Tarago Railway Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Tarago Railway Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Tarago Railway Precinct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: , Tarago, NSW 2580
Parish: Mulwaree
County: Argyle
Local govt. area: Goulburn Mulwaree


The listing boundary is the area immediately around the station building and platform for a distance of approximately 10 metres and the property boundary of the residence.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
 TaragoGoulburn MulwareeMulwareeArgylePrimary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Tarago Railway Precinct is of state significance as a significant Victorian period railway precinct that retains several original or early items from the 1880s including the 1884 roadside station building and the c1884 goods shed. The extant railway buildings and structures form an important landmark for the small town at Tarago and are important elements within the wider townscape. The station building and goods shed are good representative examples of a series of similar items located on the Main Southern Line and on the Bombala Line.
Date significance updated: 19 Jun 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.


Builder/Maker: G & C Horn
Construction years: 1884-1938
Physical description: MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by RailCorp
Station Building - type 4, standard roadside third class brick (1884), including 2 lavatory blocks
Signal Box - type Q, non-elevated fibro (1938)

MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by John Holland
Goods Shed - type 3 (1884)

The building is simply planned with central waiting room flanked by SM office and ticket office with parcels at one end of the building and ladies waiting at the other. he station, identical to that at Bungendore and several other towns, consists of a main building flanked by two smaller buildings at either end. The station buildings are constructed of brick with a painted finish and feature gabled roofs clad in corrugated iron with corbelled brick chimneys. Roof sheeting is new and in good condition with inspection hooks (2015). The central building features a rear porch entry to the central room which is marked by a transverse gable. Gable ends feature decorative timber barge boards and timber finials. The platform verandah has a decorative timber valance and is supported on timber posts with curved iron brackets. Timber sash windows have moulded surrounds and sills. Some windows boarded up at street side of building. Paint scheme is R52 Terracotta (good condition 2015). SRA SL locks on locks. Door foot scrape / grates present on platform side.

The brick platform also dates from 1884. Straight side platform with asphalt and concrete surface, coping has been raised in concrete. The asphalt surface is modern. Platform approaches (lower ends) have brick coping. Modern signage, seating and bins.

Electrical post adjacent to station building is made of rails.

The signal box is a simple square structure with a hipped roof clad in corrugated iron and timber framed walls clad in fibro. Signal box contains equipment.

The goods shed is a large rectangular structure with a gabled roof clad in corrugated iron extending to form awnings on either side of the building. The awnings are supported on timber brackets. The building is timber framed with corrugated iron wall cladding. A small weatherboard office wing is clad in weatherboard. The structure features a large timber platform and timber sliding doors with diagonal boarding.

Wooden post and rail fencing present (recently renewed 2015) sympathetic to station. Entrance gates are country style with rail posts.

Reproduction heritage-style lamp posts on platform
Cast iron and concrete door thresholds and boot scrapers
Original and early door and window hardware (locks, handles, sash locks and lifts etc)
Signal levers
“Tarago” incised timber platform benches
Wall-mounted intercom and associated signage
Timber door thresholds
Galvanised water tanks and stands
Iron rail power poles
Metal wall chute with flap
Recent timber post and rail fencing
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Generally good condition.
Date condition updated:26 Nov 09
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Tarago Station is located along the Bombala Line which opened as a single line from Joppa Junction to Tarago on 3 January 1884. The construction contract for the Joppa Junction to Bungendore section was awarded to W S Topham & J Angus (tramway contractors) on 3 October 1882 (Forsyth, 1991).

The contract for construction of a station building, Station Master’s residence, and goods shed is recorded as being let to G & C Horn on 17 December 1883 and Tarago as being officially opened on 3 January 1884. The exact date that the station building and other original buildings were completed is unclear, but it is likely that it was much later than the official opening of January 1884. Either that or the construction of the station buildings began earlier than December 1883. The 83.8 metre long platform, station building, goods shed, and sidings were constructed on the Down (east) side, with the trucking yards situated on the Up side (Forsyth, 1991).

The building at Tarago is a five room example of a standard roadside station. This size of structure was allocated usually to urban areas with excess of 3,000 residents. The Tarago building, as well as those at Bungendore and Queanbeyan, reflect either large urban populations or, more likely, very powerful or influential residents in the region exercising strong political pressure on governments.

Major additions and changes at Tarago included alterations to the loop siding for conversion to a siding to service cattle yards (1891), provision of a cart weighbridge (1893), postal services accommodation constructed (1899), erection of a gantry crane and platform asphalt (1902), conversion of the stockyard siding into a loop (1911), improvements to stockyards (1914), additional siding accommodation at stockyards (1920), rest house transferred from Dunedoo re-erected at Tarago, kitchen and toilet added (1925), trucking yards modified (1940), and the stockyards removed in 1989 (Forsyth, 1991; Forsyth, 2008).

Tarago was closed to goods traffic in c1989 but remains a stopover for passenger trains on the Canberra to Sydney XPT service. The station buildings have since undergone some minor repair and conservation works (c1994).

The Station Master’s residence is still extant to the north of the station, but is privately owned.

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 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 site has historic significance through its ability to demonstrate the late 19th Century development of the NSW railways. The site includes several items dating from the opening of the line at Tarago in 1884 and demonstrates the layout of a late 19th Century railway precinct.
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 1884 station building is a fine example of a Victorian third class roadside station building with fabric and fine detailing typical of the period. The railway buildings, structures and the site are important elements within the wider townscape of Tarago. The station building is identical to several other stations, including nearby Bungendore. Tarago's station contributes to the continuity of architectural style of railway station buildings. The station is an important landmark feature of this small town.
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 third class, brick standard roadside station building, similar in design to station buildings at Bungendore, Michelago and other locations in NSW. The goods shed is also a good representative example of a standard late 19th century goods shed. The collection of buildings demonstrate widespread late 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 group including the station building, platforms, goods shed and signal box have a high 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 Study1999SRA298State 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. Forsyth1991Stations and tracks: Southern branch lines: V3A
WrittenSheedy, D.1996 Repair report on Tarago station building

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: 4806298

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