Menindee Railway Station | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Menindee Railway Station

Item details

Name of item: Menindee Railway Station
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Maiden Street, Menindee, NSW 2879
Local govt. area: Broken Hill


RailCorp property boundaries as shown on vesting plan, R29801.It should be noted that the original area of the railway station has been reduced, and that there is an historical and visual relationship with the surrounding area not necessarily apparent from the current property boundaries. As such, any proposed development within the vicinity of the railway station should also consider the historic relationship between the station site and its surrounding area.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Maiden StreetMenindeeBroken Hill  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Menindee Railway Station is of local significance for its important role in the supply of water to Broken Hill and other remote stations in the western region of NSW during the early 20th Century. The station building is significant as a rare example of the only timber Interwar Functionalist building in NSW, and only one of two Interwar buildings located in the far west. The railway station includes the goods shed which demonstrates the former custom of railway trade and commerce in regional NSW.
Date significance updated: 03 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.


Physical description: MENINDEE

MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by RailCorp
Station Buildings - type 13, timber and fibro building (c.1942)
Platform (c1919)
Goods Shed - small metal sheet clad building on platform

Menindee station building is of timber construction on raised brick piers. The exterior is clad with weatherboards to approximately head height and then asbestos cement sheeting to roof height. The roof is hipped and clad with Colourbond (a recent replacement) and has a low eave overhang with timer-lined soffit. Fenestration to the approach elevation is simple and regular with four timber sashed louvred windows (4-paned) and a single door (no longer in use). The platform elevation is equally simple with a series of doors providing access to the various internal spaces. The timber awning is defined by a sweeping curve at both ends and is supported on unusual curved timber brackets. The awning is clad with corrugated iron and faced with galvanised steel sheeting (both painted). The current colour scheme is believed to be the original colour scheme.

Internally the building consists of a number of small discrete spaces arranged on a linear pattern. The original function of these rooms as described on construction plans are from east to west: toilet, ladies' waiting room, out of room, waiting room, parcels office, booking office, signal box. The booking office was converted for use as a tourist information centre c.1998. Despite this conversion, most of the original interior fitout has survived and new work has been confined to the provision of lightweight shelving and a display counter. The interior wall linings are particularly interesting, consisting of panels of asbestos cement sheeting laid between protruding timber ribs which resembles a pre-cast concrete "post and panel" construction. The former booking office has also retained its timber tongue and groove flooring although it is somewhat deteriorated (Humphreys, 2002).
Interiors and joinery:
Despite not being in use, the interior of the building remains largely intact with mid 20th Century joinery detailing, doors, windows. A timber ticket window with metal tray exists facing the platform. The booking office features a station ticket counter. The signal box features a small timber shelf.

PLATFORM (c1919)
A straight side platform made of brick and concrete.

A small shed on the platform used formerly for the transfer of fruit between road and rail. The structure post-dates the station building.

Other site features:
Fitted waiting room seats in ladies waiting room
Ticket window and fixed sign ‘Tickets’ (hidden behind security screen)
Signalling lever equipment in signal box
Fog signalling equipment in signal box
Large black & white ‘Menindee’ station name board along platform
Boot scraper along platform to signal box entrance
Concrete loading platform to Out-of-room
Heritage interpretation signage (from Local Council)
Open-air goods shed
Concrete water tank on timber stand
Gravel platform surface (rare for operational stations)

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.

5 tonne gantry crane
Cast-iron water tanks
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The platform buildings are painted and in good condition.
Date condition updated:03 Dec 09
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Railway Station and Yard


Historical notes: Menindee Railway Precinct is located on the Broken Hill line which extends from Orange westward to Broken Hill covering vast arid country and continuing on into South Australia.

There were originally two proposed routes for the route of the western rail link from Sydney to Broken Hill - one via Cobar and Wilcannia to Broken Hill, the other via Condobolin and Menindee to Broken Hill. The route to Menindee was finally selected due to the route being shorter and hence cheaper with the benefit of linking the rail system to the abundant water supply at Menindee.

The Great Western Railway reached Nevertire in October 1882, Nyngan in 1883, and Bourke in 1885. The section of the Western line between Parkes and Bogan Gate was completed in December 1896, and by March 1898 the line reached Condobolin, but it wasn’t until after World War I before Ivanhoe, Broken Hill and other areas in the far west of New South Wales were connected to Sydney by rail (Cottee, 2004; Glover, 1989).

The Great Western line reached Trida in February 1919 and by 15 July 1919 the Broken Hill to Menindee section was completed (this section was completed before the line reached Menindee from the east in November 1927). As Broken Hill did not have a reliable water supply for the town and mines, rail was used to cart water from Menindee until a water pipeline was established in 1960. During the drought years 1944-46, 1085 rail journeys were made between Broken Hill and Menindee (Shire of Central Darling Council)

The single line from Ivanhoe to Menindee finally opened on 7 November 1927, finally completing the Sydney to Broken Hill line, which at the time of completion was the longest branch line in the state.

In 1915, the Darling River Wharf was constructed, with a 5-tonne Crane erected and triangle sidings laid in, this allowed for paddle steam transportation of goods along the Darling River prior to completion of the rail line in 1927. Menindee Station opened four years later on 15 July 1919 with a pre-cast concrete Station Building. In c.1942 the concrete building was removed and replaced with the existing timber building.

Between 1939 and 1942 eight timber buildings were constructed in NSW, all exhibiting elements of the Functionalist style but in an increasingly restrained mode. Characteristic elements of this building style included the use of wide awning fascias and wide windows on the platform elevation. The first of these was erected at Quakers Hill in 1939 whose only real nod to Functionalism was the use of a cantilevered platform awning. This was followed by Captains Flat (1940), Dunheved (1941), Ropes Creek (1941), Leightonfield (1941), Rutherford (1941), Menindee (1942) and finally Illabo (1942). Of the eight stations erected, only Menindee is extant and is arguably the best example in terms of reflecting a Functionalist influence. Menindee was further defined by the use of fibro sheeting and weatherboards, the first station in NSW to be constructed of the two materials combined (Humphreys, 2002).

Rail passenger services at Menindee were cancelled on 3 November 1989 and recommenced on 26 March 1996. The station building has undergone some changes associated with conversion to a tourist information centre c.1998, now occupied by the Menindee Regional Tourist Association.

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 Transport of goods-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Provision of railway water supplies-
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 architecture-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site has historic significance for its important role in the supply of water to Broken Hill and other remote stations in the western region of NSW during the early 20th Century. The site is significant for its ability to demonstrate the Interwar development of the western line to Broken Hill and beyond in the Interwar period. The simple design and lack of ornamentation of the station building represents the effects of war time financial constraints on building programs for large organisations such as NSW Railways.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The station building is significant as a good example of a simple Interwar Functionalist station building and is the only surviving example of its type in NSW. It is particularly noteworthy for its unusual construction materials (timber and asbestos cement sheeting rather than the more typical brick) and for its platform awning.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The site is of social significance to the local community on account of its lengthy association for providing an important source of employment, trade and social interaction for the local area. The site is significant for its ability to contribute to the local community’s sense of place, is a distinctive feature of the daily life of many community members, and provides a connection to the local community’s past.
SHR Criteria f)
Menindee Station is considered to have a high degree of rarity. It is unique in many respects, including its construction technique and materials, size and location. It is the smallest Interwar station building in NSW, is one of only two Interwar stations surviving in the State's remote west and is the only example of a timber Interwar Functionalist station building in NSW.
SHR Criteria g)
The railway station includes the goods shed which demonstrates the former custom of railway trade and commerce in regional NSW.
Integrity/Intactness: Menindee Station has retained a high degree of integrity. Both exterior and interior fitout are largely intact and there have been no major additions/alterations to the building since construction.
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  18 Mar 10   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Interwar Station Buildings: Analysis and Significance2001 Andrea Humphreys and Donald Ellsmore  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 ORH  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenCottee, J.M.2004Stations on the track: selected New South Wales country railway stations: an historical overview
WrittenHumphreys, A. and Ellsmore, D2002Interwar Station Buildings
WrittenJohn H Forsyth2009NSW Railway Stations - An Alphabetical Arrangement of Railway Station and Place Names
MapRailCorp RailCorp Historic Plans, various
WrittenShire of Central Darling Council Information Plaque at Menindee Station

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: 4802022

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