Kendall Railway Station | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Kendall Railway Station

Item details

Name of item: Kendall Railway Station
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Comboyne Street, Kendall, NSW 2439
Local govt. area: Port Macquarie-Hastings


RailCorp property boundaries as shown on vesting plan, RN29723. It should be noted that the original area of the railway station has been reduced, and that there is an historical and visual relationship with the surrounding area not necessarily apparent from the current property boundaries. As such, any proposed development within the vicinity of the railway station should also consider the historic relationship between the station site and its surrounding area.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Comboyne StreetKendallPort Macquarie-Hastings  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Kendall railway station is of local significance having played an important role in the economic and social development of Kendall and the surrounding regions by supporting the timber and dairy industries. The station building continues to provide a tangible link to this history and is a good example of a simple standard timber station building constructed throughout NSW during the early 20th Century.
Date significance updated: 02 Dec 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.


Construction years: 1915-1915
Physical description: MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by RailCorp
Station building, type 11 (1915)
Parcels shed (c.1915)
Detached men’s toilet (modern)
Platform (c.1915)

The Kendall railway station building is a type 11, single storey weatherboard structure with a gable roof of corrugated iron extending to an awning. The awning is cantilevered by slightly ornamental cast iron brackets. The roof is ventilated by louvred vents at the gable ends and originally included two chimneys with single terracotta pots, although one chimney was removed. A timber fascia runs around the roof edges. The windows are double hung, timber sash and the doors are timber with transom windows.

The internal layout consists of a parcels room; booking office; store; waiting room, and ladies toilet.

The parcels shed is a small skillion roof structure sloping towards the platform. It is unknown if this building forms part of the original cream shed. The structure has been reclad in modern sheet metal.

This building replaced an earlier lamproom/WC structure. The detached men’s toilets is located adjacent to the station building and is constructed of weatherboard with a skillion roof sloping away from the platform. Photos from 1999 show the platform elevation clad in fibro cement sheets, which were subsequently replaced by timber weatherboards by 2003. The building includes a timber door and window.

Steel rail post and concrete panel cast in situ.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Generally in good condition.
Platform - Good (2015)
Date condition updated:11 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: 1925 - Water tank capacity increased from 45kL to 90kL.
1981 - Stock and transit siding removed.
1984 - Goods shed removed.
1984 - Signal hut removed.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Kendall railway precinct is located on the North Coast line, the major trunk line from NSW to Queensland. Although originally constructed as an isolated line from Lismore to Murwillumbah in 1894, the importance of connecting the North Coast to the general railway system led to the extension of the line southward to Maitland in 1903.

Railways in the far north coast region had been proposed as early as the 1870s. The main aim was to divert rural products in the region to a safe shipping port on the coast, using rail transport. The early farming settlements of the North Coast region of NSW began in the late 1830s with the expanding pastoral industry forming the basis for several towns such as Casino and Kempsey along the north coast. It was not until 1894 that the 62 mile section of railway line was opened between Lismore and Murwillumbah, leading to the extension of the line southward to Maitland in 1903.

The village of Kendall is on the NSW Mid North Coast half way between Taree and Port Macquarie. Kendall was originally named Camden Heads, as it is located on the Camden River but was renamed Kendall, in 1891, after the Australian poet Henry Kendall. Henry Kendall lived in the area from 1875 to 1881 when he was the first Forest Inspector for New South Wales.

The forests played an important part in the history of Kendall, as it did throughout the North Coast region, for attracting the cedar-getters and establishing the timber industry. As early as 1856, ships arrived at Camden Haven specifically to pick up red cedar before proceeding upriver to present-day Kendall where the first organised timber milling took place as early as the 1860s (van Kempen; 2006).

The timber industry remained a significant industry for over 100 years experiencing a number of boom periods facilitated by the railways. Construction of the North Coast Railway from 1913 enabled the managed logging of productive State Forests, particularly in the Great Lakes, Stroud, Wauchope and Coffs Harbour districts (McKillop, 2009). Following WWII, management of native forests was driven for the next two decades by the material demands of a building boom and post-war expansion. Extensive new areas were dedicated to State forest tenure and large areas of forest were opened up to intensive logging and management for the first time.

From the 1880s, as settlement in the area increased, many people took up dairying. During the 1950s there were between two and three hundred dairy farms within a 30 kilometre radius of Kendall (van Kempen; 2006)

The single line from Taree to Wauchope opened on 12 April 1915, with Kendall station opening for service on the same day. The construction was carried out by the Public Works Department, with work commencing on 26 January 1911(Forsyth, 2009).

The original station precinct consisted of an A4 type passenger station building and platform, accompanied by a cream shed, a signal box, a combined men’s toilets and lamp room, trucking yards for cattle and pigs, a goods shed, a 5-tonne gantry crane, a cart weighbridge, and J2 type station officer’s house (van Kempen, 2003).

From its opening in 1915 until the 1970s and ‘80s when railway activities were drastically reduced, the station served the entire district, from Comboyne at the headwaters of the Camden Haven River to Dunbogan at the mouth of the Inlet. For much of that time a twenty-four hour office service was provided at Kendall by a station master, two assistant station masters and at least one relief assistant station master. There were two or three station assistants working in the goods shed, a couple more in the parcels office and two or three junior station assistants.

In 1917 a locomotive depot was established at Kendall and an elevated water tank with a jib was provided, along with water columns at the station. By 1925, the water tank capacity was increased, and a corrugated iron pumping station was relocated from Wauchope. An oil pumping plant was also relocated from Wauchope in June 1929. The exact date of removal of the water tanks is not known, however it is likely that they were phased out in the 1960s with the arrival of diesel-electric locomotives (van Kempen, 2003).

In the 1970s and 1980s road transport took over the railways as the preferred method of transportation, and railway precincts in the region were downsized to accommodate this change. In December 1989, Kendall Railway Precinct was de-staffed. (van Kempen, 2003). The station building was leased to Camden Haven Learning Exchange in 1990, who currently run a Craft’s Centre. CountryLink services continue to run from the station.

The establishment of the National Rail and Freight Corporation in the mid 1990s saw an increase in goods trains on the railway lines through Kendall. This was greatly expanded when a privately-owned company, Pacific National, purchased the Corporation in 2002 and that company now operates the goods trains on the North Coast Line (van Kempen; 2006).

No other major changes are documented at the station, apart from the gradual removal of the precinct components prior to the stations de-staffing, including the removal of stock and transit sidings in 1981, the removal of the goods shed and signal hut in 1984, and the removal of the original station officer’s house in 1990 (Forsyth, 2009).

Modern photographs show few changes to the station building, with the exception of the removal of one of the chimneys. The platform appears to have been re-surfaced prior to the stations re-opening as a Country Link stop, along with the replacement of the timber platform face with concrete panels.

The existing parcels shed is of similar design to the cream shed visible in the 1915 photograph, it is unknown if they are the same structure. The smaller detached timber and fibro building, currently used as a men’s lavatory, is a later addition to the site.

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. Transporting timber and forest products-
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 Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Transporting livestock and their products-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Kendall railway precinct is significant for its historical values as a tangible link to the development of the North Coast Railway line as well as the development of the NSW railways. The North Coast line was an important achievement in transport and engineering within NSW. As the direct rail route between Sydney and Brisbane, the line links townships to one another as well as to the capital cities leading to significant economic and social impacts for those individual townships as well as for NSW generally. The Kendall railway precinct has local significance as a significant part of the township’s history and townscape. The precinct and its elements were important to the township in supporting the logging and pastoral industries.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Kendall railway precinct has aesthetic values as a small rural railway precinct. The design of the station building, employing vernacular rural building materials (timber and corrugated, galvanised iron) and simple forms, presents a design and construction aesthetic typical of small rural railway stations of the Federation period.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The site is of social significance to the local community on account of its lengthy association for providing an important source of employment, trade and social interaction for the local area. The site is significant for its ability to contribute to the local community’s sense of place, is a distinctive feature of the daily life of many community members, and provides a connection to the local community’s past. The site is being utilised as a crafts centre.
SHR Criteria g)
The station building remains largely intact and is a good example of a simple standard timber station building constructed throughout NSW during the early 20th Century.
Integrity/Intactness: The station buildings have a moderate level of integrity.
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 Study1999SRA194State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW1993122Paul Davies for SRA  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 ORH  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenCottee, J.M.2004Stations on the track: selected New South Wales country railway stations: an historical overview
WrittenVan Kempen E2003A History of Kendal Railway Station

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: 4801194

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