Waterfall Turntable, Watering Facilities & Movable Items | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Waterfall Turntable, Watering Facilities & Movable Items

Item details

Name of item: Waterfall Turntable, Watering Facilities & Movable Items
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Residence/Quarters
Primary address: McKell Avenue (North Of), Waterfall, NSW 2233
Local govt. area: Sutherland

Boundary:

Two separate curtilages. (1). Turntable: 5 metres on all sides from the outer edge of the turntable. (2). Water tank and water column (separate curtilage, opposite and to east of 1899 Princes Highway Waterfall): 2m on all sides from the water tank and water column.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
McKell Avenue (North Of)WaterfallSutherland  Primary Address
1899 Princes Highway - Watertank Opposite To EastWaterfallSutherland  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

The 1908 turntable and 1905 water tank and water column are of historical significance as rare extant evidence of steam train technology at a major locomotive depot and are of technical significance as technology illustrative of the functioning of steam trains. The water tank is of aesthetic significance as a landmark visible from the Princes Highway and Waterfall Railway Station. The turntable is locally rare, being one of three turntables now extant on the Illawarra line (with Bomaderry and Kiama). The water tank and water column are rare examples in the metropolitan network.
Date significance updated: 15 May 17
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: N.S.W. Government Railway
Builder/Maker: W. Rowe Turntable (1908) Water tank (1905) Water column (1905) CONT and W. Smith (original line).
Construction years: 1905-1908
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Turntable (1908)
Water tank (1905)
Water column (1905)
Movable Items (various, at station)

TURNTABLE (1908)
A standard turntable (similar to the Bomaderry, Kiama and Wollongong turntables), the mechanism having the same manufacturer and design (William Sellers & Co. Philadelphia No. 1327). The turntable is a single circular track on timber sleepers surrounding a cast iron turntable mechanism. On the west side of the turntable the area is retained with a wall of timber sleepers. On the east side, there are no sleepers, just an earth embankment. The turntable was refurbished in 2011.

WATER TANK (1905)
The water tank is a cast iron tank with rounded corners, open at the top, elevated on a cast iron stand.

WATER COLUMN (1905)
The water column is located just south of the water tank. It is a curved metal pipe with a concrete base, elevated on a timber decked stand carried on four square concrete corner posts. There are timber steps with timber railings on the southern side leading up to the deck. The deck also has timber railings.

MOVABLE ITEMS
Located at the station. Two platform trolleys and one sets (pair) of indicator boards.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Turntable (1908): Very Good
Water Tank (1905): Good condition. Some surface rust.
Water Column (1905): Good condition
Date condition updated:07 May 09
Modifications and dates: c. 1960s: Carport to Night Officer's residence
2009: There are proposed works within the vicinity of the turntable, although these works will not physically affect the turntable itself.
N.d: Various minor alterations including late 20th century service fittings. Western perimeter wall of turntable has had sleepers removed and is now an earth bank. A metal container has also been placed near the turntable.
N.d: All the residences feature later additions and alterations including skillion additions at the rear or sides (sympathetic).
2011: Turntable refurbished. The project involved clearing the turntable from overgrowth and cleaning the existing cast iron turntable. The turntable was then finished with an anti-corrosive coating and finished in a high-durability paint finish to protect the original metal. Under the steel frame, a new layer of roadbase was laid on the turntable pit. The project also involved reconstruction of the original timber deck with new hardwood and replacement of an intrusive modern steel-pipe handrail with a traditional timber hardwood rail.
2016: Nightofficer's cottage (1897), Enginemens/Guards residences (2 pairs) (1897) - removed from the site.
2015: Pair of indicator boards returned from Waterfall Station to Caringbah Station.
Current use: Disused
Former use: Turntable, watering facilities

History

Historical notes: The first stage of the Illawarra Line was opened to Hurstville in October 1884, with the second stage extending the line to Waterfall in 1886. The line to Waterfall opened on 9 March 1886 and the station was initially known as Waterfalls because of its proximity to the National Park and a series of nearby waterfalls. The railway station's name changed to Waterfall by the end of 1886. The temporary terminus at Waterfall was 0.6km south of the present station, located conveniently where Thomas Mitchell's south coast road crossed the railway line. There was no settlement at Waterfall at the time, and the site was used for watering steam locomotives. A passenger platform was provided initially, without facilities for freight.

The next extension to the Illawarra line opened to Clifton (now Scarborough) in 1887, and since the Clifton-Wollongong - North Kiama (Bombo) section had been completed already as an isolated line, this date saw the commencement of through trains between Sydney and Wollongong and beyond.

A second track was extended from Hurstville to Waterfall on 12 December 1890, and the site of Waterfall Railway Station was relocated northwards, correlating with the duplication of the line. This move permitted the installation of a goods siding with road access, plus two goods sidings for shunting and storage. The latter sidings now form part of the electric train storage sidings. In 1897 a locomotive turntable was constructed at Waterfall, and in 1899 an engine shed was constructed. Waterfall was now provided with its own allocation of engines, and by 1900 had become a centre for Illawarra line goods trains.

A group of five railway residences (one freestanding and two pairs of semi-detached weatherboard residences) was constructed in 1897 to the east of Waterfall Railway Station, the residence at the southern end of the group was originally allocated to the Night Officer while the two pairs of semi-detached houses to the north were for enginemen and guards.

A school opened in Waterfall in 1901, reflecting the growth of the local railway population. In 1905 Waterfall was further developed as a staging point in the operation of freight trains, the railway station platform and platform buildings being rebuilt on the present (the third and final) site of Waterfall Railway Station, and a well designed yard of marshaling sidings for Up trains constructed (these sidings with modifications for electrification are still extant, adjacent to the Princes Highway). This work was completed on 4 May 1905. At this time (1905) two pairs of brick semi-detached residences were built on McKell Avenue (Nos. 7-10 McKell Avenue) to the south of Waterfall Railway Station to provide further accommodation for railway employees (no longer extant, removed 2016).

In 1906 a dam was constructed across Heathcote Creek for supplying steam engines with water. Water was pumped to a holding reservoir with a gravity feed to a water tank and water columns in the Waterfall yard.

By 1914 Waterfall had four goods sidings, 2 turntables, coal stages, engine and goods shed. In 1919 the sidings were further expanded and in 1921a goods and passenger lift was installed to give vertical access between the platform and the overbridge. New marshalling yards and a large locomotive depot were established at Thirroul in 1917, closer to the centre of the Illawarra line goods traffic, at which time Waterfall's engine and crew allocation were transferred to Thirroul, and Waterfall was closed as a locomotive depot.

With electrification of the line in 1980 further changes were made to the yard rail layout and in c. 1990 the railway residences were leased to the Department of Housing and subleased to the Sutherland Shire Housing Cooperative, the lease expiring some time after 2001. In 1999 the 1905 timber platform building at Waterfall railway station was replaced with the present steel and concrete platform building accessed from the overbridge by modern concrete steps.

The group of extant structures at Waterfall which remain in RailCorp ownership includes a 1908 Sellers 18.2 metre turntable and connecting siding, and a 1905 mild steel water tank and stand with adjacent water column on the western side of the yard.

In 2016, the five timber railway residences (1897) were removed. There were three buildings containing five residences - two pairs of semi-detached residences at the north end of the group and a single freestanding cottage at the southern end of the group. The 1897 Waterfall railway residences and yard were significant as a group of structures dating from the period when Waterfall was a railway town servicing steam locomotives. The 1897 Waterfall railway residences were of historical significance as evidence of early 20th century railway operational requirements to accommodate railway staff on site, of particular significance as a rare group of residences constructed for a Night Officer, enginemen and guards, at what was then a major locomotive depot. The residences were of aesthetic significance as a group of vernacular weatherboard residences, following the tradition of standard simply styled railway residences, the only concession to their period of construction being the use of face brickwork for foundation walls and chimneys. The residences were unique as they were not constructed according to a standard railway design as was the usual practice.

The residences were described as follows:
NIGHT OFFICER'S RESIDENCE (1897) (south end of residences group)
Exterior: A freestanding single storey weatherboard residence on brick piers with a gabled corrugated steel roof with one brick chimney at the north end of the roof ridge, a skillion corrugated steel roofed front veranda on timber posts with a timber picket veranda balustrade with timber top rail, and a rear weatherboard skillion corrugated steel roofed section with another brick chimney. The residence featured timber framed double hung windows, generally with vertical glazing bars to sashes, and a timber 4-panel front door with fanlight. On the southern side there was a flat roofed relatively modern carport.

ENGINEMENS/GUARDS RESIDENCES (1897) (centre of group)
Exterior: A single storey weatherboard semi-detached pair of residences on brick piers with gabled corrugated steel roof with no chimneys, skillion corrugated steel roofed front verandas on timber posts, skillion corrugated steel roofed weatherboard rear sections. There were timber steps to front verandas (generally rotted). Verandas featured timber picket balustrades with a timber top rail. Each residence had a symmetrical façade with a single window to each side of the front door (openings generally covered over). The front doors were 4 panel timber doors with fanlights.

Interior: (One room accessed 2009). Timber tongue & grooved floor boards and wall linings, modern ceiling (possibly timber tongue & grooved ceiling above modern ceiling).

ENGINEMENS/GUARDS RESIDENCES (1897) (north end of group)
Exterior: Single storey weatherboard semi-detached pair on brick piers with gabled corrugated steel roof with three chimneys (all at the rear of the roof), skillion corrugated steel roofed front verandas on timber posts, skillion corrugated steel roofed weatherboard rear sections. There were timber steps to front verandas (generally rotted). Verandas featured timber picket balustrades with a timber top rail. Each residence had a symmetrical façade with a single window to each side of the front door (openings generally covered over). The front doors are 4 panel timber doors with fanlights. The front elevation of this pair of residences had trees growing very close to the front façade.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Forestry-Activities associated with identifying and managing land covered in trees for commercial purposes. Timber-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Technology-Activities and processes associated with the knowledge or use of mechanical arts and applied sciences Locomotive Design and technological development-
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-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Servicing and accommodating railway employees-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The 1908 turntable and 1905 water tank and water column are of historical significance as evidence of steam train technology at a major locomotive depot.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The turntable, water tank and water column are of technical significance as technology illustrative of the functioning of steam trains. The water tank is of aesthetic significance as a landmark visible from the Princes Highway and Waterfall Railway Station.
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 Waterfall turntable is locally rare, being one of three turntables now extant on the Illawarra line (Bomaderry, Waterfall and Kiama), as well as the water tank and water column of which there are few in the metropolitan railway network.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The 1908 turntable and 1905 water tank and water column are representative structures from the steam technology period of railway operation.
Integrity/Intactness: The turntable retaining wall on the eastern side is missing, however the turntable is still relatively intact. The water tank and water column are 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 Study1999SRA139State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW199313Paul Davies for SRA  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenC.C Singleton1945The Illawarra Line: Hurstville to Waterfall, A.R.H.S. Bulletin Vol. XIII, No 96, October
WrittenDavid Sheedy2009Historical Research for RailCorp S170 Register Update
WrittenGraham Brooks & Associates P/L & R.K. Booth2001Heritage Analysis of 1-5 McKell Avenue. Waterfall

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: 4801139


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