Scone Railway Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Scone Railway Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Scone Railway Precinct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Susan Street, Scone, NSW 2337
Parish: Scone
County: Brisbane
Local govt. area: Upper Hunter


The listing boundary for the station is formed by the New England Highway level crossing to the north, the property boundaries on either side of the tracks with the forecourt to the station at the end of Susan St and to the south the crossing at St Aubins St.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Susan StreetSconeUpper HunterSconeBrisbanePrimary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Scone Railway Precinct is of state significance for its 1870s station building dating from the opening of the Great Northern Railway through Scone. The building forms part of a group of early Victorian railway buildings constructed along the Northern line which collectively demonstrate the vigour for railway development throughout regional NSW during the mid-19th century. The building is well detailed and of fine proportions and is an important civic building and a focal point at the northern approach to Scone.
Date significance updated: 25 Jan 18
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: John Whitton (attributed)
Physical description: MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by RailCorp
Station Building, type 3, second class (1871)
Out-of Shed
Signal Box, type 3
Platform (1871, modified 1933)

Former goods loading facility

The Scone station building is a type 3, brick, second class station with a tiled gable roof with corrugated galvanised iron used for the station entrance (roadside) verandah and platform awning. The eastern side of the building is characterised by tuck pointed brickwork and by a corrugated iron skillion-roofed verandah awning. The verandah awning is supported by tubular steel posts. The verandah floor is characterised by modern ceramic tiling. The platform awning is cantilevered and supported by ornate corbels. Windows are timber double hung sash with 2 panels in each sash. Transom window over the door.

The station building layout consists of an Out-of room at the southern end of the building; male and female toilets; ladies waiting room; general waiting room; booking office; Station Master's office; parcels room; parcels office, and signal box at the northern end.

OUT-OF SHED (c 19th century)
The out-of shed is a square, timber framed, weatherboard building with corrugated, galvanised iron, skillion roof overhanging the platform side of the building.

SIGNAL BOX (c 19th century)
The signal box is a type 3, small timber framed, weatherboard building with corrugated, galvanised iron, skillion roof attached to northern end of the station building.

Platform 1 is a straight side platform made of brick, extended in steel rail post and concrete panel cast in situ, open steel frame and concrete deck. Coping has been raised.

Timber loading platform that may have been part of a former goods shed. Includes a jib crane.

Site features:
• Two timber station name signs
• Various room signs
• Ticket window with copper coin tray
• Timber mantel
• Timber bench and window frame in shed
• Unusual platform, extended in open concrete and concrete post and rail. Early section low with part brick/part concrete
• Concrete sound wall with 'horse interpretation'
• Timber post and iron rail fencing
• Jib crane (ARTC managed)


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.

Key items at this station include but are not limited to:
• Timber trolley in Parcel’s Office
• Timber wagon in front yard
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:11 Sep 09
Modifications and dates: The masonry wall separating the male and female toilets was introduced c1990s.
The flooring is now ceramic tiled but originally it was probably Grano on compacted fill.
The three eastern side windows of the toilet wing are not original.
There is also a window and door added to the platform side of the southeast wing.
The male toilet wall on the platform side originally had no window or door openings.
Access to the gentleman's toilets was originally via a door at the southern end of the building.
The original door has been replaced and a security grille added to the door.
The Station Master's office door is not original.
The Station Master's office has no windows but has an introduced doorway west of the fireplace leading to the waiting room.
The floor of the Station Master's office is concrete covered by linoleum, replacing the original suspended timber construction.
The skirting on the inside of this room has been covered with a line of ceramic tiles (Rappoport, 2001).
The chimney piece in the fireplace (in the Station Master's office) has collapsed or been removed. The lower dado on the walls is not original (Rappoport, 2001).
2013: Access upgrade: resurfacing, re-leveling and widening the footpath adjacent to the platform building extension and line-marking the accessible car parking space.
Verandah posts
(2016/7) Recently repainted internally with new floor/kitchen
(2016/7) Asbestos remediation of former waiting room
Further information: Stockyards managed by ARTC are included in a separate listing
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Railway Station


Historical notes: Scone railway precinct is located on the Main North line, which runs from Sydney and extends as far as Wallangarra on the Queensland border. The Main North Line (formerly known as the Great Northern Railway) runs through the Central Coast, Hunter and New England regions. The line was the original main line between Sydney and Brisbane; however this required a change of gauge at Wallangarra. The line is now closed north of Armidale, and the main route between Brisbane and Sydney is now the North Coast line.

Scone is located in the Upper Hunter Valley, a region which was opened up by pastoralists who established large estates from the 1820s. The township of Scone was laid out in 1837 and officially proclaimed as a township in 1888 (Rappoport, 2001).

Following the completion of the first railway from Sydney to Parramatta Junction in 1855, proposals for the first railways to the rest of NSW were driven by pastoral communities seeking improved transport for their produce from the inland centres including Goulburn, Bathurst, Singleton and Muswellbrook (Upper Hunter). Early extensions to the Great Northern Railway included Victoria Street to Maitland (opened 1858) and Maitland to Singleton (1863). These were followed by extensions to Muswellbrook in 1869, Aberdeen in 1870 and to Scone in 1871 (Rappoport, 2001; SRA, 1993).

The single line from Aberdeen to Scone opened on 17 April 1871, the station being officially opened on the same day by the Governor of NSW, the Earl of Belmore. The station precinct included a type 3, second class, brick station building including an Out-of Shed, Station Master's office, waiting room, ticket office, and signal box (Forsyth, 2009).

The station building is one of several notable early stations attributed to John Whitton, Engineer-in-Chief of the NSW Railways (1856-1890). The building borrows heavily from Whitton's design experience in England and the influence of Georgian and Victorian architectural styles (Rappoport, 2001; SRA, 1993)

Major changes and additions to the station precinct included the addition of a loading bank and water tank in 1891, new stockyards in 1901, and an additional 90kL water tank and loading bank in 1902 and 1909 respectively. In 1933, the station platform was extended and in 1963, a new residence was built for the Station Master in Guernsey Street for £3600 (now in private ownership) (Forsyth, 2009).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Communication-Activities relating to the creation and conveyance of information Signalling and safe working-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Transporting livestock and their products-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Servicing the pastoral industry-
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]
The Scone railway precinct has historical significance as one of the earliest railway stations, built in 1871, of the Great North Railway (GNR) line. The station is still in use today and provides a tangible link to the development of the GNR line during the 19th century as well as the early development of the NSW railways generally. The GNR was an important achievement in transport and engineering within NSW. As the third main trunk rail route in NSW stretching from Sydney to the Queensland border, the line linked townships to one another as well as to Sydney leading to significant economic and social impacts for those individual townships as well as for NSW more generally.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Scone railway station was constructed according to the standard designs of Engineer-in-Chief of the NSW Railways, John Whitton, and has significance for being associated with the work of Whitton not only in railway station design but also in the development of the Main North line.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Scone station has state significance for its aesthetic values as a mid-Victorian, regional example of a type 3, second-class NSW railway station building. The building is well detailed and of fine proportions and is an important civic building in Scone and a focal point at the northern approach to Scone.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Scone railway precinct is of social significance to the local community having performed an important role in supporting the town as a regional centre for agriculture and commerce and thereby being the site of significant activity and employment. The railway station contributes to the local community’s sense of place and as an operational station, retains a continuous use (since the 1880s) and provides a tangible connection to the local community’s past.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
As one of the earliest railway stations on the former Great Northern Line (now Main North line) the railway precinct at Scone provides research opportunities in relation to the development of the GNR and early design and construction of railway architecture in NSW.
SHR Criteria g)
The site has representative significance for its collection of railway structures that collectively demonstrate widespread 19th and early 20th century railway customs, activities and design in NSW.
Integrity/Intactness: The station buildings have a moderate level of integrity/ intactness.
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 SRA 173   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA173State Rail Authority  No
S170 Register Update Project2009 ARTC/ ORH  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenJ.M. Cottee2004Stations on the track
WrittenMcKillop, R2009NSW Railways (RailCorp) Thematic History
WrittenPaul Rappoport Architect Pty Ltd Conservation Architects & Heritage Consultants2001Conservation Management Plan: Scone railway station, Scone, NSW.
MapRailCorp Historic Plans, various
WrittenRobert Lee2000Colonial Engineer: John Whitton 1819-1898 and the building of Australia's railways
WrittenState Rail Authority of NSW, Archives Section1993How and why of station names
WrittenURBIS2013Heritage Assessment - Scone Railway 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: 4806173

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