Narwee Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Narwee Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Narwee Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Hannans Road, Narwee, NSW 2209
Local govt. area: Canterbury


North: the boundary of RailCorp property fronting Hannans Road (excludes carpark); East: 20m past the end of the platform;South: the boundary of RailCorp property along the rear of properties on Penshurst Rd and Fisher Lane; West: 5m past the end of the platform.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Hannans RoadNarweeCanterbury  Primary Address
Penshurst RoadNarweeCanterbury  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Narwee Railway Station - including the 1931 platform and platform building and pedestrian subway is of local heritage significance. Narwee 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 Narwee since 1931. That the suburb was named after the railway station is evocative of the historical relationship between the railway station and the development of the suburb. Narwee Railway Station is of aesthetic significance for its austere 1930s platform 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. Narwee Railway Station is also distinctive for its 1931 brick pedestrian subway, one of only two such structures on the East Hills line. Narwee Railway Station is representative of the cohesive collection of 10 East Hills line railway stations from Turrella to East Hills.
Date significance updated: 30 Mar 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: NSW Department of Railways
Builder/Maker: NSW Department of Railways
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Platform Building (1931) (Type 13)
Booking Office Building (1984)
Platform (1931)
Platform Canopies (2007)
Pedestrian subway (1931)

Narwee Railway Station is entered off Hannans Road from the north and Penshurst Road from the south via a pedestrian subway with a modern corrugated steel gabled roofed awning over. The entrance to the station is towards the eastern end of the platform. The entries from Hannans Road and Penshurst Street have original painted raised lettered signs "Narwee" on the pedestrian subway.

Exterior: Located at the western end of the platform, this is a rectangular dark face brick platform building of standard stretcher bond brickwork, of 5 bays length, with the bays defined by simple brick engaged piers. The building has brick stepped parapets at east and west ends featuring pairs of timber louvred rectangular vents, a projecting moulded brick capping course and 3 vertical lines of projecting decorative brickwork. 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. 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 feature stop chamfered brickwork. Door openings originally had grey terrazzo thresholds, however these have been patched with concrete and none are intact. There are modern fibre cement sheet ceilings to the awnings, and all doors are modern timber flush doors. A number of window openings have been bricked up.

Interior: The building reportedly 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.

A rectangular brick platform building with awnings on north and south sides, with a shallow pitched corrugated steel roof, timber flush doors and aluminium framed windows. This building has a ticket office at the eastern end.

1 island platform, asphalt surface, original width and brick faces. Stepped brick coping.

Between the two platform buildings, is a modern canopy structure with a gabled corrugated steel roof, and metal mesh screen on the western side. This is supported by steel posts on concrete bases.

This is a brick structure with a gabled corrugated steel roof which projects above the platform, located towards the eastern end of the platform. The interior is tiled, and walls are brick or painted brick. The name of the station "Narwee" is in raised painted lettering above the street entrances to the pedestrian subway.

History plaque freestanding interpretation panel installed by Canterbury City Council and unveiled on 26 April 2001.
In staff office: key box built into door of staff office, click-clack credit card slider with “Narwee CityRail” inscribed, collection of ticketing-related receipt books, coin wrappers etc, wall-mounted timber stationery organiser, white metal State Rail first aid box No 0020B, collection of “Narwee” rubber stamps and other ticketing-related stamps, timber booking office coin (BOC) tray, grey plastic teledex, two brass SRA SL padlocks, orange PTCNSW hand lamp with “SM Narwee” written on it.
In store room: blue “Be Tidy” bin, “Train Information” black and white metal sign, steel and canvas stretcher with “Narwee Station” in painted lettering.
Men’s toilets: original timber cubicles and timber doors, early blue wall tiles, early blue and white mosaic floor tiles.
Waiting rooms: fitted timber benches. Tickets windows, timber panelled ceilings with lattice vent and other timberwork.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Platform Building (1931): good condition
Booking Office Building (1984): good condition
Platform (1931): good condition
Platform Canopies (2007): very good condition
Pedestrian subway (1931): good condition
Date condition updated:01 Jun 11
Modifications and dates: 1948: Line duplicated.
1984: New separate booking office built on platform, east of the 1931platform building.
1998: Modifications to 1984 internal booking office fitout
2003: Modern platform canopy constructed between the two platform buildings.
N.d: Some windows to the 1931 platform building have been bricked up, some sections of brick walling to this building have also been painted over with brown paint, and the roof (originally corrugated fibro asbestos sheets with terracotta ridge capping) has been replaced with corrugated steel roofing. There are modern fibre cement sheet ceilings to the awnings, and all doors are modern timber flush doors.
2010: Former location hut demolished
2010: Construction of a canopy over the island platform from the access stairs to the existing platform building, and approximately 16m on the western side of the platform building, replacing existing shelter structure.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: In the 1820s Richard Podmore received a land grant of 100 acres in the area which today includes Narwee Railway Station. Podmore named his property Sunning Hill Farm. In 1900 the Podmore grant was subdivided as the "Graham Park Estate" subdivision.

"The suburb was named when the railway was built in 1931. Narwee is an Aboriginal word meaning "sun". At the time of the construction of the East Hills line the area was mostly occupied by poultry farmers and market gardeners, and a city florist had a large garden west of the railway station's location. After the railway came through, people bought up land for residences. Little building was done during the Depression and World War II, but the suburb grew rapidly in the 1950s, when the area was settled by young families." (

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." (

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.

During construction the station was known as Podmore, the Tempe-East Hills Railway League's Grand Council suggested the name Graham Park, however the station was opened as Narwee.

The station is unique on the line in having a pedestrian subway providing access to the brick island platform. Narwee Railway Station was originally planned to have stair access from a Penshurst Road overbridge (NSWGR Construction Branch plans dated 1930), which was never constructed.

In 1948 the line was duplicated to Riverwood. The first post office opened at Narwee in 1948, and a public school two years later. In 1984 a new separate booking office was constructed on the platform (plans approved 1.6.1984). In 1987 the East Hills terminus was connected to the Main Southern Line at Glenfield Junction. In 1998 internal modifications were undertaken to the 1984 booking office on the platform.

The line is in the process of being quadruplicated as far as Revesby (2009).

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]
Narwee Railway Station is of historical significance as part of the East Hills line, a major 1930s Depression-era public work undertaken under the controversial Premiership of Jack Lang and through its relationship to the development of the suburb of Narwee and the broader East Hills region. That the suburb was named after the railway station is evocative of the historical relationship between the railway station and the development of the suburb.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Narwee Railway Station is of aesthetic significance as an example of a small Inter-War period suburban railway with its 1931 platform and platform building matching other East Hills line railway stations in design and style. The platform 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 platform building is noted for its use of monochromatic brickwork, stepped parapets, irregular fenestration and engaged piers. Narwee is unusual amongst East Hills Railway Stations for its pedestrian subway, one of only two such structures on the East Hills line.
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 history.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Narwee Railway Station is of research significance for its ability to demonstrate design and construction techniques of the Inter War period. The 1931 platform building provides insights into NSW Railways experimentation with styles of architecture and adaptation to Depression period economic conditions.
SHR Criteria f)
The Narwee Railway Station 1931 platform building is not rare, as it is part of a cohesive group of 10 similar to identical Inter War suburban railway buildings completed in 1931 between Turrella and East Hills. The pedestrian subway structure is relatively rare, as one of only two such structures on the East Hills line.
SHR Criteria g)
Narwee Railway Station is a good representative example of a small, Inter War East Hills line railway station, with some later structures.
Integrity/Intactness: Narwee Station platform, the 1931 platform building and the 1931 pedestrian subway have retained a moderate degree of integrity externally and internally, though some brickwork to the subway has been painted, and a separate 1984 booking office has been added to the platform.
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 Study1999SRA924State Rail Authority  No
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written brief history of Narwee
WrittenAndrea Humphreys and Donald Ellsmore2002Inter-War Station Buildings
WrittenDavid Sheedy2009Historical Research for RailCorp S170 Register Update National Library of Australia database of historical newspapers

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: 4801924

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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