Lewisham (Long Cove Creek) Underbridge | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Lewisham (Long Cove Creek) Underbridge

Item details

Name of item: Lewisham (Long Cove Creek) Underbridge
Other name/s: Lewisham Railway Viaduct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Bridge/ Viaduct
Primary address: Smith Street, Lewisham, NSW 2049
Local govt. area: Ashfield

Boundary:

North: Outside edge of the viaductSouth: Outside edge of the viaduct (inclusive of Whipple Truss)East: 5 metres beyond the end of the viaduct sectionWest: 5 metres beyond the end of the viaduct section
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Smith StreetLewishamAshfield  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Lewisham viaduct over Long Cove Creek has state significance as the site of different railway underbridges which represent significant phases in the development of the NSW railways. At the time of its construction it was the largest bridge on the line; the subsequent use of the extant Whipple Trusses (on display on-site) was historically significant as it was one of only four bridges in NSW to employ such Trusses; the addition of the existing Warren Trusses to the north side of the viaduct dates from the 1926-27 sextuplication of the line. The viaduct with the Warren Trusses which has remained largely intact forms a significant landmark in the local area. The viaduct is also significant for its association with NSW Railways Engineer-in-Chief John Whitton and his successor George Cowdery.
Date significance updated: 05 Aug 08
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.

Description

Designer/Maker: NSW Government Railways
Builder/Maker: NSW Government Railways
Construction years: 1886-1993
Physical description: STRUCTURES
Girders: plate web girders on local lines (1993)
Girders: plate web girders on suburban lines (1998)
Trusses: Warren trusses on main lines (1926)
Display Trusses: Whipple trusses displayed under viaduct (1886)

CONTEXT
The Lewisham viaducts trusses are located 0.25 km west of Lewisham Station. The structure which comprises of recently installed plate web girders and original Warren trusses carries local, suburban and main lines over Long Cove Creek. The original Whipple trusses which have been replaced by the plate web girders have been removed and displayed adjacent to the viaducts.

GIRDERS (On local lines)
There are three pairs of double track, welded plate web girders which carry two local lines over Long Cove Creek. Each span of steel girders is 27.13 m and are supported by brick piers and abutments.

GIRDERS (On suburban lines)
There are three pairs of double track, welded plate web girders which carry two suburban lines over Long Cove Creek. The girders are made of steel and are supported on brick piers and abutments.

TRUSSES (On main lines)
There are three pairs of single track deck Warren trusses which carry the main lines over Long Cove Creek. Each span is 27.13 m and supported by brick piers and abutments.

DISPLAY TRUSSES (Displayed under viaduct)
A pair of original Whipple trusses has been retained on site. These are wrought-iron, pin-jointed deck trusses which were developed in America.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL POTENTIAL
The Lewisham viaducts have moderate archaeological potential. Any evidence of the 1882 Lattice trusses on the suburban lines has been removed when replacement with plate web girders in 1998. However the pair of original 1886 Whipple trusses that have been retained on site and put on display under the viaduct, and provide evidence of the historic structures that were employed over the viaducts.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
GIRDERS (On local lines)
The girders are in good condition.

GIRDERS (On suburban lines)
The girders are in good condition.

TRUSSES (On main lines)
The Warren trusses are in good condition.

DISPLAY TRUSSES (Displayed under viaduct)
The Whipple trusses under the viaducts are in good condition.
Modifications and dates: 1928: Local and Suburban lines electrified to Homebush.
1955: Main lines electrified to Homebush.
1993: Whipple truss spans replaced.
Current use: Railway Viaduct
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: The first section of railway built in New South Wales was opened as a single line from the Cleveland Paddocks (near Cleveland Street overbridge) to a site west of Granville on 26 September 1855. It was duplicated by June 1856.

The largest structure on the line was the 8-span stone arch viaduct over Long Cove Creek on the western side of Petersham. By the 1880s deterioration lead to its replacement by 3 pairs of 90-foot Whipple trusses, they were American type wrought iron, pin-jointed deck trusses. The bridge was only one of two bridges in NSW to employ the Whipple Truss (the other being a road bridge over the Shoalhaven River at Nowra). These were subsequently replaced by welded, deck plate web girders in 1993. A pair of the Whipple trusses are on display on the southern side of the Lewisham Viaduct.

Two more tracks (quadruplication) were added in 1892 using 3 double track deck trusses of the British lattice type. These were also replaced by welded, deck plate web girders in 1998. Two further tracks were added for the sextuplication during 1925/27, on the northern side of the viaduct, for which three pairs of riveted steel, deck Warren trusses were erected. They are still in use.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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. Creating railway landscapes-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Lewisham viaduct over Long Cove Creek has historical significance at a state level as the site of different railway underbridges which represent significant phases in the development of the NSW railways. The stone arch viaduct built during the first phase of NSW railway construction in the 1850s was the largest structure on line; its subsequent replacement with Whipple Trusses in the 1880s was historically significant as it was one of only four bridges in NSW to employ such trusses; the 1890s addition of British lattice deck trusses to accommodate extra tracks represented the 1892 quadruplication of the line and the 1920s addition of currently used Warren Trusses to the north side of the viaduct demonstrated the 1926-27 sextuplication of the line. The currently displayed Whipple Truss on site and the extant Warren Trusses are able to collectively demonstrate the growth of the railways during the late 19th and early 20th century.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Lewisham viaduct is significant for its association with NSW Railways Engineer-in-Chief John Whitton who was responsible for encouraging the use of Whipple Trusses at the underbridge in the 1880s. His successor George Powdery was influential in implementing the use of Warren Trusses for the 1920s sextuplication.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Lewisham viaduct with the Warren Trusses which has remained largely intact has local aesthetic significance as it forms a significant landmark in the local area.

The viaduct has state technical significance as at the time of its construction in the 1850s, it was the largest structure on line and to date it is the largest underbridge on this section of the railway. The Whipple Truss displayed on site and the Warren Trusses which are still in use exemplify the technology employed for railway underbridges during the late 19th and early 20th century.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Lewisham viaduct has moderate research potential as the pair of original 1886 Whipple trusses that have been retained and put on display adjacent to the viaduct have a high level of integrity and are able to provide evidence of late 19th century engineering technology that was employed on two sites within NSW. The historic engineering marker placed on site by the Institution of Engineers Australia demonstrates that the site is a benchmark in terms of the engineering technology that was used for the viaducts.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Lewisham viaduct has rarity in terms of the Whipple trusses as the Lewisham viaduct was one of two such bridges in NSW which employed the Whipple Truss, the other being a road bridge over the Shoalhaven River at Nowra. Similarly the extant and operational Warren Trusses are rare on the New South Wales railway system.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Lewisham viaduct is representative of Warren trusses bridge construction.
Integrity/Intactness: The integrity of the Lewisham viaduct as a whole is considered to be moderate. The original 1926 Warren trusses carrying the main lines over the viaducts have been retained in their original condition and functioning. However the removal of the original Whipple and Lattice trusses and their replacement with modern plate web girders has reduced the integrity of the viaducts.GIRDERS (On local lines)These are recent constructions.GIRDERS (On suburban lines)These are recent constructions.TRUSSES (On main lines)The 1926 Warren trusses retain their original fabric.DISPLAY TRUSSES (Displayed under viaduct)The Whipple trusses retain their 1886 original fabric.
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.

Listings

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 Study1999SRA584State Rail Authority  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 OCP Architects  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Check SRA archive's historical notes for the main suburbans. Consult the heritage report and conservation plan by Don Fraser. See also "Bridges Down Under" Chapter 3 etc.
WrittenDon Fraser1995Bridges Down Under: the history of railway underbridges in New South Wales
WrittenDon Fraser1993Conservation Plan for the Long Cove Creek Railway Viaduct, Lewisham
WrittenJohn Forsyth Historical Notes of the Main Suburban Railway, 1960s
WrittenTony Prescott2009Historical Research for RailCorp's S170 Update Project

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: 4801584


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