Taree Railway Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Taree Railway Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Taree Railway Precinct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Olympia Street, Taree, NSW 2430
Parish: Taree
County: Macquarie
Local govt. area: Greater Taree


TBCIncludes the goods shed, weighbridge, and weighbridge hut.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Olympia StreetTareeGreater TareeTareeMacquariePrimary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

The substantial railway station building and refreshment rooms at Taree are significant as prominent and historically significant buildings within the Taree townscape, indicating the importance of this place as a major railway location along the North Coast. The platform buildings are good examples of railway architecture of the interwar period and were once part of a large railway precinct with a variety of facilities including a substantial locomotive depot and goods yard, however most structures have since been removed.
Date significance updated: 26 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.


Physical description: MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by RailCorp
Station Building, type 11 (1929)
Refreshment Rooms (1929)

Goods Shed

The building is a standard 'type 11' station design. It is of brick and timber construction featuring: a cantilevered awning with cast iron corbels that covers the platform and continues around the eastern end of the building to the station entrance porch; corrugated fibrolite roof with timber federation period finials, terracotta ridging and rams head capping, and a ramped approach. The station entrance includes a porch with a transverse gabled roof that runs perpendicularly to the roof line of the rest of the building. The porch roof line ends in dormers at both ends and has had a segment of the roof replaced by skylighting, maintaining the gabled shape of the roof. The windows are double hung timber sash windows with a 3x3 panel upper sash arrangement and the doors have transom windows in a 2x4 panel arrangement.

The building internally comprises the former ladies room and lavatory, booking office, Station Master’s office, telegraph office, and parcels office with adjoining public area.

Concrete faced. Straight side platform, steel rail post and concrete panel cast in situ, has been extended. Concrete surface and coping.

The railway refreshment rooms (RRR) are located in a large single storey building, adjacent to the station building on the platform. It is of a similar design to that of the station building consisting of a brick and timber construction and featuring a cantilevered platform awning with cast iron corbels; corrugated fibrolite roof with timber federation period finials; double hung sash timber windows; timber double doors with glass panelling; and a verandah extending from the western end with skillion-roof supported by timber posts.

The RRR comprises internally of a refreshment room, bar, store, kitchen, pantry, and a below floor level cellar.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station building and RRR: good condition
Date condition updated:26 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: 1910 Contract awarded to J Allibone for the erection of the A4 station building, station master’s residence, goods shed, stockyards and carriage shed.
1913 Rest house constructed.
1917 Weighbridge from Bullock Island installed for limestone traffic from State Lime Works.
1920 Removal of cottage from Telegraph Point and re-erection at Taree.
1922 Pillar water tank and water column erected.
1923 Footbridge erected at station.
1925 Platform extended 60.9m.
1926 Erection of a cottage from Regents Park as an Institute building.
1927 Installation of 50-tonne cart weighbridge; Four tennis courts provided for Institute.
1929 Renewal of station buildings & removal of old buildings
1929 Station master’s residence to be used as refreshment room staff quarters.
1929 Refreshment room opened.
1934 Trucking yards relocated to new site.
1935 - 1945 Loco Junction signal box opened.
1936 Re-modelling station yard.
1943 Goods shed office and stage extended; widening of level crossing at Grafton end of yard; Down sidings laid in.
1945 Additional watering facilities installed at Main line.
1945 North & South signal boxes opened.
1948 Car and wagon repair siding extended by 36.5m.
1963 A 54kL fuel oil tank provided.
1985 No 3 residence (Christie Street) removed.
1985 Station Master’s residence demolished.
c1985 Signal boxes closed and removed.
2009 New platform canopies
2015: Station works including: Minor essential repair works across the station (fencing, coping, grouting, gutters, downpipes, flashing, leaks, conduits, lighting, interior modern flooring, platform surface, tactiles, bird proofing, redundant services/fixings, metalwork, glazing, mouldings, brick joints, timberwork (using like for like materials and matching profiles); Deep cleaning of all non-historic surfaces; reinstating missing historic features to match (brick vents); Minor garden maintenance and repairs; Replacement of modern platform seating and bins; Painting (like for like overcoating); installation/replacement of strip lighting to LED; Refurbishment of modern elements of public toilet facilities.
Further information: Nearby bridges (Browns Creek and Dawson Creek) are also listed separately.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Taree railway precinct is located on the North Coast Line, the major trunk line from NSW to Queensland. Taree is located in the Manning Valley, which was settled by pastoralists who formed small farming settlements throughout the North Coast region of NSW from the 1830s. The Manning Valley was initially accessed via the Manning River and the establishment of the NSW government’s administrative centre up river from Taree at Wingham somewhat stalled the growth of Taree. However, when the North Coast railway line was connected to Taree in 1913, Taree became the regional centre. By this time dairying had become the main agricultural activity in Taree, which eventually declined by the second half of the 20th century resulting in depopulation and the conversion of land for beef cattle farming (Kass, 1990: 54).

Taree station opened on 4 February 1913. The original station construction contract was awarded to J Allibone, and specified the construction of a standard A4 station building, station master’s residence, goods shed, stockyards, and a carriage shed (Forsyth, 2009). The timber A4 station building internally comprised of a ladies room and lavatory, general waiting room, ticket office, store, and parcels office. Type 11 buildings were a standard design introduced from the 1900s and reissued again in 1913. All buildings are linear and feature gabled roofs with awnings supported on fabricated metal brackets or timber braces, most with a timber valance to awning ends.

In 1913 a small timber rest house was constructed on the up side of the tracks, featuring a kitchen, bedroom, and lavatory. The rest house was later extended to include a dining room. A per way store and sub inspectors office were also added to the platform, however their exact date of construction is not known (Forsyth, 2009).

Several structures were added to the station precinct over the next 14 years, including a weighbridge from Bullock Island in 1917, a cottage from Telegraph Point in 1920, a pillar water tank and column in 1922, a station footbridge in the following year, a cottage from Regents Park used as a Railway Institute (accompanied by four tennis courts) in 1926, and a second weighbridge in 1927. Plans of the Railway Institute show the timber and corrugated iron structure as internally comprising of a large billiard room, two classrooms and a library (Forsyth, 2009; RC historic plans).

In 1929 the original station building was demolished and a new brick station building and railway refreshment room provided. In the same year, the Station Master’s residence was converted into a general staff quarters building. The staff building was extended in 1939 to include an additional bedroom, and demolished in 1985 (Forsyth, 2009).

Taree was also the site of an extensive locomotive depot, which opened in 1913. The depot originally included an eight road roundhouse, constructed by W Boulton, and turntable.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods Railway Workshops-
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-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Servicing and accommodating passengers-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Taree railway precinct is significant for its historical values as a tangible link to the development of the North Coast line as well as the development of the NSW railways. The North Coast line was significant in linking the logging, agricultural and pastoral activities of the north coast to markets in both Sydney and Brisbane leading to significant economic and social impacts for individual townships as well as for NSW generally.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Taree railway station and refreshment room buildings contribute to the townscape of Taree as substantial, inter-war, brick and timber buildings with cantilevered awnings, double hung timber sash windows, timber doors with transom windows and federation period finials.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
In a general sense, the Taree railway precinct is of social significance to the local community having performed an important role in supporting the town as a regional centre for agricultural commerce and thereby being the site of significant activity and employment. The railway station contributes to the local community’s sense of place and remaining in use provides a connection to the local community’s past.
SHR Criteria g)
The place has representative significance with many similar examples of station buildings found elsewhere throughout NSW.
Integrity/Intactness: The station buildings have a good level of integrity, but the related yard and locomotive depot have a low level of intactness. The locomotive depot and yard at Taree has been substantially modified and reduced, with some former elements no longer in railway ownership, resulting in a precinct with low 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     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA196State 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.H. Forsyth2009NSW Railway Stations - An Alphabetical Arrangement of Railway Station and Place Names
WrittenJ.M. Cottee2004Stations on the track
WrittenMcKillop, R2009NSW Railways (RailCorp) Thematic History
MapRailCorp Historic Plans, various
WrittenState Rail Authority of NSW1993How and why of station names

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: 4806196

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