Cringila Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Cringila Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Cringila Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Five Islands Road, Cringila, NSW 2502
Local govt. area: Wollongong City


North: 5m north of the platform end; East: boundary of RailCorp property;South: 5m south of the platform end; West: a line roughly parallel with the railway tracks to the east of Five Islands Road. Note the majority of the footbridge lies outside the curtilage, as it is outside RailCorp property.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Five Islands RoadCringilaWollongong City  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Cringila Railway Station - including the footbridge, stairs, platform and platform building - is of local heritage significance. Cringila Railway Station is of historical significance for its role in the development of industry at Cringila and Port Kembla. The footbridge in particular demonstrates the close link between Cringila Railway Station and the important local steel manufacturing industry, and its industrial workforce.The Cringila Railway Station footbridge is considered to be relatively rare and of technical significance for its length and construction technique. The Cringila Railway Station platform building is of aesthetic significance as an externally intact representative example of an Inter-war Functionalist style railway station.
Date significance updated: 29 May 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
Construction years: 1940-1941
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Platform building (1941) Type 13, brick
Platform (1941)
Footbridge and stairs (1941,1958) (Note: the majority of the footbridge lies outside RailCorp property).

Exterior: Single storey dichromatic brick island platform building featuring 2 solider courses, slightly projecting. The building is divided into three distinct bays with an extension of the roofline at the southern end to form a covered ticket area, supported on four brick columns. These brick columns feature curved brick corners and soldier laid bricks in groups of 3. The roof is hipped and both the roof and awning are clad with Colorbond (roofing replaced c. 2000). The building has timber framed double hung windows with horizontal glazing bars, original timber doors with perimeter beading. The awning has steel beams, and box gutters at the junction with the building. Eaves feature timber boarding.

Interior: The interior of the building comprises a series of discrete spaces arranged on a linear floor plan. From north to south these spaces comprise: ladies' toilet, general waiting room, staff room, goods store, Station Master's room, combined booking/parcels office and ticket office (beneath covered area). The interior of this building was under renovation when inspected (2009).

A single island platform with asphalt surface and concrete edges.

The steel footbridge is in two sections. The western section crosses Five Islands Road and allows access to industrial sites to the west of Five Islands Road. The longer eastern section of the footbridge connects the station across goods lines to industrial sites to the east. The footbridge is supported on steel girders on concrete bases, steel beams, concrete decking and large span Warren trusses. Balustrading reflects the structure, with steel diagonally placed members intersected by vertical members, and with square wire mesh infill panels placed on the footway side.

The station sits within a distinctive industrial landscape.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:29 May 09
Modifications and dates: 1941: Original timber platform station (1926) replaced with brick island platform
1958: 1941 footbridge partly demolished and new spans constructed.
c. 2000: New Colorbond roofing and awning roofs to platform building. Modern security screen doors, steel security doors, security window screens to platform building.
2009: Interior of platform building under renovation.
Further information: The footbridge is maintained by Bluescope Steel, only the stairs to the platform are maintained by RailCorp.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Cringila was the aboriginal name for the pipeclay with which the aborigines decorated themselves before a corroboree or fighting expedition. Steeltown was the name given to the collection of shacks and tents which were erected close to the Steelworks. In the late 1920's land was advertised in this area as 'The Steeltown Estate'. This land fronted Five Islands Road and adjoined the Hoskins Steelworks. By the 1920s newspapers were referring to the area as Cringila.

In 1928, the Australian Iron and Steel Works was established at Port Kembla by the new Australian Iron & Steel Company (formed via a merger of 4 companies: Dorman Long & Co Ltd, Baldwins Ltd, Howard Smith Ltd and Hoskins Steel & Iron Co. Ltd. - with capital exceeding 23 million pounds).

Although Port Kembla had been planned as a new major port starting in 1893 it was not opened until the early 20th century, when satisfactory wharves were built to overcome problems with the breakwater. The Public Works Department was given the role of construction of the port and providing rail access to wharves and various industries including metal and coal companies.

In April 1916 the PWD built a single line from Coniston Junction to Mount Drummond (Coniston) which was transferred to the NSW Governments Railways in July 1916. In 1920 it was extended to Port Kembla station. In 1926 the first Cringila station was built with a timber platform and buildings to give access via a long footbridge to the Australian Iron and Steel steelworks, later to be sold to BHP.

The line was duplicated in 1940 as part of the need to expand industries for wartime needs, resulting in the construction of the present brick island platform building and platforms. The platform building is in the Inter-war Functionalist style. In 1941 a steel girder footbridge was constructed, connecting both the earlier footbridge and island platform to the street and to the Australian Iron and Steelworks. During the 1950s the main entrance to the Australian Iron and Steel Works was advertised as being at Cringila.

In 1958, the 1941 footbridge was altered, with a new span across Five Islands Road and a new span to the Australian Iron and Steelworks. The 1958 footbridges were constructed as large span Warren trusses, whilst part of the 1941 steel girder footbridge remains.

The railway was electrified in 1986.

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]
Cringila Railway Station is of historical significance for its role in the development of industry at Cringila and Port Kembla. The footbridge in particular demonstrates the close link between Cringila Railway Station and the important local steel manufacturing industry. The bridge is exceptionally long for a pedestrian walkway and was erected specifically to provide access between the steelworks to the west and the station. Cringila Railway Station has historical association with the development of steelworks in the vicinity, and with the associated industrial workforce.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Cringila Railway Station platform building is of aesthetic significance as a good example of an Inter-war Functionalist style railway station. The Cringila Railway Station footbridge (1941, 1958) is considered to be of technical significance for its steel construction techniques from two separate decades, being the 1958 large span Warren truss footbridge sections and the remaining part of the 1941 steel girder footbridge.
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 footbridge at Cringila Railway Station is a unique structure built to the specific requirements of the site and through its historical association with BHP Steelworks and its predecessor Australian Iron & Steel. It demonstrates two different construction techniques from different decades (1941, 1958). The footbridge was identified as an item of moderate heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’.
SHR Criteria g)
The Cringila Railway Station's 1939 platform building is a representative example of an Inter-war Functionalist style Railway station building, similar to the suburban railway stations built in 1939 for the Cronulla line.
Integrity/Intactness: Cringila Railway Station is intact, with the exception of the interior of the platform building.
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 registerCringila Footbridge    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA632 (footbridge)State Rail Authority  No
Interwar Station Buildings: Analysis and Significance2001 Andrea Humphreys and Donald Ellsmore  No
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
Written 1928Article from the 28 March
Written  Footbridge drawings: DWG 1776 - 43,807 to 823A.
WrittenD. Ellsmore and A. Humphries2002Inter-War Station Buildings
WrittenDavid Sheedy2009Historical Research for RailCorp S170 Register Update
WrittenL. Colthurst2001Between Wind and Water, A History of the Port and Coastal Waterways of NSW
WrittenWollongong City Library Brief Location History

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: 4802049

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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