Mittagong Railway Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Mittagong Railway Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Mittagong Railway Precinct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Station Street, Mittagong, NSW 2575
Parish: Mittagong
County: Camden
Local govt. area: Wingecarribee

Boundary:

The listing boundary is formed by the Railway Parade boundary to the south, Fitzroy St road bridge to the east, the Regent St boundary to the north and a line crossing the tracks approximately 10 metres past the end of the platform to the west.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Station StreetMittagongWingecarribeeMittagongCamdenPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Mittagong railway precinct is of state significance as an important regional railway complex dating from 1867 that was constructed as one of the original stations along the Great Southern Railway. The design of the Mittagong station buildings represents a fine group of Victorian Georgian railway buildings that remain substantially intact and are an important civic landmark in the townscape of Mittagong. The railway refreshment room is significant for demonstrating a now defunct custom of railway accommodation and was amongst the first group of refreshment rooms to be built for the NSW Railway system and the first to be built on the Southern Line. The goods shed dates from 1867 and is significant as one of the oldest remaining goods sheds in NSW and a rare example of a through-shed. The signal box, small timber waiting room and footbridge built in 1919 are good examples of typical structures built as part of duplication works across the state. The site is significant for its continuity of use for over 150 years and remains as a good example of an early 20th century railway yard layout.

The footbridge was identified as an item of high heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The Mittagong Station footbridge is a good representative example of a c.1914 design featuring a steel riveted through warren truss (although not built to the 1920s). It contributes strongly to the Maitland Railway station precinct.
Date significance updated: 21 Oct 16
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 (attributed)
Construction years: 1867-1919
Physical description: MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by RailCorp
Station Building - Platform 1, type 3, brick, second-class station building (1870)
Railway Refreshment Rooms - Platform 1, brick two-storey (1867, 1873)
Station Building - Platform 2, type 7, timber, skillion-roof (1919)
Footbridge - steel (1920)
Platform faces - brick

OTHER ITEMS – Managed by RailCorp
Movable

MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by ARTC
Signal Box - type 3: timber, skillion roof, platform level (1919)
Goods Shed - 60' x 40' (through shed, sub-type 1 (1915)

OTHER ITEMS - Managed by ARTC
Crane - 5-ton jib crane, T156
Weighbridge - Avery 10-ton

STATION BUILDING - PLATFORM 1(1870)
This building is also known as the ‘Ticket Office’, and is a single storey painted brickwork building with a hipped, slate roof and brick chimneys at east and west ends. A timber framed, hipped (corrugated iron) roofed verandah lines the northern elevation, its stop chamfered posts decorated with modest timber "capital" mouldings. The timber valance between the posts is made up of scallop-ended boarding. Windows are double hung, with timber framed sashes and the masonry sills feature simple bracket-support detailing.

The southern (platform facing) elevation features a hipped awning supported on steel trusses. The building originally had timber posts supporting the platform verandah, however, in 1911 the platforms were raised, and large steel trusses replaced the original posts. The awning runs along the length of the platform connecting this building with the two-storey Railway Refreshment Room.

The platform dates from the opening of the station in 1867 and is brick faced. The platform was raised in 1911 and has been extended various times.

Exterior of station building currently painted Keim "Royalan" (2018). Concrete steps and ramp (including balustrade and lighting) installed to front and side façade of main entrance.

RAILWAY REFRESHMENT ROOMS - PLATFORM 1 (1867, 1873)
This building incorporates the original 1867 Station Building and the two-storey extensions which were built around and over the original Station Building, such that the only unaltered 1867 façade is on the ground floor, platform side.

The building presents as a two-storey rendered brickwork building with a hipped, slate roof and a mixture of painted brickwork and rendered chimneys. The rendered walls are detailed to resemble ashlar coursing and window sills and heads (also rendered) detailed to imitate stone. Window sills also feature small renderwork bracket supports and a deep moulded string course lines the north and south elevations at first floor level. Windows are generally 2 x 2 pane, timber framed (double hung) sashes and external doors 4 panelled. At the east and west ends of the building single storey wings have been added (at the east end linking the building with the 1870 Ticket Office). Internally the building retains a significant amount of its original painted decoration.

The southern (platform facing) elevation features a hipped awning supported on steel trusses. The building originally had timber posts supporting the platform verandah awning, however, in 1911 the platforms were raised, and large steel trusses replaced the original posts. The awning runs along the length of the platform connecting this building with the one-storey ‘Ticket Office’.

An inspection in 2015 noted that interiors had been stripped of historic wall and ceiling linings and plaster (some building elements salvaged/labelled). Original paint scheme present in part inside. Sample of significant painted decorative finishes on ground floor walls. Timber floor boards, high ceilings, original doors, fire places present down stairs. RRR currently painted ESB Scheme (R52).

STATION BUILDING - PLATFORM 2 (1919)
This is a small single-storey station building constructed for duplication works in 1919, but moved to the existing site in 1921. The building is clad in timber weatherboard and features a skillion roof sloping towards the platform that extends to form a platform awning. The roof form has been extended at a later date to wrap around the east and western sides. The building features two rooms, a waiting room and office, with timber framed windows and doors. The waiting room contains 2 fitted benches. A modern window has been installed in the back wall of the waiting room and concrete floor installed. The office portion of the building contains the original ticket window.

PLATFORM
The platform dates from the duplication works from 1919 and is brick faced with brick coping. Platform 2 was originally brickwork, laid in English bond, with corbelled coping and weepholes. It has been raised and extended toward Country end c1983. One section of wall near Country end wholly rendered. Brick coping separating from platform surface and large gap forming. The gap has been filled with silicone as per maintenance reports. Platform 1 was replaced in c1983 with reinforced concrete platform wall, cast in situ. Vertical timber posts spaced at Country end, which terminates in a brick wall. Some vertical cracking through panels and chips and scratches along coping. There is part of brick dock platform (c1867?) preserved behind Platform 1, not in use. It is brick with earth/grass surface. Extensive damage to brick coping. Weep holes indicate original track level.

FOOTBRIDGE (1920)
A steel riveted through Warren Truss footbridge on steel trestles and channel iron stair stringers. The Mittagong footbridge seems to have been designed c1914 but not constructed until after World War I. In 1991 the bridge underwent some alterations with new steel members and concrete treads. There is a 1967 commemorative plaque present under footbridge trestle.

SIGNAL BOX (1919)
A standard platform level signal box constructed for duplication works. The building is clad in timber weatherboard on a pre-cast concrete base with a corrugated steel skillion roof sloping towards the track. Windows are sliding timber sash along front wall and casement to sides. The timber door features four upper glazed panels.
Internal equipment includes a 28 lever interlocking machine (from inspection in 1998). A 2015 inspection noted an historic signal outside the signal box.

GOODS SHED (1867)
Through-shed constructed in 1867 and moved to current site in 1919 for duplication works. The building is timber stud framed and clad in corrugated iron. The roof is pitched and supported by six roof trusses, and clad in corrugated iron. When relocated the door positions were altered and a new platform built at east end. The building features large sliding doors in south and east walls, and a pair of large hung doors in west wall.

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:

Early wrought iron and timber bench seats with ‘Mittagong’,
Mittagong Station early Railway First Aid Box,
Early timber signalling telephone.

Site Features:
Fitted timber benches in Platform 2 waiting shed
Timber ticketing desk in Platform 2 ticketing office
Early signage affixed throughout station, e.g. Ladies, Mens
2 x Maroon fluted base bubblers (1x Platform 1, 1x Platform 2)
Various original features within RRR
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
All buildings are generally in good condition.
RRR: Cracks in walls and hallway arches upstairs. Works consistent with extensive hazmat remediation resulting in damage to interiors (2015).
Date condition updated:26 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: 1916 - New down track and platform
1918 - Water tanks moved to new site
1919 - Goods Shed from 1867 relocated further to east
1933 - Water reticulation system upgraded
1937 - The former ‘diamond’ which connected the down track to the goods shed siding was removed, such that track access to the shed was only available from the east
1939 - Station connected to the Mittagong Council’s sewer system
1941 - Loading dock and stock trucking yards at the western siding adjacent to Up track provided
1947 - Improvements to northern (Regent Street) station approach
1988 - Automatic signalling installed
1988 - Oil heating and Air-conditioning provided
2015 - Exterior painted ESB Scheme (R52)
2017 - Exterior painted Keim Royalan Scheme

Changes to exterior of station building include: construction of a weatherboard link to the Northern Pavilion; addition of louvred openings to Northern Pavilion; NE window from Out-of-room converted to a door; modification to sash windows; original ogee rainwater gutters and rainwater heads removed and replaced; roof constructed over cleaning passage of Northern Pavilion to provide toilet facilities; door positioned in arch of Southern Pavilion; signage and platform furniture removed; signal box demolished; timber posts to forecourt verandah replaced; cast iron lacework to platform verandah removed or stolen; platform levels increased; changes to plantings and landscaping (Aitken & Associates, 1997).

Changes to interior of station building include: formation of an opening between the parcels office and Station Master’s office, removal of the Station Master’s fireplace; removal of gentlemen’s toilet cubicles, urinal stalls and water tanks, removal or relocation of door from ladies’ waiting room to passage link, changes to the ladies’ toilet including addition of door with vestibule, various changes in finishes to walls and joinery and other modifications (Aitken & Associates, 1997).
Current use: Operational railway station
Former use: Passenger station and goods yard

History

Historical notes: Mittagong 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. When John Whitton arrived in Sydney in 1856 to take up his position as Engineer-in-Chief of the NSW Railways, "he understood his job was to plan the extensions which would take the infant railway into the interior of Australia. At that time only the railway from Sydney to Liverpool was open, just twenty-one miles (34km) in length" (Lee, 2000, p98).

The line from Liverpool to Campbelltown was one of the first sections of line completed in 1862. The line was extended to Picton in 1863 and was extended on to Mittagong via a large loop line in 1867, before continuing to Moss Vale in the same year. Mittagong Station opened on 1 March 1867 with the opening of the line.

The station precinct originally consisted of a station building of a similar style and size to that of Sutton Forest (later Moss Vale), along with a goods shed located immediately east of the station building, a turntable to the south-east, and a Station Master’s residence in the Victorian Rustic Gothic style, located immediately to the south (Freeman, 1998).

The design of the station building at Mittagong is attributed to John Whitton. Other notable early stations attributed to Whitton include Picton, Moss Vale, Scone, Muswellbrook, Penrith (No.3 platform), Bowenfels and Mount Victoria. These early buildings borrow heavily from Whitton's design experience in England and increasingly move from Georgian to Victorian architectural styles and represent Whitton’s obstinate faith in British railway standards and workmanship which continued throughout his career (McKillop, 2009).

A ticket/telegraph office with an entrance passage and lamp room was added to the east of the station building in c1870. The need for the new ticket/telegraph office was occasioned by the opening in 1870 of a small Railway Refreshment Room within the original station building (Freeman, 1998).

In c1873 a new two-storeyed Refreshment Room with accommodation was constructed. The new building was to built around and over the original 1867 station building, altering 1867 façade so that only the ground floor, platform side remained as originally constructed (Freeman, 1998).

The Railway Refreshment Room was only short lived and was closed by 1890-91 and relocated from Mittagong to Moss Vale. This was at the request of the Governor Baron Carrington (Governor of NSW 1885-1891) because the Governor who alighted at Moss Vale for his country residence did not want to be kept waiting at Mittagong while refreshments were taken. The RRR was opened again briefly during World War I & II (Freeman, 1998).

Further changes occurred to the station building in 1911, when the verandah posts were removed from the platform verandah and awning brackets installed. Twenty years later the ground floor of the former Refreshments Room was extended to accommodate a linen room. At the same time, the goods shed was relocated to a site further to the east and north of the Up track (Freeman, 1998).

In 1919, the Great Southern Railway from Picton was deviated to Mittagong to ease the grades. The new line virtually follows the line of the former Great South Road taking the main line away from Thirlmere, Buxton, Balmoral and Hilltop and passing through Tahmoor, Bargo and Yerrinbool.

At Mittagong Station, "substantial engineering works were undertaken to relocate the tracks, construct a new Down platform (to the south) and to construct the necessary related structures (pedestrian overbridge and Down platform waiting room). With the duplication of the railway tracks, a subway underpass for Bessemer Street was completed in 1919… In 1947 other changes were undertaken to the main buildings; with the reconfiguration of the former Refreshment Room to accommodate a railways fettler and family... the main corridor to the upper floors was partitioned off to separate the ‘apartment’ from the rest of the building" (Freeman, 1998).

"There has been only minor change to the complex since the 1940s. In 1984, the up and down platforms were reconstructed to the standard height... and in 1988 automatic signalling was installed between Mittagong and Berrima Junction" (Freeman, 1998).

"In 1991 the timber treads to the pedestrian overbridge were replaced with concrete treads. Three years later refurbishment was undertaken to the station facilities... Late in 1997 and early 1998, some restoration work to the slate roofs and chimneys of the station building roof was undertaken" (Freeman, 1998).

The Station Master’s residence is still extant but is no longer in railway ownership.

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 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-
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-
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-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Significant railway identities-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site has historic significance as an important regional railway complex dating from 1867 that was constructed as one of the original stations along the Great Southern Railway which opened up the southwest of NSW for trade during the mid 19th century, bringing increased settlement to the local area. The Railway Refreshment Room was amongst the first group of refreshment rooms to be built in conjunction with the NSW Railways System, was the first to be built on the Southern Line and is significant for demonstrating a now defunct custom of railway accommodation. The site is significant for its continuity of use for over 150 years and remains as a model example of an early 20th century railway yard layout that has continued to evolve in line with changes in railway design and technology
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The station buildings at Mittagong, and to a lesser extent the wider railway precinct, are associated with Engineer-in-Chief of the NSW Railways, John Whitton, who is known as the 'father of the NSW Railways'. The construction of the Great Southern Line was one of Whitton’s earliest and greatest achievements during his long career.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The place has aesthetic significance as a fine group of Victorian Georgian style buildings that remain substantially intact and are an important civic landmark.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The site is of social significance to the local community on account of its lengthy association for providing an important source of employment, trade and social interaction for the local area. The site is significant for its ability to contribute to the local community’s sense of place, is a distinctive feature of the daily life of many community members, and provides a connection to the local community’s past.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The goods shed dates from 1867 and is one of the oldest remaining goods sheds in NSW, and a rare example of a through-shed.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The station building is classified as a ‘Type 3’ second-class station building and is one of the earliest examples of approximately 40 other similar station buildings constructed across NSW. The signal box, small timber waiting room and footbridge built in 1919 are good examples of typical structures built for duplication works across the state. The site has representative significance for its collection of railway structures including the weighbridge and 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 many other railway sites across the state.

The footbridge was identified as an item of high heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The Mittagong Station footbridge is a good representative example of a c.1914 design featuring a steel riveted through warren truss (although not built to the 1920s). It contributes strongly to the Maitland Railway station precinct.
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.

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 Study1999SRA288State Rail Authority  No
S170 Register Update Project2009 ARTC/ ORH  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes
Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy 2016 NSW Government Architect’s Office Heritage Group  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenJ.M. Cottee2004Stations on the track: selected New South Wales country railway stations
WrittenMcKillop, R2009NSW Railways (RailCorp) Thematic History
WrittenPeter Freeman PL1998Mittagong Railway Station Precinct Conservation Management Plan

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: 4806288


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