Bexley North Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Bexley North Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Bexley North Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Bexley Road, Bexley North, NSW 2207
Local govt. area: Rockdale

Boundary:

North: boundary of RailCorp property, partly fronting Kingsgrove Avenue, partly fronting Illoura Park; East: 5m east of the end of the platform; South: boundary of RailCorp property, partly fronting Shaw Street Reserve, partly fronting an unnamed laneway north of properties at 2-20 Shaw Street, partly fronting the north boundary of a property at 236 Slade Road; West: 5m west of the end of the platform;
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Bexley RoadBexley NorthRockdale  Primary Address
Kingsgrove AvenueBexley NorthRockdale  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Bexley North Railway Station - including the 1931 platform and platform building - is of local heritage significance. Bexley North 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 Bexley North since 1931. Bexley North Railway Station platform building is of aesthetic/technical 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 NSW Railways. Bexley North Railway Station is representative of the cohesive collection of 10 East Hills line railway stations from Turrella to East Hills.
Date significance updated: 01 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.

Description

Designer/Maker: NSW Government Railway
Builder/Maker: NSW Government Railway
Construction years: 1931-1948
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Platform Building (1931, 1948) (Type 13)
Island Platform (1931)
Platform entry stairs (modern)
Overbridge (1929, modern)
Movable

CONTEXT
Bexley North Railway Station is entered via stairs from the Bexley Road overbridge, which crosses over the eastern end of the station's single island platform. The Station entry steps and balustrading are modern.

PLATFORM BUILDING (1931, 1948)
External: A rectangular dark face brick building of standard stretcher bond brickwork, divided into 5 bays, with bays defined with engaged piers. The building has a brick stepped parapet at both east and west ends, The roof is gabled at east and west ends against the parapets, and is hipped over awnings to north, south and east elevations, which are an integral part of the roof form. Roof cladding is corrugated steel. The east awning wraps around the eastern stepped parapet. The stepped parapets each feature a projecting moulded brick capping course and 3 vertical lines of projecting decorative brickwork. There are pairs of timber louvred vents to each gabled parapet. There are modern fibre cement sheet ceilings to the awnings. Remnants of earlier painted wayfinding signs for male and female toilets still extant.

Windows are of 3 types: timber-framed double-hung, some with original 6-paned top sashes; small timber framed windows with frameless glass or glass louvres; and timber framed highlight windows with vertical glazing bars. Original window openings feature bullnose brick sills and both window and door openings feature stop chamfered brickwork. 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.

All doors are modern timber flush doors. Original door openings have grey terrazzo thresholds and one doorway has a small concrete pad in front of the doorway with a metal grate foot scraper. The building has one modern aluminium framed window.

Interior: The interior of the building consists of a series of discrete spaces arranged on a linear plan. These spaces comprise: men's toilet, cleaners store, ladies' toilet, ladies' waiting room, combined booking/parcels office with ticket window. It should be noted that the building was planned without a booking or parcels office but was sympathetically extended in 1947-48 to include a combined booking/parcels office. Alterations to the interior fitout were undertaken in 1999, however some original interior fitout has survived, including interior joinery, ceiling and floor finishes (Humphries A & Elsmore D, 2002)

ISLAND PLATFORM (1931)
Single island platform with asphalt surface, and original brick faces.

PLATFORM ENTRY STAIRS (modern)
The platform entry stairs to Bexley North Railway Station are located at the centre of the overbridge, on the western side. The stairs are concrete with modern white powder coated aluminium railings.

MOVABLE
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, 1948): good condition
Island Platform (1931): good condition
Platform entry stairs (modern): very good condition
Date condition updated:02 Jul 09
Modifications and dates: 1948: line duplicated.
1947-1948: sympathetic extension to eastern end of platform building to create a combined parcels and booking office.
1999: interior fitout alterations to platform building.
2009: Construction work underway to upgrade the East Hills line generally.
N.d: Roof cladding to the Bexley North platform building (originally corrugated asbestos) replaced with corrugated steel; Overbridge widened from two to four lanes with a concrete structure and concrete road deck, however retaining the original 1929 brick piers; entry stairs to platform replaced. The overbridge is therefore predominantly a modern structure.
2010: Canopy upgrade
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: The largest estates in the Bexley area were purchased and subdivided, and in 1909 a steam tram ran through Bexley to Arncliffe Railway Station. Bexley North, however, which was further from the Illawarra line and the tramline, remained semi-rural until the opening of the East Hills line.

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" (from 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.

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.
The line was electrified from Kingsgrove in 1939, duplicated in 1948, and in 1987 the East Hills terminus was connected to the Main Southern Line at Glenfield Junction.

In the post war period of the 1940s and 1950s migrant hostels and housing commission estates were developed in suburbs along the line.

Although the original terminus building at East Hills Station was demolished in 1987, 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).

In 1947-48 the platform building was extended at the eastern end to add another bay. This work necessitated demolition of the original parapet at the eastern end of the building, and extension of the awning, however the work was done in matching brickwork and included recreation of a new parapet to match the original. The work is sympathetic to the original 1931 building and is virtually indiscernible.

Recent alterations have included replacement of roof cladding to the Bexley North platform building (originally corrugated asbestos) with corrugated steel, widening of the overbridge from two to four lanes with a concrete structure and concrete road deck (however retaining the original 1929 brick piers); and replacement of the platform entry stairs. In 1999 the interior fitout of the platform building was altered. 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]
Bexley North 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 Bexley North 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]
Bexley North 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 detailing 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. Bexley North platform building is also of significance for its seamless 1947 addition in the same style as the original section of the building, involving recreation of a new parapet to match the original at the eastern end of the building.
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]
Bexley North Railway 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)
[Rarity]
The Bexley North Railway Station is not rare, as it is part of a cohesive group of 10 similar to identical Inter-War suburban railway stations completed in 1931 between Turrella and East Hills.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Bexley North Railway Station is a good representative example of the cohesive collection of East Hills line railway stations built from Turrella to East Hills, with the platform and platform building generally intact (except for sympathetic extension to the platform building in 1948), and demonstrates the effects of the economic Depression of 1929-1930s on railway station construction.
Integrity/Intactness: Bexley North Railway Station has not had access lifts installed, as at some other stations on the East Hills line, and the station itself is therefore intact. The platform building has retained a high degree of integrity externally and a moderate degree of integrity internally.
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 register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA898State Rail Authority  No
Interwar Station Buildings: Analysis and Significance2001 Andrea Humphreys and Donald Ellsmore  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes
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
WrittenDavid Sheedy2009Historical Research for RailCorp S170 Register Update
WrittenHumphries A & Elsmore D2002Inter-War Station Buildings

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: 4801898


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