Queanbeyan Railway Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Queanbeyan Railway Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Queanbeyan Railway Precinct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Henderson Road, Queanbeyan, NSW 2620
Parish: Queanbeyan
County: Murray
Local govt. area: Queanbeyan


The listing boundary commences at the north end of the Burbong River Bridge and runs parallel to the viaduct on each side. On the western side of the station the boundary follows the top of the embankment, crossing the road bridge and then turning across the tracks, returning north at the back of the platform then turning towards the east to include the parking area and residence and following the property boundary until reaching the viaduct.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Henderson RoadQueanbeyanQueanbeyanQueanbeyanMurrayPrimary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Queanbeyan Railway Precinct is of state significance as a late Victorian period railway precinct that remains relatively intact and includes several original items from the 1880s including the 1885 roadside station building and c1887 Station Master’s residence. The station building is particularly significant, being a fine example of a Victorian first class station building. The station building is the largest and most ornate of the station buildings on the Bombala Line, signifying Queanbeyan as an important location in Southern NSW, even prior to the declaration of Canberra as the nation's capital.
Date significance updated: 28 Jul 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.


Builder/Maker: Joseph Jordan
Construction years: 1887-1926
Physical description: MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by RailCorp
Station building - type 5, first class brick station building (1887), and brick platform
Signal box - weatherboard signal box with skillion roof (1920s)
Platforms (1887 and 2016)

MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by John Holland
Station Master’s residence - 43 Henderson Road (1887)
Signal Frame - F-frame signal cabin with flat roof and hardiplank boards

OTHER ITEMS - Managed by John Holland
Turntable (1926), water column, water tank, small gangers shed. Remnant siding at end of platform contains decaying timber buffer stop.

Queanbeyan is the largest and most elaborate station building on the Bombala Line. The station buildings at Queanbeyan present as a symmetrical layout and elevation, with a central waiting room with two single storey structures to either side connected by small pavilions. The plan of the station features a central waiting room flanked by a kitchen, storeroom, refreshment room and dining room to one side; and a Station Master’s office, parcels room, ladies waiting room and bathrooms to the other side. Modern female bathroom. Station seems to be recently painted in ESE 010 (R52) scheme (2015).

The station buildings are constructed of brick with a painted finish and quoining to building corners. The roofs are gabled and clad in corrugated iron with corbelled brick chimneys and gable vents. The main building features a transverse gable to each end. Gable ends feature decorative timber barge boards with central circular vents and a group of three arched windows below. The platform and rear verandahs have timber posts with curved iron brackets. Timber panelled French doors and timber double hung sash windows have moulded surrounds. Some early ‘jelly bean’ glazing to windows. Older style lantern light fitting to front façade. SRA locks in doors. Original door knobs/handles present.

Waiting room contains fireplace, fitted historic seats, patterned ceiling with ornate ceiling rose and deep cornice/architrave. Strip modern lighting unsympathetic. Commemorative plaque installed 1987 (in waiting room).

PLATFORMS (1887 and 2016)
Straight side platform with unused back dock platform at the east end. Original 1887 sections have brick retaining walls, laid in English bond, with a battered profile; the east end of the main platform terminates in a ramp with a brick coping; the central section of the main platform has been raised for level access and has a modern concrete deck and straight concrete coping – bases of the original awning posts are partially buried in the concrete deck; a small lever bay is associated with a former signal box on the platform. A 2016 extension at the western end of the main platform is a steel post and precast concrete panel retaining wall, with a concrete cantilever coping, concrete deck, vertical end wall and asphalt surface; it replaces an earlier precast concrete post and panel platform in the same location; concrete finishes of the 2016 retaining wall were designed to reflect and interpret the appearance of the earlier retaining wall. There is modern seating, benches and light poles on the platform. Door step grates present to buildings from platform side.

Perimeter fencing is made from rails. General entry surrounds contains plantings which contribute to the entry setting. Some garden feature surrounds are old railing.

The two signalling structures are simple square structures with single pitch roofs clad in corrugated iron and timber framed walls clad in weatherboard (1920s) or hardiplank.

The brick Station Master’s residence features a standard L-shaped plan with symmetrical front facade with full width verandah, a hipped roof clad in corrugated iron, and corbelled brick chimneys. Reportedly leased and occupied (2015).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good condition. 2015: Station exterior generally in good condition.
Date condition updated:26 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: Part of goods yard transferred to Council for community use c1999
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Queanbeyan is located along the Bombala Line. Construction contract for the Bungendore to Michelago section was awarded to Alex Johnston on 27 May 1884. The single line from Bungendore to Queanbeyan opened on 8 September 1887.

Queanbeyan Station was located in the Oaks Paddock, two kilometres from the town centre, in order to avoid the demolition of the local hospital and cemetery. Construction of the station building, Station Master’s residence, and Gatekeeper’s cottage were let to a Joseph Jordan on 12 July 1886. The station building was officially opened September 1887 and it is likely that the Station Master’s and Gatekeeper’s residences were completed the same year.

The construction of the Bombala Line and Queanbeyan Station took place in a deteriorating economic climate and in a period of growing concern over the lavish expenditure on railways. Queanbeyan was one of only four first class stations built in NSW between 1884 and 1890. This was a reflection of the importance of the town as a regional centre.

The passenger platform was built on the Down (south) side of the railway line, with a carriage dock at the Sydney (east) end of the platform and a crossing loop and stock loop siding on the Up (north) side. A plan of the station dating to 1913 shows that the platform originally stopped around 20 metres west of the station building. A large water tank was located just beyond the western end of the platform.

In 1924, Queanbeyan Council asked the NSW Railway Commissioners to extend the railway station, as passengers often had to alight from carriages past the platform (Queanbeyan Age and Queanbeyan Observer 3 June 1924:2). By 1927, plans for the extension of the platform had been approved, but no action had been taken due to a lack of funds (Sydney Morning Herald February 1927:12). A 1940 photograph of the station shows the platform extension completed in the precast concrete post and panel style, and the water tank removed. This extension was later demolished (in 2016) due to severe deterioration of the reinforced concrete and replaced with a new steel post and concrete panel structure in the same location; the current platform extension was designed to reflect and interpret the appearance of the earlier concrete post and panel style, which was in turn based on the appearance of timber platform antecedents. The original brick platform and eastern dock are extant.

Other major additions and other changes to the railway precinct/yard at Queanbeyan included alterations to the parcels office and refreshment room (1890), an office erected for the Sub-Inspector of Per Way (1891), small loading bank provided (1891), engine shed built (1896), gantry crane installed (1903) unloading bank built, and laying in a siding for unloading materials for the Canberra Branch railway line (1913), crossing laid in to Canberra Branch and locomotive water supply increased by 810kL (1924), ash pit built (1927), 60’ turntable transferred from Nimmitabel to Queanbeyan (1926), portable workshop provided for the rail motor fitters (1950), siding laid in for stabling of 2-car diesel trains (1952), refreshment rooms closed (1956), renewing goods shed stage in steel and concrete (1963), additional shelter over goods shed stage erected (1961), and rest house closed (1974) (Forsyth, 2008). The platform was partially raised in c1994 to accommodate Xplorer high speed railcar services.

The station ceased to be attended in 1993, however the Australian Railway Historical Society (ACT Branch) operated a Queanbeyan Countrylink ticketing agency out of the former Station Master's Office from 1994 until 2016. The station is still a regular stop Xplorer services to Canberra and occasional heritage steam train services. Freight trains services to Queanbeyan ceased in 2010.

A public level crossing at Crest Road was abolished on 18 December 1955. A Gatekeeper’s residence at Crest Road is still located to the west of the station, 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 Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods Railway Workshops-
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 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 settlement-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The place has historic significance demonstrating the late 19th century development of the NSW railways. The site includes several items dating from the opening of the line at Queanbeyan in 1887 and has significance demonstrating the layout of a late 19th Century railway station. The station building as the largest and most ornate station on the line is particularly significant in demonstrating the importance of Queanbeyan as an important location in Southern NSW, even prior to the declaration of Canberra as the national capital.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The site has aesthetic significance as a railway precinct that retains several original items that demonstrate railway design in the 1880s. The 1887 station building is a fine example of a Victorian first class station building with fabric and fine detailing typical of the period. The 1887 Station Master’s residence is a good example of a standard Victorian railway residence.
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 g)
The station building has representative significance as a fine example of a first class station building, similar in design to other station designs from this period in NSW. Other items including the Station Master’s residence, signal box, signal frame, gangers shed, turntable, water column and water tank, demonstrate widespread late 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 group including the station building and Station Master's residence, platform, signal box, signal frame, turntable, water column and water tank have a high level of integrity. The gangers shed has a moderate level of integrity.
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 Study1999SRA293State 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
WrittenAustralian Museum Consulting2015Precast Concrete Post and Panel Platforms: Comparative Analysis and Heritage Conservation Strategy
WrittenJohn H Forsyth2009NSW Railway Stations - An Alphabetical Arrangement of Railway Station and Place 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: 4806293

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