Gymea Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Gymea Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Gymea Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Gymea Bay Road, Gymea, NSW 2227
Local govt. area: Sutherland

Boundary:

North: boundary of RailCorp property fronting North Street; East: 5m east of the platform end; South: boundary of RailCorp property fronting South Street; West: 5m west of the platform end (including the Gymea Bay Road overbridge).
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Gymea Bay RoadGymeaSutherland  Primary Address
Gymea Bay Road SouthGymeaSutherland  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Gymea Railway Station - including 1939 platform, platform building, Gymea Bay Road overbridge and electric signalling board - is of local heritage significance. Gymea Railway Station is of historical significance as part of the Cronulla line, a major 1930s Depression-era public work, and through its relationship to the development of the suburb of Gymea and the broader Sutherland Shire region. The Gymea Railway Station 1939 platform building is of aesthetic significance as a good representative example of the cohesive group of Inter-War Functionalist style suburban platform buildings (with some Art Deco influence) built for the Cronulla Line in 1939 (six suburban stations were built from Sutherland to Woolooware, five now extant). The signalling board at Gymea Railway Station is of technical significance as a good example of a 'electro pneumatic system’ signalling board with light signalling (other examples at Sutherland, Caringbah and Oatley).
Date significance updated: 18 Aug 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 Department of Railway
Builder/Maker: NSW Department of Railway
Construction years: 1937-1939
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Platform building (1939) (Type 13)
Platform (1939)
Gymea Bay Road overbridge (1939)
Footbridge, stairs, lift, canopies (1995)
Platform canopy (1995)
Moveable item:
- electric signalling board
- rollover indicator boards

CONTEXT
Gymea Railway Station is entered towards the west end of the station, and accessed via a modern footbridge/entry structure including a lift, which is connected to the Gymea Bay Road overbridge. The platform extends to the west, under the overbridge. There is a car park on the southern side of the station (on the northern side of South Street).

PLATFORM BUILDING (1939)
Exterior: The single storey dichromatic brick island platform building is designed in a simplified Inter-War Functionalist style. The building has a stepped brick parapet all round, and a gabled corrugated steel roof. The walls feature a contrasting soldier course slightly raised as a string course at door header level. Original cantilevered awnings with box gutters surround the platform building. There is a modern ticket window on the southern elevation. There are no original doors. Original windows are steel framed awning windows placed vertically in groups of 3, however there are also some modern aluminium framed windows. There are 2 brick columns supporting the awning at the entry end of the platform with curved corners, and soldier courses in contrasting brickwork.

Interior: Internally the building consists of a series of small discrete spaces arranged along a linear floor plan, comprising a combined booking & parcels office, Station Master's office, ladies room, store room and men's room. The interior ceilings and joinery appear original in the main booking/ticket office. There is an original signalling panel in the ticket office in working order dated 9th June 1939.

PLATFORM (1939)
One island platform, brick edges, asphalt surface.

GYMEA BAY ROAD OVERBRIDGE (1939)
A simple brick overbridge with brick supports, and a reinforced concrete beam, which crosses towards the western end of the platform.

FOOTBRIDGE, ENTRY STRUCTURE, LIFT, STAIRS (modern)
A concrete, glass and steel footbridge/entry structure with lift and stairs.

PLATFORM CANOPY (modern)
Extends from lift to platform building, on steel posts with concrete bases, with a gabled corrugated steel roof.

LANDSCAPE/NATURAL FEATURES
The station is within a suburban native forest setting, with extensive native tree plantings. In addition, there are substantial plantings along the centre of the platform, particularly to the east of the platform building.

MOVABLE ITEMS
Original signalling panel in the ticket office dated 9th June 1939 and in working order. It is fitted to wall with all associated fittings, including Bakelite switches, emergency switch cases, denonator box, mounted timber framed noticeboard intact. The signalling board operates using the 'electro pneumatic system’ with light signalling. There are timber rollover indicator boards attached to the platform building adjacent to the ticket window (currently missing).

In storage: early timber ticket cabinet with metal dispensers, early tools including some stamped “NSWTD”, blue bin with “Be tidy” in painted letters, two metal “Train information” signs, blue and white metal sign for access toilet, four hurricane lamps with brass labels “NSWTD Gymea”, kerosene lamp with brass label “Gym3, printed Sydney Metropolitan network map, November 1975, handheld cast iron ticket punch, black metal guards flag holder, general office and letter stamps in metal tin, grey Ultimatic ticket press, collection of early station books and ledgers, green cast iron date press stamp, stool with steel legs and covered seat.

In station office: leather belt pouch, collection of early Appendixes (General Appendix Parts 1 and 2, Local Appendix, Working of Electric Trains, Rules and Regulations), several handheld cast iron ticket punches, two brass SRA SL locks, timber-framed noticeboard – Clearing point list for Gymea, 1947, canvas bag for Safeworking forms, green metal first aid box – No 1643 with contents and contents list, hand-held warning horn, printed historic photos, two Bakelite phones, timetable box with paper roll inside, modern train control telephone, cast iron safe, timber desk stationery organiser, timber BOC (booking office coin) tray, several framed safety and garden competition awards.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Platform building (1939): good
Platform (1939): good
Gymea Bay Road overbridge (1939): good
Footbridge, stairs, lift, canopies (1995): very good
Platform canopy (1995): very good
Moveable item: electric signalling board: very good
Date condition updated:15 Oct 08
Modifications and dates: 1970s: Platform building: removal and replacement of some interior fitout (not the booking office).
1995: new footbridge/entry structure with new stairs and lift access from street to platform was installed, with awnings at the street entrance and connecting canopies over the stairs and to the platform building.
N.d: Platform building: modern security screen doors and security screens to windows; replacement of original doors with modern timber flush doors; some aluminium framed windows (replacing original steel framed windows)
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: Gymea is believed to have been named by the government surveyor W.A.B. Greaves in 1855, from the aboriginal name for the tall red flowered lily found in the area. In 1908, the Government had approved construction of a steam tram route from Sutherland to Cronulla, with construction completed and steam trams operating along the route from June 12, 1911. The area remained semi-rural and sparsely settled well into the 20th century, with the suburbanisation of the area following the construction of the railway. The Sutherland-Cronulla line was constructed from 1936 and completed in 1939, under the NSW premiership of the conservative Sir Bertram Stevens.

In 1936 the NSW State Parliament authorised expenditure of 300,000 pounds to construct the Sutherland to Cronulla railway line, with the men employed to receive award wages "in pursuance of the Cabinet's policy of replacing unemployment relief works by works that will provide a better return for the expenditure of public money, and at the same time create improved conditions of employment." (Canberra Times, 22 February 1936, page 1). A federal loan for "state works" including "speeding up of the construction of the Sutherland-Cronulla line" was granted to the NSW government in November 1938 (Canberra Times, 28 November 1938, page 1).

The Cronulla line was constructed as an electrified railway line in 1939 and signalling was of the new system termed ‘electro pneumatic system’ with light signalling. As designed, the entire line was a series of ‘crossing loops’ stations along a single line and, reflecting the times, all the electric catenary was supported on timber poles.

Gymea Railway Station was constructed as an island platform with connecting stairs to Gymea Bay Road overbridge. The linear brick platform building with polychrome brickwork, stepped parapets and cantilevered awnings is Inter-War Functionalist in style. All of the extant 1939 station platform buildings on the Cronulla line (from Sutherland, which was rebuilt in 1939, through to Cronulla) are cohesive in design and construction materials. The island platform arrangement at Gymea served as a crossing loop on the original single track railway.

During the 1970s much of the interior fit-out of the platform building was removed and replaced (though not in the booking office). In 1995, a new footbridge/entry structure with new stairs and lift access from street to platform was installed, with awnings at the street entrance and connecting canopies over the stairs and to the platform building. Currently the entire line is being duplicated and the catenary installed on steel stanchions.

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]
Gymea Railway Station is of local historical significance as part of the Cronulla line, a major 1930s Depression-era public work, and through its relationship to the development of the suburb of Gymea and the broader Sutherland Shire region.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Gymea Railway Station platform building is of aesthetic significance as a good example of an Inter-War Functionalist station building, similar to other original 1939 Cronulla line platform buildings in design and style. It is of aesthetic significance as part of a cohesive (in design and construction) set of Cronulla line station buildings. The building is noted for its use of dichromatic brickwork, stepped parapeted roof, strong horizontal planes, steel framed awning windows, and cantilevered awnings.
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]
The signalling board at Gymea Railway Station is of technical significance as a good example of a 'electro pneumatic system’ signalling board with light signalling (other examples at Sutherland, Caringbah and Oatley).
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Gymea Railway Station is not rare, as it is one of a group of similar Cronulla line stations dating from 1939. The original 1939 signalling board is rare (other examples at Oatley, Sutherland, Caringbah).
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The Gymea Railway Station 1939 platform building is a good representative example of the cohesive group of Inter-War Functionalist style suburban platform buildings (with some Art Deco influence) built for the Cronulla Line in 1939 (six suburban stations were built from Sutherland to Woolooware, five now extant).
Integrity/Intactness: The 1939 platform building is reasonably intact externally, with only minor alterations, and an intact interior to the booking office. The 1939 platform is intact. The station retains significant moveable items.
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 Study1999SRA913State 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
Written 1936Canberra Times, page 1, 22 February 1936
Written 1936Canberra Times 27 July 1936, page 2
WrittenDavid Sheedy2009Historical Research for RailCorp S170 Register Update
WrittenEllsmore, D. and Humphreys, A2002Inter -War Station Buildings
WrittenPeter Neve Sutherland Shire Studies No. 6 - Railways and Tramways in the Sutherland Shire

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: 4801913


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