Wollongong Railway Station Group | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Wollongong Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Wollongong Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Station Street, Wollongong, NSW 2500
Local govt. area: Wollongong City


North: the southern edge of the Crown Street overbridge (excluding bridge); East: boundary of RailCorp property to the northern end, then a line parallel to the station buildings and platforms (excluding the car park and offices/yard); South: 5m past the platforms; West: boundary of RailCorp property to the northern end, then a line parallel to the station buildings and platforms (excluding the car park and yard).Note: The weighbridge is included as part of this listing, with a separate curtilage of 1m in all directions from the hut structure.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Station StreetWollongongWollongong City  Primary Address
Lowden StreetWollongongWollongong City  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Wollongong Railway Station - inclusive of the 1887 and 1923 Platform buildings, 1890 and 1926 refreshment rooms, train crew building, brick edged platforms, and moveable items - is an item of State heritage significance. Wollongong Railway Station is of State historical significance as the most substantial and earliest station on this section of the Illawarra line. Wollongong Railway Station is of historical significance as the place where construction of this originally isolated section of the line from Scarborough to Bombo commenced, materials having been shipped from Sydney to Wollongong in 1887. The Wollongong Railway Station platform buildings are of aesthetic significance as fine representative examples of railway station buildings dating from 1887 to 1926 and later, including 1887 brick 3rd class platform building and a 1923 brick building, with the rare inclusion of refreshment room additions to both platform buildings.
Date significance updated: 09 Oct 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: N.S.W. Government Railway
Builder/Maker: W. Proudfoot & T. Logan (original line), Max Seller (1st station building).
Construction years: 1887-1923
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Platform 1 Building (1923) (type 11)
Platform 1 Refreshment room (1926)
Platform 2 Brick sheds (c. 1970s)
Platform 2 Building (1887) (type 4)
Platform 2 Refreshment room (1890)
Train Crew Building (c. 1950s)
Platforms (x2)
Footbridge (2005)
Platform canopies (2005)
Crown Street overbridge (1928)

Wollongong Railway Station is located between Station Street (to the east) and Gladstone Avenue, accessed off Lowden Street to the west. There are car parks off Station Street and Lowden Street. The station has two perimeter platforms on east and west sides, and two single storey platform buildings. Access between the platforms is provided via a 2005 covered footbridge with ramps and lifts. The station's perimeter is defined by white powder coated aluminium fencing.

Exterior: A single storey platform building with English bond painted brick walls with a projecting brick base, and a corrugated steel gabled roof with roughcast stuccoed imitation half timbered gable ends. Gable ends also features rectangular timber louvred vents. The roof has two painted brick chimneys with rendered caps and flat concrete hoods. The platform awning has a skillion corrugated steel roof and curved steel brackets. Windows are timber framed double hung with sandstone reveals.

Exterior: A small building with a gabled corrugated steel roof and timber panelled double doors.
Interior: Decorative cornices and ceiling roses, and decorative plaster brackets to the interior ceiling, and a timber panelled counter.

Exterior: Two small c.1970s painted brick single storey buildings at southern end of platform used as a store room and electrical depot.

Exterior: A single storey building in English bond painted brick with a rendered base to the walls, timber valance to cantilevered awning, timber framed double-hung windows, steel trusses and curved brackets to awning. Timber panelled doors with fanlights and sidelights. Gabled section over main entry. Main entry has modern timber panelled double doors, each with glazed panels to upper halves, and modern tiled floor. There are rendered surrounds to each window, and projecting string courses above window height. There is a modern awning to the station entry. The building has two painted brick chimneys with brick strap work. One bay south of the entry, on the street side of the building, has a parapet.

Exterior: This is a stretcher bond painted brick extension to the southern end of the 1887 building and executed in a similar style. This extension has a rendered base to the walls, hipped and a gabled corrugated steel roof. Windows are timber framed double hung, placed in pairs. Doors are timber panelled double doors, some with glazed panels to the upper half. The gable end facing east has a Perspex roof and decorative timber bargeboards and pendant.

Exterior: A freestanding weatherboard building towards north end of Platform 2. The building has a hipped corrugated steel roof, with a flat metal deck roof over a section on the western side of the building. The building features timber framed double hung windows with horizontal glazing bars, and a cantilevered platform awning on steel brackets, and timber flush doors. It is possible that this building contains the remnants of an earlier lamp room.

Two perimeter platforms, both extended at northern end, with brick faces and asphalt surfaces. Coping has been raised in concrete, previously brick. Platform 3/4 is a terminal platform, made of concrete with open concrete frame.

A covered concrete footbridge with covered ramps and lifts and each end.

Modern platform canopies with steel posts on concrete bases and corrugated steel skillion roofs connecting the platform buildings to the lifts.

Three span bridge with a jack arch superstructure (RSJ with concrete infill) supported on masonry (brick) piers.

A small weighbridge is located in the yard.

Small garden to the east of the Platform 2 building, facing Station Street. The garden has white powder coated aluminium fencing, and contains a plaque commemorating electrification of the line in 1986.

Cast iron safe in store room and fitted timber counter and timber fire surround, tiled grate and hearth in former Refreshment Room
Brass plaque dated 4 February 1986 on sandstone plinth in garden to the east of the Platform 2 building, facing the street, commemorating electrification of the line in 1986; Brass plaque – 9 August 2002, wall-mounted to west elevation of Platform 2 building commemorating 2002 development of Wollongong Station.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Platform 1 Building (1923): good
Platform 1 Refreshment room (1926): good
Platform 2 Brick sheds (c. 1970s): good
Platform 2 Building (1887): good
Platform 2 Refreshment room (1890): good
Train Crew Building (c. 1950s): moderate
Platforms: good
Footbridge (2005): very good
Platform canopies (2005): very good
Crown Street overbridge (1928): good
Date condition updated:12 Jul 09
Modifications and dates: 1890: railway refreshment room addition to Down platform building
1914: separate booking and parcels office (no longer extant) built to east of Down platform building.
Prior to 1922: milk shed and other structures.
1922: enlargement of kitchen and store adjacent to Down platform refreshment room.
1923: Up platform building constructed, duplication of the line.
c. 1923: carriage shed built.
1926: brick refreshment room built onto Up platform building; enlargement of Down platform refreshment facilities.
1928: Crown Street overbridge constructed.
1940: New parcels and booking office east of Down platform building; demolition of former separate parcels & booking office (built 1914). Relocation of lamp room south of Down platform building.
1977: internal changes to Up platform building.
1984: front gable and verandas to east elevation of Down platform building demolished. New parcels office built adjacent to overbridge on Down platform. Internal refurbishment of Down platform building.
1985: alterations to internal fitouts in booking offices of both platform buildings.
1986: electrification of the line to Wollongong.
1994: internal and some external alterations, both platform buildings. Glazed gable added to Down platform building.
1999-2005: new footbridge, lifts and platform canopies planned and constructed.
c.1998: Weighbridge hut removed from yard
2009: Sellers turntable (1897) removed from yard and relocated.
N.d: modern security screen doors, some modern flush doors, modern signage and seating to both platform buildings. Most yard structures (turntable excepted) have been removed.
2012: Station repainted
2012: Anti-throw screens added to footbridge
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Railway Station, Goods Yard and Locomotive Depot


Historical notes: European settlement of Wollongong began with land grants made in 1816, and the town of Wollongong was laid out in 1834. The Illawarra District Council was formed in 1843. In 1859, two municipal councils were formed: Municipality of Wollongong which was proclaimed on 22 February, and Central Illawarra Municipality which was formed on 19 August 1859 (this took in the area from Unanderra to Macquarie Rivulet). North Illawarra Municipality was formed on 26 October 1868 and included the area from Fairy Creek to Bellambi. In 1947 The City of Greater Wollongong was formed by the amalgamation of the City of Wollongong, the Shires of Bulli and Central Illawarra and the Municipality of North Illawarra, under the Local Government Act, 1919 in the NSW Government Gazette 104 of 12 September 1947.

Construction for the (old) Scarborough to Wollongong section of the Illawarra line virtually started at Wollongong Station site as equipment, material and rolling stock was transported by sea from Sydney, landed at Port Wollongong and transferred by the colliery railways to the station yard.

The single track line opened on 21st June 1887 with an extension to Bombo opened on 9th November 1887 and finally on 3rd October 1888 the connection to the northern Sydney section was made. Due to its busy coal industries and The Port of Wollongong, Wollongong Station was regarded as the major station on the Illawarra line and it remains that to the present due to the growth of Port Kembla, the steelworks and the major population.

The first station building on the Down platform was a standard roadside brick 3rd class building which was joined in 1890 by a brick waiting room with a railway refreshment room and following duplication of the line in 1923, a similar brick combination refreshment room building was erected on the Up platform.
The station yard initially supported a major goods yard and small loco depot in 1910 but following duplication the yard was remodelled and enlarged with bigger storage and loco facilities and as such remained until 1962, with conversion to diesel loco operations and again in 1985 when the goods yard was closed and sidings were rearranged for additional carriage storage.

An early undated plan for the Up (west) platform building shows (north to south): urinals with a screen wall; lavatory; ladies room; general waiting room; booking hall; booking office; bar; refreshment room; and kitchen. Plans dated 1889 show replanning of the Down platform building to incorporate a refreshment room, kitchen and sitting room and yard at its southern end. 1914 plans show the Down platform building with internal plan (north to south): urinals, ladies toilet, ladies room, Station Master's office, telegraph office and porch, entry hall (new doors to east noted); parcels office to be converted to a general waiting room; refreshments room with kitchen and store to the east; dining room and sitting room.

1914 plans for "Proposed alterations to buildings and booking office" also show a "Proposed booking and parcels office" to the east of the down platform building, a Station Master's residence to southeast of the overbridge, a milk shed to the south of the down platform building, and a weatherboard building opposite on the west side of the line with a carriage shed to the southwest.

1922 plans of station layout show: Station Master's residence southeast of overbridge; 100,000 gallon reservoir to south of Station Master's residence; separate booking office and parcels office building to south of that; Down platform building interior plan with (north to south) toilets; ladies room, Station Master's office, telegraph office, hallway, waiting room, refreshments room with a larger now linked kitchen and store to east, and two unmarked rooms at the southern end. A horse and carriage dock and dock siding with adjacent water column is shown to the south of the Down platform building, with a milk shed and stage opposite on the western side of the lines. Another water column appears to the north of the Up platform building.

1926 plans for "Refreshment room Down Platform - Proposed additions" show a refreshment room addition with a bar, store and kitchen, also having a concrete coal bin.

1940 plans for a "Proposed new parcels office" show demolition of the earlier separate parcels and booking office, as well relocation of a lamp room to the north end of the Down platform building, and the construction of a new parcels office east of the Down platform building. A proposed future footbridge is mentioned on these plans. Some minor internal changes to the Down platform building are also shown at this time.

1977 plans for "Upgrading of Station building Up platform "show internal changes to booking office and waiting room, including removal of partition walls, new openings.

1984 plans show the front gable and verandas on the east elevation of the Down platform building demolished, and construction of new parcels office building adjacent to overbridge on east platform. 1984 plans also show upgrading of the Up platform station building with a new toilet fitout, internal refurbishment, and demolition of timber buildings at northern end. Plans for "Upgrading of station buildings Down platform" show internal refurbishment. The plans also show classrooms and offices at the southern end; external repairs and minor alterations.

1985 plans show alterations to booking offices for both up and down platform buildings.

In 1986, the line was electrified as far as Wollongong, and a plaque to commemorate the electrification was unveiled at Wollongong Station by the then Premier Neville Wran on 4 February 1986.

1994 plans for a general upgrade show a range of alterations including a few new doors and internal refurbishment to both platform buildings. Extensive removal of internal ceilings and some floors is shown. The glazed gable was added to the down platform building, new lifts and footbridge.

1999 plans for Wollongong Station upgrade show further extensive internal changes to both platform buildings, and the extensive addition of new platform canopies, and a new awning over the footbridge. At this time the building to the north of the east (down) platform building is marked as "Existing train crew building". Plans for new steel framed lift towers are dated November 1999. Also on the 1999 plans, a new addition is shown to the west elevation (south end) of the Down platform building.

The station is now one of the few left in N.S.W. that retains functioning railway refreshment rooms.

In 2005 a major footbridge with lifts to the north end of the platforms (presumably similar to that shown on the 1999 plans) was provided.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Servicing the pastoral industry-
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 Transport of goods-
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 accomodating passengers-
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]
Wollongong Railway Station is of State historical significance as the most substantial station and also the first built railway station on the originally isolated section of the Illawarra line built from Scarborough to Bombo in 1887. Wollongong Railway Station is also of historical significance as the place where construction of the line commenced, materials for the line's construction having been shipped from Sydney to Wollongong. The station is significant in retaining the original platform building from 1887, with subsequent buildings associated with the upgrade of the line, demostrating two important histroical phases of railway development on the Illawarra line.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Wollongong Railway Station platform buildings are of aesthetic significance as fine examples of railway station buildings, including the Victorian Italianate style 1887 3rd class brick platform building, and 1890 refreshment room on Platform 2, and the Federation Queen Anne style influenced 1923 brick platform building and 1926 refreshment room on Platform 1.
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)
The refreshment rooms to both platforms at Wollongong Railway Station are rare in the metropolitan network, though examples exist in regional areas, demonstrating a former era of rail transport where refreshment services were provided to passengers on the platform in the from of railway refreshment rooms. The Platform 2 building is one of five examples of a 3rd class brick platform building on the Illawarra line. The weighbridge is considered to be a rare remnant of the previous working yard.
SHR Criteria g)
The 1887 Platform 2 building is a fine representative example of a 3rd class brick platform building, one of five examples on the Illawarra line, the others being in metropolitan Sydney (Carlton, Rockdale, St. Peters, Sydenham), and unusual for its extension in 1890 to add a refreshment room. The Platform 1 building is a fine representative example of a brick platform building (12 examples on the Illawarra line), again unusual for its refreshment room added in 1926. Overall, Wollongong Station is a fine example of a major rural town railway station, with extant structures from 1887 to the mid 20th century.
Integrity/Intactness: There are alterations to all buildings, and it is clear the buildings have evolved over time, however basic form and external materials of the original form of the buildings is readable. The interiors of the buildings have been extensively altered. The station access arrangement has changed and loss of most features of the yard has resulted in the station context being diminished.
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 Study1999SRA145State Rail Authority  No
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  Brief history of locality on www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/library/localhistory.asp; Historical timeline for Wollongong at: www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/council/history.asp
WrittenC.C Singleton1945The Illawarra Line: Waterfall to Wollongong, A.R.H.S. Bulletin Vol. XII, No 105, July
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: 4801145

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