Dulwich Hill Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Dulwich Hill Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Dulwich Hill Railway Station Group
Other name/s: Wardell Road
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Wardell Road, Dulwich Hill, NSW 2203
Local govt. area: Marrickville


North: Property boundary Bedford CrescentSouth: Property boundary fronting Dudley Street/Ewart LaneEast: 5 metres from eastern end of island platform (excluding overbridge)West: 5 metres from western end of island platform (excluding the building to the NW)
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Wardell RoadDulwich HillMarrickville  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Dulwich Hill Railway Station has local historical significance as it is one of the stations to be located on the Sydenham to Bankstown Line which was built to take pressure off the traffic on the Main South Line as well as promote agriculture and suburban development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While the original 1895 station buildings are no longer extant, the replacement 1935 group of structures including both the overhead booking office and the platform building are significant as they represent typical examples of the Inter-War Eclectic style utilised by NSW Railways. The overhead booking office is of high significance and rare as it retains its original configuration and much of its original fabric.
The Dulwich Hill footbridge is of high heritage significance as a typical example of a 1935 platform access stair with a timber overhead booking office attached. The stair is substantially intact including balusters and newels.
Date significance updated: 17 Feb 17
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 Railways
Builder/Maker: NSW Government Railways
Construction years: 1895-1935
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Platform building, Platforms 1/2 (Type 13) (1935)
Overhead Booking Office (1935)

Platforms 1/2, (1935)
Overbridge, (c.1930, c.1975)

Dulwich Hill Railway Station consists of a single island platform with an original platform building, and stair access to an original timber framed weatherboard clad overhead booking office. The station is accessible via the booking office building from the Wardell Road overbridge.

PLATFORM BUILDING- Platforms 1-2 (1935)
External: The building is rectilinear in plan with parapeted gable ends and a half hipped awning to both elevations. The sides of the gables are characterised by the bricks being corbelled. It is constructed of red bricks in stretcher bond. A soldier course of darker bricks is used at the window heads and as a single band at awning height on the gable ends. These same bricks also are used to create a series of frames on each elevation which suggest window openings. The window sills are bullnose bricks. Both the brick heads and sills have been painted. Windows are in timber and were originally either double hung with an upper sash of six panes, or in the toilets, with a fixed lower sash with an upper sash of louvres. All windows have been later modified and both the glazing bars and glazing removed or obscured. The original external panelled doors have been removed and replaced with flush doors.

The roof and awnings are clad with corrugated steel, the roof space being ventilated by a single metal louvre in each gable end. Beneath the awning the soffit is clad with fibre cement and exposed battens at the joints.

Internal: The interior consists of a series of discrete spaces arranged in a linear plan. From the access end the rooms are: general waiting area, station masters office, ladies waiting room and ladies toilet, store and men’s toilet. Within the waiting room the original plaster ceiling and plaster wall finishes remain as does the original timber seats. The station masters room has a new hardboard ceiling while the toilet fitouts are later.

This is a square timber framed weatherboard clad building consisting of a booking hall with an open side to the Wardell Road entry, a booking office and a bookstall. The building is in a good state of preservation retaining original double hung windows, internal and external weatherboard cladding as well as the exposed timber post structure with diagonal bracing and fibre cement wall and ceiling cladding. Roofing is corrugated steel.

The overhead booking office is supported on steel I beams which span between steel platform trestles and a face brick pier on the southern embankment.

Internal fixtures and fitting replaced with modern office furniture; Roof replaced with corrugated metal sheets; Doors replaced or boarded, though some original/early doors and joiners remain; One ticket window replaced with modern equivalent; one boarded, contains copper cash tray; Ticket collector’s cabin removed; Bookstall windows boarded; Unclear if 4 over 2 sash windows in booking office were built as is or replaced original.

One Island type, with asphalt surface and original brick platform face and edge.

OVERBRIDGE (c.1930, c.1975)
The Wardell Road overbridge consists of a modern reinforced, prestressed concrete road deck spanning between lateral concrete beams which bear on the original face brick platform and embankment piers on each side. The bridge is excluded from this listing.

Original ticket window with brass coin tray
Fitted timber waiting room benches
Reproduction heritage-style lamp posts on platform
2 x timber indicator boards in metal case (OHBO)

Based on the surviving documentation and the evidence on site it is unlikely there would be any potential archaeological remains at Dulwich Hill Railway Station.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The building is in moderate condition as the external brick walls are stained from old graffiti removal, overpainting, and the brickwork is damaged where the original male toilet modesty screen has been removed.

Good Condition.

Good Condition.

Good Condition.
Date condition updated:15 Oct 08
Modifications and dates: 1926: Railway electrified.
1935: New station building erected.
c.1975: Concrete deck to overbridge
nd: Interior of booking office refurbished
Further information: OHBO identified as potentially State significant - requires further assessment.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: The Sydenham to Bankstown Railway was opened with the initial terminus station at Belmore on 1 February 1895. The line had its origins in Railway Commissioner Goodchap’s 1882 recommendation that an additional line was needed between Newtown and Liverpool to relieve traffic on the Southern Line and to encourage agriculture and suburban settlement. Lobbying by local interests and land speculators achieved Parliamentary approval by 1890 and construction commenced in 1892. The most important stations on the line, Belmore, Canterbury and Marrickville, were built with impressive near-identical brick buildings, the other intermediate stations (Campsie and Hurlstone Park) receiving more modest timber buildings (later replaced), possibly reflecting economies of the depression of the 1890s. The depression suppressed the profitability of the line and the extension to Liverpool did not proceed. However, suburban development followed in the early twentieth century, particularly during the interwar period when many War Service homes were built west of Canterbury. The line was extended to Bankstown in 1909 (and then to Regents Park in 1928, making it part of a loop line through Lidcombe), its justification by then being the servicing of suburban development.

Dulwich Hill Station was opened as Wardell Road on 1 February 1895. It was renamed as Dulwich Hill on 1 July 1920. The platform building dates from 1935 and replaced the original timber building. Historic plans dated 1935 show the demolition of the original platform building and the construction of a new brick platform building; a new overhead weatherboard booking & parcels office and bookstall; and the relocation of the stairs to the platform to accommodate modifications.

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 Making Railway Journeys-
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]
Dulwich Hill Railway Station possesses local historical significance as it is one of the railway stations on the Sydenham to Bankstown Line built to relieve the crowding on the Main Southern Line and encourage agriculture and suburban growth in the late 1800s and early 20th century.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The overhead booking office, the access stairs and 'Railway Eclectic' style platform buildings have local aesthetic and technical significance as examples of the particular design and style of these structures erected by the NSW Railways between the 1920s and the 1950s. The overhead booking office is a particularly intact example of its type.
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)
The buildings are structures at this station are common standard railway designs.
SHR Criteria g)
Dulwich Hill is representative of a small suburban station with its platform buildings being good representative examples of a railway station upgraded in the Inter-War Railway Eclectic style by the NSW Government Railways.

The footbridge was identified as an item of high heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The Dulwich Hill footbridge is of high heritage significance as a typical example of a 1935 platform access stair with a timber overhead booking office attached. The stair is substantially intact including balusters and newels.

The Overhead Booking Office at Dulwich Hill was identified as one of three highly significant Interwar OHBOs in the 2014 ‘Railway OHBO Heritage Conservation Strategy’ and of potential state significance. While the original 1895 building is no longer extant, the replacement group of structures, including the overhead booking office and the platform building, has historic and aesthetic significance as a cohesive group of Inter War style railway buildings, typical of urban station design in the 1930s. The overhead booking office is particularly rare for its level of intactness.
Integrity/Intactness: Externally the platform building suffers from unsightly paint staining and attempts at paint removal and where the toilet modesty screen has been removed. Internally a reasonable amount of internal finishes have remained, although the toilet fitouts are later. The overhead booking office is a particularly good example of an intact structure with minimal alterations to the interior and exterior.
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.


Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Statutory InstrumentNominate for State Heritage Register (SHR)17 Feb 17


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 Study1999SRA909State Rail Authority  No
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Business Services  Yes
Interwar Station Buildings: Analysis and Significance2001 Andrea Humphreys and Donald Ellsmore  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 OCP Architects  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
WrittenJohn Forsyth2007New South Wales Railway Stations: an alphabetical arrangement of railway station and place names
WrittenK. Edwards1982Beginning the Bankstown Line: a history of the Marrickville to Burwood Road Railway
WrittenMuseum Consulting Services2014Railway Overhead Booking Offices Heritage Conservation Strategy
WrittenStuart Sharp1984A Survey of Railway Structures
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: 4801909

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