Turrella Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Turrella Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Turrella Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Reede Street, Turrella, NSW 2206
Local govt. area: Rockdale


North: boundary of RailCorp property, partly fronting Henderson Street and the rear of properties fronting Henderson Street; East: 5m east of the end of the station platform; South: boundary of RailCorp property fronting Turrella Street; West: 5m west of the end of the station platform;Note: this curtilage excludes the Reede Street overbridge and platform access stairs.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Reede StreetTurrellaRockdale  Primary Address
Turrella StreetTurrellaRockdale  Alternate Address
Henderson StreetTurrellaRockdale  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Turrella Railway Station - including the 1931 platform and platform building - is of local heritage significance. Turrella Railway Station is of historical significance as a major public work completed as an unemployment relief project during the Great Depression, and as a major transport hub for the suburb of Turrella since 1931. Turrella Railway Station platform building is of aesthetic significance as an austere 1930s railway building with simple Art Deco detailing and fine brick workmanship that is evocative of the effects of the Depression on building programs for large organisations such as the NSW railways. Turrella Railway Station is representative of the cohesive collection of 10 East Hills line railway stations from Turrella to East Hills.
Date significance updated: 01 Jul 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: N.S.W. Department of Railways
Builder/Maker: N.S.W. Department of Railways
Construction years: 1925-1931
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Platform Building (1931) (type 13)
Platform (1931)
Overbridge and stairs (2001)
Turrella Railway Station is entered via modern entry stairs off the Reede Street overbridge towards the eastern end of the station platform. The platform extends under the overbridge and terminates east of the overbridge.

External: A rectangular dark face brick platform building of standard stretcher bond brickwork, of 4 bays length (note most platform buildings on this line are 5 bays), with the bays defined by simple brick engaged piers. The building has brick stepped parapets at east and west ends. The roof is gabled at east and west ends against the parapets, and is hipped over awnings to north and south which are an integral part of the roof form. Roof cladding is corrugated steel. The stepped parapets each feature a projecting moulded brick capping course and 3 vertical lines of projecting decorative brickwork.

Windows are timber-framed double-hung, some with original 6-paned top sashes, or small timber framed windows with frameless glass or glass louvres. Original window openings feature bullnose brick sills and both window and door openings stop chamfered brickwork. Original door openings have terrazzo thresholds.

There are modern fibre cement sheet ceilings to the awnings, and all doors are modern timber flush doors. The building has one modern aluminium framed window. There is an aluminium framed glazed panel to the ticket window at the entry end of the platform. There is a later gabled awning (2003) with a corrugated steel roof attached to the east end of the platform building, outside the ticket window.

Interior: The building comprises a combined booking/parcels office (now also the Station Master's room), ladies toilets, waiting room and men's toilets. Some interior joinery and fitout has survived. (Ellsmore, 2009)

One island platform, asphalt surface, original brick faces. Steeped brick coping. The platform is slightly curved, tapering at each end.

Modern concrete bridge and steel staircase. Excluded from the listing.

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.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Platform Building (1931): good condition
Platform (1931): good condition
Date condition updated:29 Apr 09
Modifications and dates: 1948: line duplicated
c. 1980s: removal of ticket collectors cabin from base of stairs.
2001: line quadruplication. The Reede Street overbridge and platform access stairs constructed.
2003: gabled awning with a corrugated steel roof attached to the east end of the platform building, outside the ticket window.
c. 2008: recladding of 1931 platform building with corrugated steel roofing (note: original roofing was corrugated fibro asbestos).
2012: New canopies on platform
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: The name of the suburb derives from an Aboriginal word meaning "a reedy place" or "water weeds". The area was rural prior to the construction of the railway line, with the first farms in the area in 1842 (William and Eleanor Favell's "Hillside", orchardist Thomas Curtis and gardener Henry Blackwell).

The main impetus for the construction of the East Hills line was from the real estate industry, which wanted to develop the area where the line was proposed. However construction of the line was delayed, and it became an unemployment relief project during the course of its construction due to the onset of the Great Depression.

"The Public Works Committee recommended the line to State Parliament in August, 1924, expecting a small operating profit and opening up good building land. The debate on the Bill to construct the line took only 15 minutes after it was introduced at 5.12am on 17 December 1924, and the Governors assent given on 23 December, but no funds were provided. Just before the State elections in 1927, the Premier, Jack Lang, performed the 'Turning of the First Sod' ceremony at Padstow on 3rd September 1927, but he lost the election. However, the new non-labour government in April, 1928, instructed the Railways Commissioners to commence work on the line." (www.canterbury.nsw.gov.au).

Jack Lang (possibly the most controversial Premier in NSW history) was Premier for two periods: the first from June 1925 to October 1927, the second period (during the Depression) from October 1930 to May 1932. Jack Lang was therefore again Premier when he officially opened the East Hills line at Padstow Railway Station in 1931, with the section as far as Kingsgrove being a double track electrified line.

In the post war period of the 1940s and 1950s migrant hostels and housing commission estates were developed in suburbs along the line. The remainder of the line from Kingsgrove was electrified in 1939 and duplicated in 1948.

All platform buildings on the East Hills line were built to the same general design and plan, which was revised after initial planning to include a booking office, Station Master’s office and parcels office.
Although the original terminus building at East Hills Station was demolished in 1987, when the East Hills terminus was connected to the Main Southern line at Glenfield Junction, the remainder of the East Hills line from Turrella to Panania is the only line in Sydney with all platform buildings extant from its original construction phase (though some have been altered).

Following the opening of the East Hills line in 1931, Turrella's farms and orchards were subdivided for residential and industrial development. In 1946 Edwin Street established a factory at Turrella and that year brought out his first popular stick ice-cream, 'The Heart'. The Streets factory operated at Turrella until 1996, after which it was adapted for reuse as MEKanarky, a self- funded, non-profit, artist run studio.

When first built, Turrella railway station had one of the smaller brick platform buildings along the line, and a (since demolished) separate ticket booth near the station entry point. Four sets of stairs and a ramp originally accessed the platform from the overbridge, however this arrangement was altered in 2001 to a single modern set of platform access stairs due to widening of the overbridge for quadruplification of the line.

Construction work is currently underway (2009) to upgrade the East Hills line generally for quadruplification of the line.

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-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Impacts of railways on urban form-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Turrella Railway Station is of historical significance as part of the East Hills line, a major Depression period public work undertaken under the controversial Premiership of Jack Lang and through its relationship to the development of the suburb of Turrella and the broader East Hills region. The austere design of the platform building is reflective of the completion of the East Hills line as a Depression period unemployment relief works project.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Turrella Railway Station is of aesthetic significance as an example of a small Inter-War period suburban railway building matching other East Hills line railway station buildings in design and style. The building is very austere in style, with Inter-War Art Deco style touches (for example brick strapwork detail to parapets) and is competently executed, exhibiting fine workmanship in its brickwork. The building is noted for its use of monochromatic brickwork, stepped parapets, irregular fenestration and engaged piers.
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 e)
[Research potential]
Turrella Station is of research significance for its ability to demonstrate design and construction techniques of the Inter-War period. The building provides insights into NSW Railways experimentation with styles of architecture and adaptation to Depression period economic conditions.
SHR Criteria f)
The Turrella Station platform building is not rare, as it is part of a cohesive group of 10 similar to identical Inter-War suburban platform buildings completed in 1931 between Turrella and East Hills.
SHR Criteria g)
Turrella Railway Station is a good representative example of an East Hills line railway station, with the platform and platform building generally intact, and demonstrates the effects of the economic Depression of 1929-1930s on railway station construction. Turrella Railway Station is representative of the cohesive collection of East Hills line railway stations from Turrella to East Hills.
Integrity/Intactness: The platform building has retained a high degree of integrity externally and a moderate degree of integrity internally. The precinct has not undergone any major alterations or additions, other than the replacement of the overbridge and access stairs, and the awning addition to the platform building is considered to be a minor and removable alteration.
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 register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA890State Rail Authority  No
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
WrittenAndrea Humphreys and Donald Ellsmore2002Inter-War Station Buildings
WrittenAustralian Dictionary of Biography Edwin (Ted) Street (1891 - 1975)
WrittenDavid Sheedy2009Historical Research for RailCorp S170 Register Update
WrittenFrances Pollon (compiler, editor)1996The Book of Sydney Suburbs

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: 4801890

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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