Rydal Railway Station | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Rydal Railway Station

Item details

Name of item: Rydal Railway Station
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Bathurst Street, Rydal, NSW 2790
Local govt. area: Lithgow


RailCorp property boundaries as shown on vesting plan, R29788.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
Bathurst StreetRydalLithgow  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Rydal Railway Station is of state significance as an important early railway complex with the extant station building constructed for opening of the line to Rydal in 1869. The building is an excellent example of a small Victorian Gothic style railway building with original fabric and fine detailing typical of the period. The building is complimented by its landscape setting and is an important visual landmark in the small town. The building is also rare as a largely intact railway office/residence, similar only to five other stations in the state, and demonstrates the past custom of providing accommodation for railway staff on-site. Other items at the station including the platforms, signal box and storage shed are significant as they indicate the development of the rail network and how established railway sites adapted to accommodate line duplication and increased traffic.
Date significance updated: 16 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.


Builder/Maker: R McIntosh
Construction years: 1869-1914
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Station Building - Combined station/ residence, type 1- sub-type 2 (1869),
Signal Box - type F, on-platform timber (c.1914)
Storage Shed (c.1880)

Platforms - stone and brick platform faces (1869, 1914)
Loading Gauge
War Memorial
Traditional wide timber slat and wrought iron station seats

The main station building is similar to five other combined railway station office/residences in NSW - all of which are slightly different. It is in good condition with some minor alteration to the original fabric.

The setting on the main road allows the buildings to be seen more clearly than most station buildings with the street facade taking as much prominence as the platform facade even though it is the entry to the residence only and not to the offices. The building is planned with the offices arranged linearly along the platform with access only from the platform and the residence containing four rooms behind.

The building is constructed of face brick with quoining details to windows and corners. The roof is clad in corrugated iron with two prominent gables at either end featuring plaques with the date of the building. There are three corbelled brick chimneys. The awning structure and original gable barge boards have been replaced with plain profiles in contrast to those drawn and seen at Tarana. It is likely that the front awning was added at a later date (c.1880’s) as the structures from this period did not have platform awnings provided. A feature of the building is the decorative timber framing to the entry porch of the residence.

WAR MEMORIAL (Council owned)

PLATFORM FACES (1869, 1914)
These exhibit changes in materials and technology with the changes from stone to brick and illustrate the growth of the platform as trains increased in length etc. The 1914 duplication platform (with waiting shed now demolished) indicates clearly the growth and importance of the area for wool production and the more recent decline in the rail system. The curved and sloping brick retaining walls at the rear of the 1914 platform are of particular interest and are of unusual design.

Platform 1: Platform originally brickwork, laid in English bond, with a battered profile and sandstone coping. Platform has been extended toward City end in coursed sandstone and raised twice. Ramp at city end has been replaced with wall.

Platform 2: Platform originally brickwork, laid in English bond, with corbelled coping and weepholes. Not currently in use. Platform likely raised. Surfaced in pink gravel. Back of platform earth filled, and supported at both ends by brick retaining walls. Not in use. Managed by John Holland

Platform 3: Dock platform not in use. Original length has been truncated at Country end. Brick and stone with gravel surface.

This is a small modest skillion roof timber clad box typical to duplication works early in the century which adds completeness and layering to the site.

This is a small gable roofed corrugated iron shed with 6 pane windows probably dating from around 1880. It is unusual in design not appearing to be a standard structure. It adds significance and completeness to the group. It is a relatively rare structure as it is not directly related to the platform or to track side as are out of sheds and goods sheds.

This is a remnant of the peak wool trade on the rail and is one of the few remaining such structures. It is the only observed timber gauge surviving. It should be maintained on the site as an indication of the importance of the area in wool production.

The plantings at either end of the platform add visual strength and definition to the site indicating a past community pride in the site. In the 1990s signs and fencing have been replaced with modern styles. The modern signs and fencing are not included in the listing.

WWI memorial – stone with marble plaque and machine gun mounted on top.
Station platform signs – metal backing boards with cast iron letters and iron rail posts
Wrought iron and timber platform bench with “Rydal” painted lettering
Cast iron platform scales
Timber carriage on siding as part of museum display
Timber palisade fencing throughout
Set of signal levers as part of museum display
Remnant timber post and rail fencing
Fitted timber cabinets in interior rooms
Plaque – Rydal Station restoration, October 1993
Plaque – memorial to Noel Hawley 1953 – 1973 on granite boulder/plinth in garden bed edged with timber sleepers
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:16 Oct 09
Modifications and dates: N.d. Platform awning reconstructed
Current use: Railway station and council library
Former use: Railway station/residence


Historical notes: Rydal is located on the Main Western line between Lithgow and Bathurst and was the centre of an important wool producing area in the state. The single line opened from Wallerawang to Rydal on 1 July 1870. Construction contract for the Wallerawang to Rydal section was awarded to James McKenzie in 1867 but relet to George McKenzie, George Forrester and A McKenzie on 27 April 1868. The line was duplicated from Wadina to Rydal on 14 March 1915. The line has operated as a single track from 1998.

Construction of the combined station office building/ SM’s residence, goods shed and 12.192m diameter turntable pit contract was awarded to R McIntosh in August 1869. The station officially opened on 1 July 1870.

Minor changes to the railway station at Rydal since construction included a new shunting neck (1890), new platform (1891) and stockyards and ‘out of’ room demolished in 1983. The station closed on 27 May 1989 and is now being used as the local library. (Forsyth, 2008).

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 Transporting livestock and their products-
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 railway employees-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site has historic significance to demonstrate the late 19th century development of the NSW railways. The combined office/residence dates from the opening of the line at Rydal in 1869 and has significance to demonstrate the layout of a late 19th Century railway station.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The site has aesthetic significance as a railway station that demonstrates railway design in the 1860s. The 1869 station building is a fine example of a small Victorian Gothic Revival style building with original fabric and fine detailing typical of the period. The station building symbolises the confidence in railway construction and the transition towards a railway architecture. Set in a lush rural valley landscape, the station maintains its setting which forms an important visual element in the valley viewed from both road approaches and from the level crossing.
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.
SHR Criteria f)
The site has rarity significance as a combined office/residence and is only one of five similar structures remaining in NSW. All similar structures, found further west towards Blayney, have major alteration or additions. The sandstone platform face is also a rare feature of the site.
SHR Criteria g)
The site has representative significance for its collection of railway structures, including the signal box and storage shed, that demonstrate widespread 19th and early 20th Century railway customs, activities and design in NSW, and are representative of similar items that are found in many other railway sites across the state.
Integrity/Intactness: The station group including the station buildings, platforms, signal box and store have a high 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    
Heritage studyRydal Railway Station 01 Jan 97   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA331State Rail Authority  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 ORH  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenJohn H Forsyth2008NSW Railway Stations - An Alphabetical Arrangement of Railway Station and Place Names

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: 4801331

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.

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