Glebe Viaducts (Jubilee Park/ Wentworth Park) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Glebe Viaducts (Jubilee Park/ Wentworth Park)

Item details

Name of item: Glebe Viaducts (Jubilee Park/ Wentworth Park)
Other name/s: Glebe/Ultimo (Wattle Street) Viaduct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Bridge/ Viaduct
Primary address: Wentworth Park, Jubilee Park, Johnstons Creek, Glebe, NSW 2037
Local govt. area: Sydney


The listing boundary is formed by the edge of the viaducts themselves in each park. For Wentworth Park this extends from the park side edge of the Underbridges at each end of the viaduct, (excluding adjacent bridges crossing Wentworth Park Road and Wattle Street), while for Jubilee Park it extends from the tunnel portal at Jubilee Park Metro Light Rail station to The Crescent in the west.Note: There are separate listings for the steel truss underbridge crossing Wentworth Park Road; the concrete bridge crossing Bellevue St; the Glebe tunnels; and, the Pyrmont tunnels and cutting. The Wattle Street Underbridge is excluded from the listing. Please note this site is listed on the State Heritage Register (SHR) for which the curtilage may differ – see image gallery for more information. Any proposed development within the vicinity of the listed site should also consider the historic relationship between the listing and its surrounding area.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Wentworth Park, Jubilee Park, Johnstons CreekGlebeSydney  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Transport Asset Holding Entity (former Railcorp) - Transport for NSWState Government 
Transport Asset Holding Entity (former Railcorp) - Transport for NSWState Government 
Transport Asset Holding Entity (former Railcorp) - Transport for NSWState Government 

Statement of significance:

The Glebe Viaducts across Jubilee Park and Wentworth Park have state significance as excellent examples of large scale brick arch bridge construction. The 28-span Jubilee Park Viaduct is significant as the longest section of brick arch viaduct on the NSW system. Along with the 21-span Wentworth Park Viaduct, the pair of elegant curved structures are integral parts of the parklands in which they stand and remain as important landmarks along the Glebe foreshore. The structures are both major engineering works and are historically significant as important elements in the development of the Darling Harbour Goods Line in the early 20th century, and as one of the first major infrastructure projects to use bricks from the State Brickworks at Homebush, with more than 3 million bricks used in their construction.
Date significance updated: 24 Jul 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: Engineering staff, New South Wales Government Railways
Builder/Maker: Day labour
Construction years: 1892-1922
Physical description: JUBILEE PARK VIADUCT (1892-1922)
Jubilee Park viaduct is a 28-span brick arch viaduct built on a curve extending from the east of Jubilee Park at Victoria Road to The Crescent, Annandale. The viaduct contains more than two million bricks from the former State Brickworks at Homebush Bay. The bricks are laid in English bond pattern with soldier courses defining the archways. The arches are evenly spaced, being 28 x 10.06m (33 feet) clear spans. The viaduct stretches approximately 446.5 metres, making it the largest brick viaduct in the NSW rail system.

WENTWORTH PARK (1892-1922)
The Wentworth Park viaduct consists of a long, curved brick arch viaduct of 11 x 10.97m (36 feet) clear spans and 10 x 11.58m (38 feet) clear spans. The viaduct is estimated to contain 1.4 million bricks and stretches approximately 274 metres across the park, making it the second longest brick viaduct in the NSW system after the Jubilee Park viaduct which is part of the same line.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:15 May 09
Modifications and dates: 1996: Both bridges modified to carry metro light rail network, including addition of overhead electric wires and catenary poles to support them.
N.d: Some of the Jubilee Park arches closed in as rentable space.
Current use: Carries Metro Light Rail
Former use: Carried the Metropolitan Goods Line


Historical notes: By 1900 the Sydney metropolitan railway network was fast reaching congestion through the combined, and conflicting, demands of the suburban and country passenger services and the movements of freight trains. Segregated running periods and special timetables were only short-term solutions and did not address the differing traffic requirements.

The decision was made to build a separate rail system for freight trains so they could move independently of the passenger services but could link into the four main lines (north, west, south and Illawarra) at specific locations. Also, a large marshalling yard would be built in the middle of the goods line network (at Enfield) to centralise the interchange of freight traffic.

The completion of the goods line was directly associated with the Sydney Harbour Trust's completion of the Pyrmont (Jones Bay) wharves, which were considered the most up-to-date and advanced in the port, with rail lines running along each of the wharves. The goods line provided a continuous loop connection through Central Station Yard, Darling Harbour Goods Yard and the Pyrmont wharves, with connections to Rozelle Yard, White Bay and Glebe Island. In this period, Sydney Harbour was the main port for NSW and the goods line provided a direct connection between rural Australia, growing wheat and wool and mining coal, and the ships carrying the goods to export markets. Imported goods arriving on the docks were back-loaded onto the empty trains for distribution around the state. Work began around 1910 with the goods line from Rozelle to the northern end of Darling Harbour completed and opened for traffic on 23 January 1922.

The construction of brick arch underbridges occurred in two periods: 1892 for the duplication of the line from Granville to Picton, then from 1914 to 1922 mostly for main line duplications. The former had bricks supplied from private brickworks whereas the latter's supply came from the State Brickworks at Homebush. The construction of the Jubilee Park and Wentworth Park viaducts was the first large-scale project to use bricks from the State Brickworks. Approximately three million four hundred thousand bricks were used for these viaducts. The viaducts were built using timber piles driven into the ground below them, to shore up the structures, as both Parks had been themselves created on land resumed from swamps and sandflats.

In 1996 the Metropolitan Goods Line was converted for use by the metro light rail system, which included the installation of new stations and infrastructure such as overhead catenary systems to carry the required electric wiring.

Nearly all the underbridges - a mix of brick arches, steel girders and steel trusses - on the former Metropolitan Goods Line are still in use.

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 Rail to ship interchange-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Impacts of Railways on Urban Form-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Glebe Viaducts are of state historical significance as integral components of the separate railway network (1910-22) constructed to allow freight trains to traverse the metropolitan area independent of the passenger train network which was one of the most significant and effective railway projects in New South Wales during the twentieth century. The Glebe Viaducts across both Jubilee and Wentworth Park was one of the first projects to use bricks from the State Brickworks at Homebush on a large scale, using more than 3 million bricks for their construction.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Glebe Viaducts (Jubilee Park/Wentworth Park) is an imposing curved structure across parklands whereby its brickwork compliments the natural environment. The two sections of the viaduct are major landmark features in the urban landscape and one of the most recognisable industrial features in inner-city Sydney. The viaduct has technical significance due to its scale and construction methods, including the use of timber pilings to add a support structure in regards to the reclaimed land that it was built across. The 28-span Jubilee Park Viaduct is of technical significance as the longest section of brick arch viaduct on the NSW system and the largest viaduct structure to survive. Along with the 21-span Wentworth Park Viaduct, the pair form two significant major engineering works and are excellent examples of brick arch construction.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The place has the potential to contribute to the local community's sense of place and can provide a connection to the local community's history.
SHR Criteria f)
The Glebe Viaducts (Jubilee Park/Wentworth Park) are rare as the two viaducts form the longest pair of brick arch viaducts in the NSW rail system.
SHR Criteria g)
The Glebe Viaducts (Jubilee Park/Wentworth Park) are an excellent representative of brick arch construction and compares to the brick arch viaduct on the Lavender Bay railway line.
Integrity/Intactness: The viaducts retain most original fabric and structure, except for some closed-in arches.
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 register SRA s.170   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA104State Rail Authority  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 Godden Mackay Logan  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Check SRA archive's historical notes for metropolitan goods line.
WrittenDon Fraser1995Bridges Down Under: The history of underbridges in NSW
WrittenJohn Forsyth Historical Notes for the Metropolitan Goods Lines, 1960s

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: 4801104

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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.