Coledale Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Coledale Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Coledale Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Railway Street, Coledale, NSW 2515
Local govt. area: Wollongong City


North: 5m north of the platform end; East: the eastern side of Railway Street; South: the northern edge of the Cater Street overbridge; West: boundary of RailCorp property approximately 30m west of the platform. Note this curtilage excludes the Cater Street overbridge.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Railway StreetColedaleWollongong City  Primary Address
Cater StreetColedaleWollongong City  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Coledale Railway Station - including the 1914 platform and platform building, moveable items and landscape features - is of local heritage significance. Coledale Railway Station is of local historical significance for its role as a transport hub for the village of Coledale since 1914 in this location. The present Coledale Railway Station is of historical significance as evidence of the duplication of the Illawarra line in 1914-1915. Coledale Railway Station is of aesthetic significance for its stunning setting in bushland surrounds to the east of the Illawarra escarpment, and for its platform planting scheme. Coledale Railway Station 1914 platform building is of aesthetic significance as a fine representative example of a standard platform building of its period.
Date significance updated: 09 Sep 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: NSW Government Railways
Builder/Maker: Original line- D. Proudfoot and A.T. Logan, Duplication and Station- NSW Government Railways
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Platform building (1914) (type 11)
Platform (1914)
Moveable item: timber luggage trolley
Landscape features: setting, platform planting beds and planting

The station's single island platform is accessed from the Cater Street overbridge via a pedestrian overbridge and stairs (built 1979) over the down line (heading south). The Cater Street overbridge is a modern concrete structure.

Exterior: Single storey painted brick platform building with a gabled corrugated steel roof with 2 brick chimneys and pairs of unglazed terracotta chimney pots. The building has cantilevered awnings to both sides, with steel brackets on decorative sandstone wall brackets. There are rectangular timber louvred vents to gable ends. The awnings feature a timber valance to each end. The building features timber framed double hung windows with 9-paned upper sashes with coloured glass panes, and stucco or sandstone moulded reveals to windows. At the north end of the building where the signal box once stood, there is a gabled awning on timber posts with a ripple iron ceiling and timber valance to the gable end.

Interior (Partially accessed 2009): The platform building interior was originally planned with an awning over the levers, Station Master's room, general waiting room, ladies room, ladies toilets, cleaners storeroom and men's toilets. The Station Master’s room has a timber tongue & grooved door, ripple iron ceiling, and timber moulded cornices. Most of the mantelpiece in this room is extant, though the hearth is covered over. There are also original timber tongue & grooved built -in cupboards in this room. The waiting area has modern floor tiles, rendered brick walls, 3 Waratah pattern vents, steel security doors, timber framed windows with 9-paned fanlights with coloured glass panes, a chimney breast, a modern ceiling, modern ticket window, and timber architraves to the doorways.

A single island platform, widened on both sides with concrete. Asphalt platform surfaces, diamond shaped planter beds to platform.

Coledale Railway Station is located within a stunning landscape setting, nestled in a bushland setting to the east of the Illawarra escarpment. There are three substantial trees planted in the centre of the platform at the northern end, and three diamond shaped raised concrete planter beds at the northern end in the centre of the platform.

Timber luggage trolley (stored within platform building)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Platform building (1914): good
Platform (1914): good
Date condition updated:11 Jul 09
Modifications and dates: 1915: Signal box constructed beneath the original open awning over the levers
1979: construction of overbridge and footbridge.
N.d: steel security screens and security doors have been added to the platform building.
Further information: De-list separate footbridge listing.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Previously spelt Coaldale, the name of the locality refers to the coal deposits in the area. In 1902 a new railway platform, incorporating a post and telegraph office, was opened and called Coledale. This was the first appearance of the name Coledale. In 1903 a new mine was opened at North Bulli, later known as Coledale, and a township was laid out and allotments sold.

A single line railway was opened from Scarborough (Clifton) to Wollongong in 1887 which was an isolated line until connected with Sydney in 1888. As the coal industry developed there was increased demand for new coal mining villages along the Illawarra coast with access to the main service.
Coledale is one such station which started in 1902 as a timber platform on the eastern side of the track 40m north of Cater Street overbridge for miners only.

In 1905 a new station was built northward of the present station.

Early train operations from Clifton (Scarborough) to Waterfall required 8 tunnels penetrating ridges with high embankments between. Two of these tunnels, the Otford tunnel and the Metropolitan tunnel, were notorious for hot and suffocating conditions experienced by the crew of steam trains climbing to Waterfall from Thirroul. There were cases of enginemen burnt by the heat. Due to these conditions, the single line section became an operational bottleneck. To negotiate the steep terrain, train loads were reduced by up to 50% of capacity.

In order to provide a duplicated railway as far as Wollongong it was necessary to plan an entirely new section of the line that started at South Waterfall and ended at Lilyvale. Work commenced in 1914 to eliminate the original single line route south of Waterfall with its steep grades and poorly ventilated tunnels. Deviations requiring massive earthworks were built for a less severely graded double track, and this project was known as the "Helensburgh Deviation". Completion of the project was accomplished in 1920 when the worst of the tunnels (the Otford tunnel) was bypassed.

As a result of the Helensburgh deviation works, involving duplication of the line, Coledale station was rebuilt at its current site as an island platform in 1914. The standard 1914 brick station building remains with the island platform and is unusual in that it was built there before the duplication with the new down line loop becoming the down main line when the duplicated line was completed in 1915.

In 1986 the line was electrified as far as Wollongong and prior to that a new steel beam footbridge and stairs were built in 1979.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Mining-Activities associated with the identification, extraction, processing and distribution of mineral ores, precious stones and other such inorganic substances. Transporting coal and minerals-
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-
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]
Coledale Railway Station is of historical significance for its role in the naming of the area, as a transport hub for the village of Coledale since 1914 in this location, and from 1902 in earlier locations. Coledale Railway Station is of historical significance as a result of the duplication of the Illawarra line in 1914-1915. The timber luggage trolley is of historical significance as an example of early 20th century luggage handling techniques, remaining in its contextual location.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Coledale Railway Station is of aesthetic significance for its stunning setting in bushland surrounds to the east of the Illawarra escarpment, and for its platform planting scheme. Coledale Railway Station 1914 platform building is of aesthetic significance as a fine example of a standard platform building of its period.
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)
The 1914 Coledale Railway Station platform building is a good representative brick standard design platform building, one of many examples on the Illawarra line (other examples at Banksia, Bulli, Erskineville, Helensburgh, Kiama, Mortdale, Rockdale, Scarborough, Sydenham, Wollongong).
Integrity/Intactness: The Coledale platform building is very intact externally and internally.
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 Study1999SRA148, SRA627 (footbridge)State Rail Authority  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  Locality history from
Written C. C. Singleton1946The Illawarra Line- Scarborough to Wollongong, A.R.H.S.Bulletin, Vol IX, No 102, April
WrittenDavid Sheedy2009Historical Research for RailCorp S170 Register Update

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

rez rez rez rez rez rez
rez rez rez rez rez rez
(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: 4801148

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.