Cockle Creek Former Railway Station and Bridge Piers | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Cockle Creek Former Railway Station and Bridge Piers

Item details

Name of item: Cockle Creek Former Railway Station and Bridge Piers
Other name/s: West Wallsend Railway; Cockle Creek Railway Station
Type of item: Archaeological-Terrestrial
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Bridge/ Viaduct
Primary address: Near Creeek Reserve Road, Cockle Creek, NSW 2284
Parish: Teralba
County: Northumberland
Local govt. area: Lake Macquarie

Boundary:

North: a line 10 metres from the northern edge of the bridge;South: a line 10 metres from the southern edge of the bridge and adjacent to the present Cockle Creek Railway Station;East: a line 100 metres east of and parallel to the eastern shore;West: a line 20 metres west of the abutment on the western shore
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Near Creeek Reserve RoadCockle CreekLake MacquarieTeralbaNorthumberlandPrimary Address
Racecourse RoadTeralbaLake Macquarie  Alternate Address
Lake RoadBoolarooLake Macquarie  Alternate Address
Lake RoadArgentonLake Macquarie  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

The former Cockle Creek Railway Station and Bridge have local heritage significance as extant elements of a major railway junction and interchange dating from the late 19th century. The former Cockle Creek station and yards were a major stop on the Short North line, although little evidence of the complex remains today to demonstrate its former importance. The former bridge was one of the original bridges on the Short North line and as such retains historic associations with the connection of Sydney and Newcastle by rail, a significant event in the history of the NSW railways. The former bridge has aesthetic significance at a local level as an attractive remnant of a late 19th century bridge, and as a local landmark. The bridge remains are representative of numerous other examples of the 1884 cast iron bridge piers still existing along the Short North Line.
Date significance updated: 03 Nov 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: New South Wales Department of Railways
Builder/Maker: New South Wales Department of Railways
Construction years: 1887-
Physical description: Former Cockle Creek Railway Bridge (1887)
Former Cockle Creek Railway Station Platform (1887)

CONTEXT
Cockle Creek Railway Station is presently located on the Northern line between Teralba Station and Cardiff Station and is 18km (11 miles) south of Newcastle. In 1887, a bridge was constructed crossing the creek and a railway station constructed immediately Down line. In 1957, a new bridge and station were constructed south of the existing station and bridge. The earlier bridge was retained for use for the West Wallsend Railway and Cockle Creek Power Station until the 1970s and its decks were removed in 1992. The later bridge is listed separately in this register.

FORMER COCKLE CREEK RAILWAY BRIDGE - Piers only
The former Cockle Creek Railway Bridge was originally constructed as a six-span riveted steel girder bridge with cast iron piers and brick abutments. The span over Racecourse Road on the western shore of Cockle Creek was removed during the 1970s and the remaining girders, deck and rails were removed in 1992, leaving 3 piers in the creek, one between Racecourse Road and the creek edge and another on the eastern shore of the creek adjacent to the former Railway Station.

These piers are similar to piers employed in other 1887 railway bridges built on the Short North line when it was originally constructed, being pairs of cast iron columns with classical detailing and joined by arched riveted steel girders.

The abutment on the western side of Racecourse Road continues as a raised embankment, indicating the former line of the railway tracks. There are no other significant landscape elements.

FORMER COCKLE CREEK RAILWAY STATION PLATFORM
Immediately north of the Down platform of the existing railway station, is the location of the former railway platform (c1887). It is partially visible along a length approximately 30m on its southern edge. The rest is obscured by thick vegetation and dumped ballast. The eastern end of the platform was likely to have been completely demolished for the construction of the new station during the 1950s.

The former alignment of the railway track is also evident as a raised mound between the last pier of the former bridge and diminishing in height towards the current station platforms.

The platform edge comprises a dry-pressed brick wall that corbels down to a steel support structure. The wall is partly rendered along the vertical facade. Cement pointing is evident on the top face of the wall.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Former Cockle Creek Railway Bridge (1887) - moderate condition
Former Cockle Creek Railway Station Platform (1887) - poor condition
Date condition updated:16 Jul 09
Modifications and dates: 1957: a new bridge and station were constructed south of the existing station and bridge, and the earlier bridge was retained for use for the West Wallsend Railway and Cockle Creek Power Station.
1970s: tracks from the West Wallsend collieries re-laid to form a new junction and use of old bridge ceased.
1992: decks of old bridge removed
Further information: The current Cockle Creek Railway Station is excluded from the listing, and is not of heritage significance.
Current use: Former railway bridge & station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: The Main Northern line between Sydney and Newcastle was constructed in two distinct stages and in the earliest years, was worked as two separate railway systems.

The line between Sydney (actually the junction at Strathfield) and the Hawkesbury River was opened on 5 April 1887, with the terminus being on the southern bank of the Hawkesbury River. The line between Newcastle and the northern bank of the Hawkesbury River (near present day Wondabyne) was opened in January 1888. The line was completed through between Sydney and Newcastle with the opening of the massive bridge over the Hawkesbury River in 1889.

The former Cockle Creek Railway Station was opened with the opening of the line between Newcastle and Hawkesbury River in January 1888. The line was originally built as ‘single line’ and a small platform was provided at Cockle Creek on the Down side of the line. Cockle Creek is named after the nearby creek of the same name.

South of the station, the line crossed ‘Cockle Creek’ on a steel bridge, built to accept the second track when duplication was to be finally completed. Beyond the bridge, a junction was formed, with branch lines heading toward collieries in the West Wallsend area.

By 1891, the line through Cockle Creek had been duplicated and Up and Down side platforms had been built, additional trackwork had been laid in for access to the collieries and to provide a local goods siding. The duplicated main lines then crossed the original bridge, which had been planned. Over the next 22 years, additional trackwork, sidings and a back platform (on the Up side) had been provided at Cockle Creek. A number of signal boxes (in different locations to suit various track arrangements) were also provided.

By the mid-1950s, the original bridge (of 1887) was deteriorating and in need of replacement. Accordingly, in 1957, new platforms and station buildings were provided at Cockle Creek in a new location, but only a short distance away from the original station. The main line was deviated from the original formation and this required the construction of a new steel truss bridge over Cockle Creek.

Even though the original platforms were placed out of use, coal trains to and from the West Wallsend collieries continued to use the original bridge, while main line trains used the new platforms and new steel bridge. The earlier bridge was retained for use for the West Wallsend Railway and Cockle Creek Power Station until the 1970s and its decks were removed in 1992.

The four piers of the original bridge are extant, being a short distance from the new bridge over Cockle Creek.

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-
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 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]
The former Cockle Creek Railway Bridge remnants and Station remains have local historic significance as extant elements of a major railway junction and interchange dating from the late 19th century, including goods sidings, a separate line to West Wallsend Colliery, a back platform (in addition to the two platforms) and various signal boxes. The former bridge was one of the original bridges on Short North line and as such retains historic associations with the connection of Sydney and Newcastle by rail, a significant event in the history of the NSW railways. Similarly, the Cockle Creek station and yards were a major stop on the Short North line, although little evidence of the complex remains today to demonstrate its former importance.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The former Cockle Creek Railway Bridge piers have aesthetic significance at a local level as an attractive remnant of a late 19th century bridge, with five paired piers in cast-iron and steel, some in the middle of the creek. The former bridge is a local landmark.
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 site has low archaeological research potential: even though it contains evidence of the former railway line and station, the former platform is a common type and much of the area formerly occupied by the station and yards appears to have been heavily disturbed during construction of the new railway alignment, station and bridge in the 1950s.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The site does not have significance under this criterion. Numerous other examples of the 1884 cast iron bridge piers still exist along the Short North line several of which are still in use albeit as part of road bridges. A number of other sets of identical cast iron piers remain at water crossings along the length of the Short North line, including at Gosford and Wallarah Creek. The former Cockle Creek Railway Station is unremarkable and does not have any rarity value.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The former Cockle Creek Railway Bridge piers are representative of the 1884 cast iron bridge piers common to the bridges across small to medium sized water bodies along the Short North line when it was originally constructed. A number of other examples exist along the line, some having been incorporated into road bridges in the 1950s.

There is little evidence of the former railway station and yard remaining, hence it is not a good example of its type.
Integrity/Intactness: The former Cockle Creek Railway Bridge is not intact as it was partly dismantled during the 1970s and 1990s, leaving only 5 piers and the abutments. The archaeological evidence of the former Cockle Creek Railway Station is also likely to have little integrity given the degree of development and associated disturbance in the area.
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 registerRailcorp S170 Register    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
City of Lake Macquarie Heritage Study1992AG-02Suters - Doring - Turner  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 NSW Department of Commerce  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenC. C. Singleton The Short North. The Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin. Various issues.
WrittenJohn Forsyth Line Histories
WrittenRay Love2009Historical Research for RailCorp s170 Update
WrittenState Rail Authority of New South Wales1995How and Why of Station Names. Fourth Edition

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: 4803216


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