Culcairn Railway Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Culcairn Railway Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Culcairn Railway Precinct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Melville Street, Culcairn, NSW 2660
Parish: Round Hill
County: Hume
Local govt. area: Greater Hume

Boundary:

The listing boundary is formed by the level crossing at Balfour St to the south turning north along Melville St (Olympic Way) to the rear of the SM residence then excluding the leased area to the local Council and following the property boundary to a point approximately 20 metres beyond the end of the goods shed, then crossing the line to the western side of the property and following the boundary south to the intersection of Balfour St. Please note this site is also listed on the State Heritage Register (SHR) for which the curtilage differs – for more information see images.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Melville StreetCulcairnGreater HumeRound HillHumePrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Culcairn Railway Precinct has significance at a state level. The station buildings and related structures at Culcairn have historical significance as extant railway items dating from the 1880s which was an important period of railway expansion in NSW. The place is closely associated with the economic and social development of Culcairn and surrounding districts in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The station makes an important contribution to the townscape of Culcairn particularly due to its location in the centre of the town. The weatherboard ‘third class’ station building has aesthetic significance as a good representative example of late Victorian railway architecture in NSW. Along with the remaining infrastructure at Culcairn (including sidings and the jib crane), the remaining structures reveal the present and former use of Culcairn as an important railway centre. The former Station Master’s residence contributes to the setting of the precinct and retains a strong visual and historical link to the site.
Date significance updated: 04 Sep 08
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

Builder/Maker: Charles Hardy
Construction years: 1880-1920
Physical description: MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by RailCorp
Station Building - type 4, ‘Third Class’ (1880, modified 1915)
Platform (c1880)
Remnant timber fences

OTHER ITEMS - Managed by ARTC
Station Masters Residence (1880)
Perway Office (c1920)
Footbridge (1920)


STATION BUILDING (1880, 1915)
A Victorian ‘third-class’ station building constructed of weatherboard with a long gabled roof clad in corrugated iron and featuring simple timber finials to gable ends and corbelled brick chimneys. The street frontage features a projecting bay with transverse gable to mark the entry. The platform awning is supported on posts (originally timber now replaced with steel) also clad in corrugated iron with simple timber valance. Fenestration comprises timber double hung windows.

The building is linear in plan and originally comprised of a central waiting room, flanked by a Station Master’s office and combined lamp and porter’s room on one side, and a ticket office and ladies waiting room on the other. The building has been extended and now features from north to south a parcels office, store, booking office, general waiting room, Station Master’s office (previously refreshment rooms) and a store.

The building also features a detached weatherboard toilet wing to the south relocated from Gerogery in c1990, with a hipped corrugated iron roof with roof ventilator. To the north is an attached out-of-room (1915) clad in corrugated iron with gable roof.

PLATFORM (c1880)
The platform is brick face. Platform wall is masonry and is in good condition. The height has been raised in concrete throughout. Lever bay opening is cracked both ends.

Station Master's RESIDENCE(1880)
Two-storey brick.

PERWAY OFFICE (c1920)
Simple weatherboard structure with corrugated iron skillion roof.

FOOTBRIDGE (1920)
Built at level crossing at south end of yard to provide access when level crossing blocked by shunting. A steel riveted through Warren Truss footbridge on angle iron trestles and channel iron stair stringers.

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:
Original and early door and window hardware (locks, handles, sash locks and lifts etc), including SRA SL brass padlock
Various timber furnishing and finishes
Brass coin tray and ticket window
Bakelite switches and timber mounting block
Timber fire surrounds, overmantles, cast iron grate and hearths
Old cash register, Lions Ball sign, frames, armchair, window sashes, timber screen door, timber sheeted doors and other loose objects in storage
“Culcairn” line diagram and associated equipment
Plaque – “Memorial to Phil Lieschke 13 March 1988 – 02 May 2014”
Plaque – “Restoration of Station Masters House, 27 October 1992”
Stationery rail carriage under steel canopy
Museum objects in SM residence, including 1940s carpet runner, old photos, lamps, framed map of NSW Railways dated 1946.

LANDSCAPE
Plaque and memorial – “Eric Thomas Bicentennial Park, 9 October 1988” and series of community plaques and commemorations mounted on rusticated granite plinths
5-ton jib crane on concrete base in yard
Remnant concrete, iron rail and timber garden edges in grounds
Timber and Cyclone wire fencing with iron rail posts and rivets
Soft-edged gravel driveway
Row of ornamental trees along driveway
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The station buildings are in good condition.
Platform - Good
Date condition updated:18 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: c1990- The toilet block was relocated from Gerogery
Current use: Operational railway station
Former use: Railway station, goods yard and locomotive depot

History

Historical notes: Culcairn 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 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. The single line opened from Wagga Wagga to Gerogery on 1 September 1880. The construction contract for the Wagga Wagga to Albury section of the Great Southern Railway was awarded to George Cornwell & F Mixner on 14 February 1878. The construction name of the station was ‘Billabong’, however the station opened as ‘Culcairn’ on 1 September 1880 (Forsyth, 2009).

A contract was let on 20 May 1880 to Charles Hardy for construction of the station building with detached toilet, water tank, goods shed, and brick two-storey Station Master's residence. In 1881 a separate lamp room was created by infilling the space between the main building and toilet block (Forsyth, 2009).

Early additions or changes to the station and yard at Culcairn included the erection of name boards (1881), a 5 tonne crane (1882), stockyards (1883), a small loading bank for loading stone (1885), and a 30 metre long sleeper platform on the Up side of the yard (1891). With the opening of the Corowa branch line in 1892, an island platform and waiting shed were built to serve the Up Loop and Branch Back Platform track. Further changes and additions include the replacement of a 10 tonne weighbridge with a 20 tonne weighbridge (1899), the construction of a carriage shed and grain shed (1901), and the extension of the platform (1907) (Forsyth, 2009).

The station precinct also included a locomotive depot, which originally included an engine shed (1898), following by the construction of a coal stage and 15.240m turntable (1899). In 1902 additions were made to both the engine shed and coal stage for the Holbrook Branch line, and a one-track carriage shed was provided. In 1928 the original turntable was replaced with an 18.288m unit from Cowra (Forsyth, 2009).

In 1913 the rear of the ticket office within the main station building was extended and converted into a refreshment room, and in 1915 the building was extended again to include a parcels room and attached out-of-room. In 1920 a ticket office was constructed on the island platform (Forsyth, 1989; SRA, 1993). Plans dating from the 1920s also indicate that a Perway office was constructed on the platform.

The gradual decline of the locomotive depot came in the 1960s, when the engine shed was demolished (1963), and the carriage shed removed (1966). This was followed by the removal of other items within the station precinct, including the gatehouse in 1980 and the stockyards in 1984. In December 1989 the station became unattended and trains ceased stopping there. The island platform and second waiting shed were also demolished. Modern photographs indicate that the extant station building has undergone few major alterations since it was substantially modified in 1915, with the exception of the removal of the 1881 lamp room addition and covered passage way between the toilet block and the main building. Culcairn station was re-opened in the 1990s as a railway station serviced by Countrylink trains (Forsyth, 2009).

The Station Master’s residence has been restored and is currently used as a museum.

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 Maintaining 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 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-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The station buildings and related structures at Culcairn have historical significance as extant railway items dating from the 1880s, an important period of railway expansion in NSW, and are closely associated with the economic and social development of Culcairn and surrounding districts in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The remaining structures on site remain largely intact and reveal the present and former use of Culcairn as an important railway centre.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The station makes an important contribution to the townscape of Culcairn particularly due to its location in the centre of the town. The weatherboard ‘third class’ station building has aesthetic significance as a good representative example of late Victorian railway architecture in NSW. The former Station Master’s residence contributes to the setting of the precinct and provides a strong visual and historical link to the extant station building and other railway items at Culcairn
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The place has social significance to the local community on account of its lengthy association with the community and for providing an important source of employment, trade and social interaction for the local area. The place 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 connection to the local community’s past.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The location of the footbridge at a level crossing, and not near the station building, is unusual for a rail precinct.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The station building at Culcairn is a good representative example of a 19th century weatherboard ‘third-class’ railway building in NSW, a type of building constructed at many regional centres across NSW. The site has representative significance for its collection of railway structures including the station buildings, Out-of-shed, perway office, footbridge and remaining infrastructure (sidings and the jib crane), 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 at other railway sites across the state.
Integrity/Intactness: The station buildings have a moderate level of integrity, and despite modifications the buildings still demonstrate key characteristics of railway design and are in good condition.
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 Study1999SRA282State 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
WrittenCottee, J.M.2004Stations on the track: selected New South Wales country railway stations: an historical overview
WrittenForsyth, J.H.1989Stations and tracks: volume 2: Main South line: Granville Junction to Albury: station, siding, track & bridge data
WrittenJohn H Forsyth2008NSW Railway Stations - An Alphabetical Arrangement of Railway Station and Place Names
WrittenMcKillop, R2009NSW Railways (RailCorp) Thematic History
MapRailCorp RailCorp Historic Plans, various
WrittenRobert Lee2000Colonial engineer: John Whitton 1819-1898 and the building of Australia's railways
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
(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: 4806282


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.