Moree Railway Station | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Moree Railway Station

Item details

Name of item: Moree Railway Station
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Morton Street, Moree, NSW 2400
Local govt. area: Moree Plains


RailCorp property boundaries of platform building as shown on vesting plan, R29719.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
Morton StreetMoreeMoree Plains  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Moree Railway Station is significant at a local level as an important location on the 1890s section of the Mungindi line, being the rail head and the junction of three branch lines as well as a locomotive servicing centre. The remaining station building is of aesthetic significance as a representative example of a standard platform building and is similar in design to other station buildings constructed throughout NSW during the early 20th century.
Date significance updated: 04 Oct 13
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: 1904-1929
Physical description: MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by RailCorp
Railway Refreshment Room - type 11 (1929)
Platform (1904)

RRR (1929)
The remaining station building at Moree is a brick island platform building, which was later used as refreshment room. It has a gable corrugated iron roof with bracketed awnings on both sides on cement corbels, and a corbelled chimney at one end. Internally the building is believed to have been modified for new uses a number of times.

Platform 1 (1904), extended c1929 and part of Platform raised to standard height and surface asphalted (c1950). Straight island platform of brick construction. Platform 2 (1929?) is a convex island platform made of precast concrete post and panel, some panels were replaced c2010. Both have asphalt surface.

NSW Railway heritage listed sites contain significant collections of stored movable railway heritage, including furniture, signs, operational objects, ex-booking office and ticketing objects, paper records, clocks, memorabilia, indicator boards and artwork. Individually, these objects are important components of the history of each site. Together, they form a large and diverse collection of movable objects across the NSW rail network. Sydney Trains maintains a database of movable heritage. For up-to-date information on all movable heritage items at this site, contact the Sydney Trains heritage team.

Key items at this station include but are not limited to:
- Commemorative plaques
- Green cast iron safe
- Original NSWGR Timber framed mirror
- Internal timber cabinetry
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The 1922 station building is in good condition.
The platform is in good condition.
Date condition updated:22 Oct 09
Modifications and dates: c1964: Conversion of the refreshment room to a kiosk and traffic office space
2008: Some structures in the goods yard were removed to allow road widening works by the RTA
2009: Timber station building (1904, Type 11) removed due to extensive fire damage.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Moree Railway Precinct is located on the Mungindi line, branching from the Great Northern Railway at the major rail centre of Werris Creek, and heading north to the remote town of Mungindi, on the Queensland border. Today the line is utilised for almost its entire length for grain transport, and for coal from the Preston and Gunnedah collieries (

The line opened from Werris Creek to Gunnedah in 1879, Narrabri in 1884 and Moree in 1897. Moree was for many years the railhead for the large sheep stations in the area, however the construction by the Queensland Government of a railway close to the NSW border prompted the construction of a line from Moree to Mungindi, which is on the state border. In 1974, the line north of Weemelah was cut by flooding and the line was thus truncated at this location.

The single line from Narrabri Junction to Moree opened on 1 April 1897. The construction contract for this section of track was awarded to W Finlayson, H Smith & J Timms on 10 July 1895 (Forsyth, 2009). The station was opened on 1 April 1897; however formal celebrations marking the arrival of the railway at Moree took place a week or so later, on 9 April (Forsyth, 2009).

The original station precinct consisted of sheep and cattle yards, a passenger station building and platform, urinals, a goods shed with goods platform, wool loading bank, single-road carriage shed, weighbridge, a station master’s residence, and a locomotive servicing depot consisting of a single road engine shed, turntable, water tank, and coal stage (Messner, 2002).

The station buildings were all modest structures that reflected the cost-efficient rationale of the Pioneer line experiment. At the opening luncheon the local Mayor (A.B.F. Zlotkowski) actually broke with protocol by expressing some gentle criticisms of the utilitarian appearance of the new station buildings. Plans of the original station building show a skillion-roofed structure boasting few decorative features. The interior consisted of a small ticket office, a general waiting room, and a ladies waiting room complete with an internal lavatory. Adjacent to the main building was a detached men’s toilet block (Messner, 2002).

Although pastoral exports accounted for the vast majority of revenue generated by the station in its early years, a number of factors led to quite significant changes in the station precinct in the early twentieth century, namely the extension of the North Western line. Business and staffing levels quickly rose as Moree evolved into a junction station, necessitating new and improved accommodation and facilities for both station passengers and personnel (Messner, 2002).

In 1903-04 a new island passenger platform and passenger station was erected to the south of the original passenger platform and station. Previously, a temporary sleeper-platform and waiting shed appears to have been built on the new site in 1902. Although again built of timber, the new station building was considerably larger than its predecessor, offering improved accommodation for the staff and the public (Messner, 2002).

The 1904 station building was supplemented by a goods ‘out of’ room, originally located at the northern end of the new island platform, but in 1928-29 relocated immediately north of the 1904 station building to make way for a new brick refreshment room facility. A basic refreshment facility had been available at Moree from about 1922, when a temporary building was relocated from Liverpool for the purpose (Messner, 2002).

Unusually, the new RRR consisted of a standard passenger building design that had been wholly modified for catering purposes. It included a bar adjoining a dining room, a kitchen, yard, storage facilities (including a cellar below the bar) and toilets for staff. Cottage accommodation was also provided for staff in 1930 (Messner, 2002).

During World War II further modifications were made to the platform layout. In 1943 a timber booking office was built at the northern end of the platform, although this structure was demolished in 1964 when a new combined booking, parcels and goods office was built on the western side of the station precinct, opposite the passenger station. At the same time, the parcels office in the station building was converted into an additional waiting room. Plans for the conversion of the refreshment room to a kiosk and traffic office space were approved in 1964, and completed over the next couple of years. The former bar area was converted to a small refreshment kiosk, whilst the counter area in the dining room was converted to a food preparation and storage area. The rest of the refreshment room interior was converted to a switch room, a teleprinter room, staff locker rooms, and offices for the Stationmaster and Assistant Stationmaster. Station management was thus completely shifted from the 1904 timber passenger building by the mid-1970s (Messner, 2002).

The extension of the North Western line in the early twentieth century also led to significant changes to Moree locomotive depot. In 1901 the engine shed and turntable were relocated, and from 1902-03 the engine shed was extended, and inspection and ash pits, a water tank, and a rest house were provided. Further changes to the locomotive depot included the extension of the carriage shed in 1911, additions to the rest house in 1918, as well as a further extension to the engine shed and the installation of new water service facilities in 1930. In 1937 a new stores building was constructed to replace the former depot building, which has been destroyed by fire (Love, 2002).

With the opening of the Camurra to Boggabilla branch line in 1932, Moree became a very busy railway centre, effectively being located at the junction of three branches: Inverell, Mungindi and Boggabilla. In 1939, a larger 60-foot diameter turntable from Grafton replaced the original 50-foot diameter turntable (Love, 2002).

Moree depot was probably at its maximum extent in terms of its locomotive servicing capability and physical area in the late 1940s, with further improvements including the provision of additional staff accommodation. By the 1960’s steam servicing equipment was gradually removed due to the introduction of diesel-electric locomotives. In 1980 the crew rest house was removed. By the end of the 1990s the depot had been closed, and the majority of its buildings demolished (Love, 2002).

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 Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements Pioneer lines-
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-
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-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Moree railway station is historically significant as part of the Mungindi railway line which was constructed during the 1890s to capture the border trade market between NSW and Queensland. Moree was a significant location in the line as the rail head for a number of years until the line was extended to Mungindi, as a junction of three branch lines, and as a locomotive servicing centre.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The remaining station building at Moree is aesthetically significant as an early 1900s railway building, although having no particular specific aesthetic or technical significance.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The site is of social significance to the local community on account of its lengthy association with 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 and provides an important connection to the community’s past. The parcels office demonstrates the importance of the former use of the site to the regional centre.
SHR Criteria f)
Moree station has some unusual and unique features, including its layout as an island platform on a single line (though there are other examples at Casino, Dungog, and Kiama), a refreshment room built to the design of a standard early 1900s station building and a booking and parcels office located 'off platform'. While these features are unusual they do not appear to demonstrate any particular features of exceptional importance.
SHR Criteria g)
The station building is representative of similar railway architecture found at many other railway sites across the state.
Integrity/Intactness: The stations integrity has been diminished by the loss of many features, in particular the timber station building.
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 Study1999SRA208State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW1993254Paul 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
WrittenDavid Sheedy2001Moree Station Site 'S2, S3', State Heritage Inventory Form
WrittenJ.M. Cottee2004Stations on the track: selected New South Wales country railway stations
WrittenMcKillop, R2009NSW Railways (RailCorp) Thematic History
WrittenMessner, Love, Henderson, Harper and Taaffe2002Moree Railway Station, 1897-2002

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: 4801208

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