Carlton Railway Station Group | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Carlton Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Carlton Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Railway Parade, Carlton, NSW 2218
Parish: St George
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Kogarah


North: boundary of railway land fronting Carlton Parade and the rear of retail buildings at Nos. 35-59 Carlton Parade; East: a line across the railway tracks 5m east of the end of the railway station platform; South: the boundary of railway land fronting Railway Parade; West: a line across the railway tracks 5m west of the end of the railway station platform.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Railway ParadeCarltonKogarahSt GeorgeCumberlandPrimary Address
Carlton ParadeCarltonKogarah  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Carlton Railway Station - including its platforms, platform buildings and steel footbridge and stair structure - is of Local heritage significance. Carlton Railway Station is of historical significance as its intact 1890s platform buildings and brick-faced platforms demonstrate the development of the Illawarra line from the 1890s and the rapid suburban development at Carlton in the late Victorian period.

Carlton Railway Station is of aesthetic significance as a whole, as a collection of structures representative of NSW Railways station architecture of this period.

The footbridge was identified as an item of high heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The steel 1925 Dorman Long & Co footbridge and stairs at Carlton Railway Station are of aesthetic/technical significance as examples of haunched beam construction, with Inter-War period concrete decking; and for the first use of concrete decking by NSW Railways for a footbridge, which became a standard practice.
Date significance updated: 21 Oct 16
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: NSW Government Railway
Builder/Maker: NSW Government Railways; Dorman Long & Co Ltd (1925 steel footbridge & stairs)
Construction years: 1887-1925
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Platform 1/2 building (1890) (Type 4, 3rd class)
Platform 3/4 building (1896, refurbished 1925) (Type 11)
Steel Footbridge and stair structure (1925)
Lifts, Overhead booking office (modern)
Island platforms (x2) 1890 & 1925

Carlton Railway Station is located between Railway Parade (south) and Carlton Parade (north), and accessed from both streets via a pedestrian footbridge.

Exterior: This platform includes the larger platform building. The building is painted brick, with a gabled corrugated steel roof with 2 brick chimneys and corrugated steel roofed awnings both sides. The east awning has a lower roof, cast iron columns and brackets mounted on stucco wall brackets and timber valances to each end. The building has modern timber flush doors and covered over fanlights.
Towards the western end of the building there is a corrugated steel and timber valance clad structure connecting to a smaller brick former toilet building. This small brick building has a gabled roof with the ridge transverse to the ridge of the main building, and timber framed double hung windows, however 3 openings to this building have been bricked up.

Interior (Partially accessed): The waiting area to this building has a timber floor, ripple iron ceiling and 2 metal ceiling roses. The next room to the west of the waiting area has a chimney breast, ripple iron ceiling and metal ceiling rose.

PLATFORM 3/4 BUILDING (1896, refurbished 1925)
Exterior: The platform building is a painted brick building with a gabled corrugated steel roof with a single chimney, awnings on both sides and rectangular timber louvred vents to gable ends. Awnings are cantilevered on steel brackets mounted on stucco wall brackets, and have timber valances to both ends. There is one timber tongue & grooved door and one timber 4 panelled original Victorian period door. There are slightly arched timber framed fanlights to doors, and timber framed double hung windows with reinforced glass, with horizontal glazing bars to bottom sashes. There are timber tongue & grooved eaves.

Interior: Not accessed.

Two sets of step-haunched beams, one for street access, the other for platform interchange, built for the quadruplication to Hurstville. Designed and fabricated by Dorman Long & Co Ltd. (name stamped on members). This did not become a standard design (only one other example at Yennora). Appears to be the first use of reinforced concrete decks, which became standard for most new footbridges and for timber deck replacements.

A small skillion roofed building with hardiplank walls.

PLATFORMS (1890 & 1925)
2 island platforms, asphalt surfaces, brick edges. Platform 1/2 (1890) is curved on its northern side and tapers at its ends, particularly at its eastern end. Platform 3/4 (1925) is curved on its southern side, and tapers at its ends, particularly at its eastern end. Each platform has a platform building.

Heritage-style lamp posts
Original and early door and window hardware (locks, strike plates, handles, bolts, sash sifts, sash locks etc).
Cast iron stormwater grates and grilles, terracotta drain surround.
Original and early plaster ceiling roses and decorative cornices.
In office: collection of ticketing-related objects including ink stamps, ink pads, circular stamp holder, various receipt books, two click-clack credit card sliders with “Carlton CityRail” inscribed, green cast iron safe 346, 1994 State Rail Telephone Directory, canvas despatch bags, two plastic teledexes.
In storage: tall, two-door timber cabinet with interior pigeonholes, timber stationery organiser, collection of staff awards, three blue “Be Tidy” metal bins,
In platform rooms: fitted timber waiting room bench, mini orb ripple iron ceilings with ceiling roses etc, decorative plaster wall vents, original timber toilet cubicles and early men’s urinal, early wall and floor tiling in toilets, early/original painted wall finishes in store room, timber shelving, RailCorp blue and white “Carlton” station name sign, another blue “Be Tidy” metal bin.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Platform 1/2 building: Good
Platform 3/4 building: Good
Steel Footbridge and stair structure: Good
Lifts, Overhead booking office: Good
Island platforms: Good
Date condition updated:11 Dec 09
Modifications and dates: c. 1990: Some upgrading work to footbridge.
N.d: Platform 1/2 building: There are steel security doors to the waiting area, and steel security screens to exterior of doors and windows. The former toilets at the western end has had 3 openings bricked up.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Prior to the 1880s the district around the area of Carlton remained rural with residents earning their livelihoods as farmers, market gardeners, woodcutters and charcoal burners. The opening of the Illawarra railway in the early 1880s altered the character of the suburb and gradually it changed from a farming and gardening area to a place of suburban residences, though at the time of the initial line opening in 1884 no station was provided at Carlton as it was considered close to Kogarah. Agitation by the local residents led to the establishment of a station at Carlton soon after in 1887, but this was only agreed to on the condition that the land for the station be given free. The station was located on part of Captain John Townsend’s 91ha grant of 1810, which was later sold to Simon Lord (Forsyth, 2008).

Soon after the establishment of the railway the first subdivision in the area went under the auctioneer's hammer. This was the "Hurstville Heights Estate" which had been previously owned by Alexander Milsop's brother, Thomas. Other subdivisions quickly followed - "Sea View Estate" at "Kogarah Heights" on 22 November 1884, "Carlton Estate" (from which the station and suburb were named) on 7 November 1885 and in late 1887, a third subdivision, the "Edge Hill Estate". However this estate ran into financial difficulties with the onset of the 1890 economic depression curtailing purchasers. Despite this Carlton continued to grow and by 1890 was one of the largest communities along the Illawarra line

When built in 1887, two small side buildings were provided on the platform. The original buildings were replaced with the present building on Platform 1-2 in 1890, a standard 3rd class station building, and on Platform 3-4 in 1896, though this building was refurbished in 1925. In 1896 a footbridge was built at the southern end of the station, though this was removed in 1912 and a bridge constructed at the south end. A lamp room was removed in 1945 (Forsyth, 2008).

The period 1924 and 1926 involved many changes based on the quadruplication of the lines which also involved the construction of an overhead booking office (since demolished) on the present steel framed Dorman Long & Co footbridge at the northern end of the station in 1925. The footbridge structure was built to 1924 Drawings (239 - 19.533 & 534, 925 - 195 Upgrading Work). It appears to be the first NSW Railways use of a reinforced concrete deck, which subsequently became standard for most new footbridges and timber deck replacements.

A Station Master’s residence is shown on early plans (undated) to be in close proximity to the south end of the station platform on the east side, with a Gatekeeper’s cottage at the crossing on the north side at the level crossing at Webber’s Road (now English Street). The level crossing itself was later closed, possibly around c1910 when an underbridge was constructed nearby at Prospect Street. The actual date of construction of the residences is unknown, though the design of the Gatekeeper’s residence suggests it is pre-1888.

The Illawarra line was quadrupled on 10 August 1925 and electrified on 1 March 1926.

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. Evolution of design in railway engineering and architecture-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Carlton Railway Station is of historical significance as part of the early period of construction of the Illawarra Line, for its intact 1890s platform buildings, including an 1890 brick 3rd class platform building, and brick-faced platforms, built at a time of rapid suburban development in Carlton. The community demand for construction of a railway station at Carlton in the 1880s demonstrates the importance of the railway to suburban communities at this time.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The footbridge and stair structure has historical association with Dorman Long & Co Ltd engineers (renowned as designers and manufacturers associated with the Sydney Harbour Bridge).
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The 1890s platform buildings and platforms are of aesthetic significance as good examples of NSW Railways station architecture of their respective periods. The 1890 3rd class platform building at Carlton is a fine example of Victorian period railway architecture. The steel 1925 Dorman Long & Co footbridge and stairs are of technical significance as examples of haunched beam construction, and for the first use of concrete decking by NSW Railways for a footbridge, which became a standard practice.
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 f)
Carlton Railway Station's 1890 3rd class brick platform building is rare, as one of only five examples of this type of platform building on the Illawarra line (other examples at Rockdale, St. Peters, Sydenham and Wollongong).
SHR Criteria g)
Carlton Railway Station's 1890s platform buildings and platforms, and 1925 steel footbridge/stair structure, are representative examples of NSW Railways station construction of these periods.

The footbridge was identified as an item of high heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The steel 1925 Dorman Long & Co footbridge and stairs at Carlton Railway Station are of aesthetic/technical significance as examples of haunched beam construction, with Inter-War period concrete decking; and for the first use of concrete decking by NSW Railways for a footbridge, which became a standard practice.
Integrity/Intactness: Platform buildings and platforms are relatively intact. The footbridge structure and stairs are intact, however the overhead booking office has been recently replaced.
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 Study1999SRA901, SRA620 (footbridge)State Rail Authority  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
Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy 2016 NSW Government Architect’s Office Heritage Group  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenC. C. Singleton1945The Illawarra Line-Wells Street to Hurstville, A.R.H.S.Bulletin, Vol III No 95, September
WrittenDavid Sheedy2009Historical Research for RailCorp S170 Register Update
WrittenRail Archives1924Carlton Footbridge - Drawings 239 - 19,533 & 534, 925 - 195 Upgrading work

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: 4801901

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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