Tramways of Sydney
WrittenDavid Sheedy Architects Pty Ltd2004Newtown Station and Tram Depot Conservation Management Plan
WrittenDonald Ellsmore Pty. Ltd2004Newtown Railway Station and Tram Depot: Investigation of Finishes
WrittenN. Chinn & K. McCarthy1976New South Wales Tramcar Handbook 1861-1961. Part 2
WrittenRobert Lee1988The Greatest Public Work: the New South Wales railways 1848 to 1889
WrittenTony Prescott2009Historical Research for RailCorp's S170 Update Project

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

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(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: 4801093


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.

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