Coniston Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Coniston Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Coniston Railway Station Group
Other name/s: Mount Drummond
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Bridge Street (North Of), Coniston, NSW 2500
Local govt. area: Wollongong City

Boundary:

North: 5m north of the platform ends (almost in line with Heaslip Street); East: Boundary of RailCorp property, fronting west side boundaries to properties at 2 Miller Street and 26 Bridge Street; South: the northern edge of the Bridge St overbridge; West: the boundary of RailCorp property fronting Gladstone Avenue. Note this boundary excludes the Bridge St overbridge.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Bridge Street (North Of)ConistonWollongong City  Primary Address
Gladstone AvenueConistonWollongong City  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Coniston Railway Station- including its platform buildings, platforms and booking office- is of local heritage significance. Coniston Railway station is of historical significance as a transport hub for the suburb of Coniston and for its relationship to the development of industry in the area since 1925. Coniston Railway Station has historical association with Port Kembla and the former Coniston brickworks. Coniston Railway station is of aesthetic significance as a representative group of 1941 Inter-war Functionalist style railway station buildings, with stylistic similarities to the suburban railway stations built for the Cronulla line in 1939.
Date significance updated: 29 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.

Description

Designer/Maker: NSW Department of Railways.
Builder/Maker: NSW Department of Railways.
Construction years: 1941-1941
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Booking office (1941)
Platform buildings (1941) (Type 13) - two identical brick platform buildings
Platforms (1941)

CONTEXT
The station is entered via asphalt entry paths from Bridge Street to the south of the station. The station perimeters are defined with white powder coated aluminium fencing. The booking office is located on the western side of the station.

BOOKING OFFICE (1941)
Exterior: A single storey painted brick Inter-War Functionalist style (originally unpainted) building with a skillion corrugated steel roof. Brickwork is in stretcher bond with 2 soldier courses. The building has later aluminium framed windows including a large ticket window, and an original tongue & grooved timber door with an upper glazed panel. There is a fibro walled awning attached to the building with a concrete floor. The awning and building have a skillion roof that together slope down towards the railway lines.

Interior (Not accessed 2009): The 2001 Interwar Stations Study noted that all of the original interior fit out has been removed, including the brass grilles to the ticket window that were a feature of the building when erected.

PLATFORM BUILDINGS (1941)
Exterior: Two identical Inter-War Functionalist style single storey platform buildings, painted brick (previously described as dichromatic brick, using iron oxide and clinker bricks) with stepped parapets with vertical fins to north and south ends featuring Inter-War Art Deco style detailing. Prior to the brickwork being painted, the parapets were noted as having the vertical fins executed in contrasting bricks (sand). The buildings have no chimneys. Each building is in stretcher bond brickwork with 2 soldier courses. Roofs are gabled, shallow pitched and clad in corrugated steel. Each building has a central waiting area with steel security doors, small timber framed double hung windows, curved brickwork to the corners. Each building has one picture window facing towards the railway lines, and each has male and female toilets at each end of the building, with steel security doors. Each building has a platform awning with tall fascias and steel beams, shallow pitched corrugated steel skillion roofs. There are box gutters at the junction between the awning and the main roof on each building.

Interior (Not accessed 2009): Both buildings comprise a general waiting room flanked on either side by men's' and ladies' toilets. The 2001 Interwar Stations Study noted that all of the original interior fit out had been removed.

PLATFORMS (1941)
Two perimeter platforms with concrete edges and concrete surfaces. Steel rail post and concrete panel cast in situ. Asphalt entry paths. Perimeters defined with white powder coated aluminium pool fencing.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Booking office (1941): good
Platform buildings (1941): good
Platforms (1941): good
Date condition updated:11 Jul 09
Modifications and dates: c. 1990: Fibro asbestos cladding to roofs on station buildings replaced with modern galvanised steel sheeting, face brickwork painted, modern steel security doors
N.d: Interior of platform buildings altered; modern steel security screen and security doors to booking office, and an air-conditioning unit added to the roof.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: The main Illawarra line came into use in 1887 as a single line from Wollongong to Bombo as part of the (old) Stanwell Park to Albion Park section of the line built by D. Proudfoot and T. Logan.

In 1907 the Mount Drummond estate subdivision was advertised for auction sale as being "close to Wollongong Railway Station and adjacent to Port Kembla, the shipping port and manufacturing centre of the Illawarra coal fields." This land was to the south of the current location of Coniston Railway Station (which had not been built at that time).

Although Port Kembla had been planned as a new major port starting in 1893 it was not opened until the early 20th century, when satisfactory wharves were built to overcome problems with the breakwater. The Public Works Department was given the role of construction of the port and providing rail access to wharves and various industries including metal and coal companies. In April 1916 the PWD built a single line from Coniston Junction to Mount Drummond (Coniston) which was transferred to the NSW Governments Railways in July 1916. In 1920 it was extended to Port Kembla station.

The first Coniston Station was opened as Mount Drummond on the Port Kembla branch line in 1916, however it closed in 1923 and re-opened in 1925 and was re-named "Coniston". A photo taken c. 1925 of Coniston Railway Station shows a simple weatherboard platform waiting shed on a single platform, with the Coniston brickworks in the background. It appears that the presence of the railway station, and proximity to Port Kembla attracted industry to the Coniston area.

In 1939 the Coniston Station Estate subdivision was advertised for sale as "42 elevated business & residential allotments right in the centre of the Wollongong Port Kembla industrial district adjoining Coniston Station".

As part of the wartime project involving the Port Kembla port and steel works, the line from Wollongong to Coniston, along with the Port Kembla branch line, was duplicated, leading to the need for a new station in the area. In response to this, the present station, also named Coniston, was opened in 1941 on the duplicated part of the main Illawarra Line, with the junction for the branch line to Port Kembla to the south of Coniston Railway Station.

The result is a group of three 1941 Inter-war Functionalist style brick station buildings with steel platform awnings. They comprise two matching platform buildings facing each other and on the western street entrance a booking office which is just outside the main station precinct.

The Bridge Street overbridge was constructed in 1968.

The line was electrified in 1986.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods Rail to ship interchange-
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-
7. Governing-Governing Defence-Activities associated with defending places from hostile takeover and occupation Troops and equipment-
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]
Coniston Railway Station is of historical significance as a transport hub for the suburb of Coniston and for its relationship to the development of industry in the area since 1925. Coniston Railway Station has historical association with Port Kembla and the former Coniston brickworks, and the duplication of the line in 1941, during World War II, as a wartime project.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Coniston Railway Station is of aesthetic significance as a representative group of 1941 Inter-war Functionalist style railway station buildings, with stylistic similarities to the suburban railway stations built for the Cronulla line in 1939.
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 g)
[Representativeness]
Coniston Railway Station is a representative example of an Inter-war Functionalist style railway station architecture, with similarities to the 1939 Cronulla line suburban railway station buildings, however its significance is diminished to an extent by internal alterations, minor external alterations and painting of exterior brickwork to the platform buildings.
Integrity/Intactness: The platform buildings and booking office are relatively intact externally, though brickwork has been painted and there are minor alterations to windows and addition of security screens. Internally the platform buildings are not intact.
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 register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA135State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW19938Paul Davies for SRA  No
Interwar Station Buildings: Analysis and Significance2001 Andrea Humphreys and Donald Ellsmore  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Information on subdivisions at Coniston from map catalogue on www,catalogue.nla.gov.au;
WrittenC.C. Singleton1984Railway History in Illawarra NSW
WrittenD. Ellsmore and A. Humphries2002Inter-War Station Buildings
WrittenDavid Sheedy2009Historical Research for RailCorp S170 Register Update

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: 4801135


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