Wagga Wagga Railway Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Wagga Wagga Railway Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Wagga Wagga Railway Precinct
Other name/s: South Wagga Wagga
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Station Place, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650
Parish: South Wagga Wagga
County: Wynyard
Local govt. area: Wagga Wagga

Boundary:

The listing boundary is the Railway St boundary to the south, the rail boundary to the north parallel to the end of Bayliss St, the bridge at Edmondson st to the west and the junction of the former Tumbarumba branch to the east. Please note this site is listed on the State Heritage Register (SHR) for which the curtilage differs – for more information see images.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Station PlaceWagga WaggaWagga WaggaSouth Wagga WaggaWynyardPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Wagga Wagga Railway Precinct is of state significance as a major 19th century railway location on the Main Southern Line as evidenced by the quality and scale of extant buildings. The Wagga Wagga station building has aesthetic significance as a fine and large ‘first class’ building designed in the Victorian Free Classical style. The building remains largely intact and displays many original decorative features including a cast iron verandah, rusticated quoins and stucco mouldings. Combined with the landscaped forecourt and adjacent Station Master’s residence, the precinct forms a cohesive group of 19th century railway items. The station remains as a prominent landmark at the end of Wagga Wagga's main street and is an important townscape feature.
Date significance updated: 25 Aug 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: John Whitton
Builder/Maker: Charles Hardy
Construction years: 1879-1936
Physical description: MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by RailCorp
Station Building - type 5, first-class brick (1879)
Station Forecourt and Approaches
Platform and Station Lights

MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by ARTC
Station Master's Residence - type 5, brick, two-storey (1879)
Footbridge- from Station Place to Railway Street (1936)


STATION BUILDING (1879)
The Wagga Wagga station building is a large ‘first class’ brick and stucco building designed in the Victorian Free Classical style. It is a single storey, symmetrical building. The main feature of the facade is a pair of projecting gables, between which is a recessed, gabled entrance porch with verandah. There are pediments above the triple windows on the gable fronts, and the sills to these and the other windows of the facade have prominent bracketed sills. The porch has paired, fluted iron columns and an iron frieze and there are iron lace brackets. The entrance is arched (as are doorways on the platform side), and the decoration includes pilasters and label moulding. The building has rusticated quoins, and paired brackets to the eaves, and there are parapeted sections at the ends of the building. The roofs are mostly hipped but feature some transverse gables, and is clad with corrugated iron and has several small gable vents. The building's chimneys have cornices. The verandah along the platform has fluted iron columns similar to those of the entrance porch, and there is a decorative frieze and brackets.

The station building originally comprised of a central lobby and ticket office, with a parcels room, ladies waiting room and lavatories to the west, and a Station Master’s office, telegraph office, general waiting room, and a second ladies waiting room and lavatories to the east. Plans indicate that the internal composition of the building changed several times throughout the building’s history, including early alterations to the western wing to incorporate a refreshments room, kitchen, and bar (all removed in 1956).

The building is flanked by two detached wings at either end with similar construction and detailing to the main building (the western wing has been extended). A large modern platform shelter with a roof pitch similar to the two detached wings is also located to the east of the station buildings.

STATION FORECOURT AND APPROACHES
There is a circular drive and landscaped gardens featuring hedging, floral displays and lawn located in front of the station.

PLATFORM (1879, 1943)
The wayside platform face is brick and surfacing is paved; has been extended in concrete.

STATION MASTER'S RESIDENCE (1879)
The Station Master’s residence is located just north-west of the station building and is a two-storey structure, with a symmetrical front façade, hipped corrugated iron roof, and a two-storey cast iron verandah. The residence originally internally comprised of two main living rooms on the ground floor, service areas to the rear, and three bedrooms upstairs.

FOOTBRIDGE (1936)
A modified standard steel beam structure over the platform, main line and down sidings.

MOVABLE
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:
Several SRA wall-mounted Timatic clocks
Original and reproduction fire surrounds and cast iron grates throughout station
Indicator boards with clock faces suspended under platform canopy
Carriage wall lamps and suspended light fittings under platform canopy
“Wagga Wagga” line diagram and associated electronic equipment
Wagga Rail Heritage Museum within Porters Room (large collection of movable heritage)
Gooseneck lamp posts on platform and footbridge
Cast iron stormwater grates
Plaque – “Eightieth anniversary of railway in Wagga Wagga, 1 September 1959”
Semaphore signal and other signalling equipment on display in yard
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Generally all structures are in good condition.
Date condition updated:25 Aug 09
Modifications and dates: Tripod crane (T221 10.16 ton crane, 1879) no longer extant
Current use: Operation railway station
Former use: Railway station, goods yard and loco depot

History

Historical notes: Wagga Wagga Railway Precinct is located on the Main South line.

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 interests seeking improved transport for their produce from the inland centres such as Goulburn, Bathurst, Singleton and Muswellbrook. In April 1873 John Sutherland, the Minister for Public Works, set out a policy to complete ‘the main trunk railways’; both the Main Southern line to Albury and the Western trunk route to Bourke on the Darling River were responses to the threat that wool and other produce from the Riverina and the west of NSW would be diverted to Melbourne via river boats and the Victorian railway to Echuca on the Murray River, which opened in 1864 (Lee, 2000, p98).

The 1870s and 1880s saw a boom in railway construction. By 1878 the railway had reached Bomen (North Wagga) and a year later it crossed the Murrumbidgee River on the longest and then most expensive bridge in Australia. The single line from Bomen to Wagga Wagga opened on 1 September 1879. The construction contract for this section of the line was awarded to Alex & Robert Amos on 14 January 1878. The station was opened as South Wagga Wagga on 1 September 1878, and renamed Wagga Wagga on 1 March 1882 (Lee, 2000, p98; Ellsmore, 2000).

The Wagga Wagga railway facilities originally included a station building, Station Master’s residence, goods shed, and a Gatekeeper's residence constructed by Charles Hardy, along with eight cottages and a hand crane re-erected from Bomen. In 1880 an engine shed was constructed; a cart weighbridge, stockyards, and an enginemen’s barracks were added in 1881; a 2-tonne yard crane and turntable installed in 1891; and six water tanks provided in 1897 (Forsyth, 2009).

Further changes and additions to the station precinct included the installation of a 20-tonne cart weighbridge (1907), the provision of new trucking yards and an overbridge at Best Street (1916), the construction of a passenger platform dock (1917), the addition of a signal box (1930), the construction of a new footbridge (1935), and the extension of the platform (1943). As in many other parts of NSW, the 1970s and 1980s saw a decline in passenger services and freight in regional NSW and the closure of many branch lines, and at Wagga Wagga many structures and yard buildings were either sold to private ownership or removed from the site (Forysth, 2009).

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 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 railway employees-
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 Shaping inland settlements-
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-
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. Railway gardens-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Wagga Wagga railway precinct has historical significance as a major 19th century railway location on the Main Southern Line as evidenced by the quality and scale of buildings constructed on site. The station is part of the southern line to Albury and is associated with the expansion of the New South Wales railway network during the second half of the 19th century. The Station Master’s residence is significant for demonstrating the once widespread custom of providing accommodation for railway staff.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The station building is associated with John Whitton, Engineer-in-Chief of NSW Railways from 1856-1890, who is likely to have influenced its design.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Wagga Wagga station building has aesthetic significance as a fine and large ‘first class’ brick and stucco building designed in the Victorian Free Classical style. The building remains largely intact and displays many original decorative features including a cast iron verandah, rusticated quoins and stucco mouldings. The building remains as a prominent landmark at the end of Wagga Wagga's main street and is an important townscape feature, terminating the view down this thoroughfare. Combined with the landscaped forecourt and adjacent Station Master’s Residence, the precinct forms a cohesive group of 19th century railway items.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The railway precinct has social significance to the local community on account of its lengthy association with the development of Wagga Wagga and for providing an important source of employment, trade and social interaction for the local community. The site is significant for its ability to contribute to the local community’s sense of place, is a distinctive feature in the daily life of many community members, and provides a tangible connection to the local community’s past.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The station building is a good representative example of first-class railway architecture in NSW. 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, and are representative of similar items that are found in other railway sites across the state.
Integrity/Intactness: The station building and residence have a high level of integrity. Despite ongoing modifications to interiors, to accommodate changing uses, the majority of external fabric remains largely intact and well maintained.
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 register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA250State 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
WrittenD. Ellsmore2000SHI Form: Wagga Wagga Railway Yard (Vehicle Maintenance Workshops; Crew Barracks; Gatehouse; SM's residence
WrittenJ.M. Cottee2004Stations on the track
WrittenMcKillop, R2009NSW Railways (RailCorp) Thematic History
MapRailCorp Historic Plans, various
WrittenState Rail Authority of NSW Archives1993How and why of station names

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

rez rez rez rez rez rez
rez rez rez rez rez
(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4806250


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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.