Bathurst Railway Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Bathurst Railway Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Bathurst Railway Precinct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Havannah Street, Bathurst, NSW 2795
Parish: Bathurst
County: Bathurst
Local govt. area: Bathurst Regional

Boundary:

The listing boundary is formed by a line running parallel to the rear of the down platform crossing the line to the north of the end of the station, returning in a westerly direction to intersect the rear boundary of the station master's residence then turning north along that boundary to Havannah St then heading west along Havannah St to Piper St then following the rail property boundary south to the far side of the Rocket St overbridge then across the tracks to meet the rail property boundary on the southern side of the tracks. Please note this site is listed on the State Heritage Register (SHR) for which the curtilage may differ – see image gallery for more information. Any proposed development within the vicinity of the listed site should also consider the historic relationship between the listing and its surrounding area.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Havannah StreetBathurstBathurst RegionalBathurstBathurstPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Bathurst Railway Precinct is of state significance as a major country railway precinct in NSW that contains a substantial first-class station building, residence and important workshop group with a range of related railway structures. The 1876 station building is a unique Victorian Tudor style railway building and is a fine example of a first-class railway station building with original fabric and fine detailing typical of the period. The scale and detailing of the building reflects the importance of Bathurst as the largest city west of the Blue Mountains. The station is located at the end of Keppel St, one of the main streets of Bathurst and the buildings form a significant civic group in the town of Bathurst, particularly with the location of the residences and Engineer's Office in Havannah St and the orientation of the station building to the town. The station has rarity significance as the design of Bathurst station building is unique to any other building on the NSW rail system. The site is also significant for its association with Ben Chifley, former Prime Minister of Australia, whose early career and education at Bathurst Railway Precinct were instrumental in shaping his trade union and Labor politics.
Date significance updated: 02 Feb 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

Construction years: 1875-1876
Physical description: Extant items within (and outside) the existing curtilage includes:
BUILDINGS- Managed by RailCorp
Station Building - type 5, brick, first class passenger station (1876)
Platform 1 (1876, modified 1897, 1911, 1935, 1947)
Movable

BUILDINGS- Managed by John Holland
Waiting Shed - type 11, timber duplication building (1914)
Station Master’s Residence - type 4, brick two-storey (1880)
Residences on Havannah and Keppel Sts - timber (stores branch office) (c1902)

OTHER ITEMS- Managed by John Holland
Platform 2 (1947?)
Subway
Forecourt and landscaped approach to station entrance
Weighbridge
Signal Box
Goods shed
Various additional structures

OTHER ITEMS - Privately Owned
Water Reservoir

STATION BUILDING (1876)
The main building is an outstanding example of a first class station building. The single storey rendered brick building is Victorian Tudor in style with two gabled wings projecting forward towards the forecourt with stuccoed quoins and a facetted bay window. The gabled bays feature curvilinear shaped parapets with the 1876 construction date prominently displayed on each of the gables, on top of which is a finial. The roof is clad in slate with gablet vents and octagonal coupled chimneys.

The original building, now extended, was symmetrical with a verandah to the street side supported on paired decorative timber columns and prominent decorative brackets The central section of the building between the wings, has stuccoed window and door surrounds. The platform side has been altered with the addition of a new awning on cantilevered brackets, built at the time of the northern extension to the building for refreshment rooms and luggage. The main station building is on the axis of one of the major roads in Bathurst and is a key visual element in the city.

PLATFORMS
Platform 1 (1876): Platform originally brickwork laid in English bond, with a battered profile and sandstone coping. Evidence of arch foundations showing above ballast in some areas. Platform has been extended to City end at least twice: in sandstone, then steel rail post and brick panels. Original brick and later stone sections have been raised in brick. Stone section also has partial concrete cantilever coping. Impact damage to brickwork at Country end caused by trackwork machine - major horizontal cracking along wall and dislodgement of bricks. Long lever bay near City end, in good condition.

Platform 2 (1947?): Platform originally steel rail post and beam with brick infill panels laid in English garden bond. Grass growing on former gravel surface along much of platform. White marble gravel probably laid on platform from 1970s, but is no longer maintained. Previously brown granite chips. Some evidence of soluble salts on brickwork but no major damage. Small garden beds with bush rock borders, plantings have been changed from exotics to natives in recent years. Not in use. Managed by John Holland.
SITE FEATURES
- Fixed early timber waiting room benches
- Gooseneck lamps
- Maroon ceramic bubbler
- Plaque for volunteers from Bathurst for various wars – listed war and departure dates from Bathurst
- Various early signage
- Bathurst early station name sigange
- Extant timber rail fence
- ‘Chifley Engine’ 5112 locomotive display with signal post, interpretive signage and plaque (Bathurst Regional Council)

WAITING SHED (1914)
The waiting shed on the Down platform dates from 1916 and is a simple weatherboard shed, in juxtaposition to the grand building on the other platform.

STATION MASTER’S RESIDENCE (1880)
This is a grand two storey Gothic Revival style brick residence with a projecting gabled front bay with bay window to the ground floor surmounted with a false decorative plaster balustrade. The building is constructed from the typical red brick used throughout Bathurst. The building has rendered quoins, fretted barge boards and rendered detail around windows and doors. The verandah is supported on cast iron columns and brackets and has a bel cast roof. It is one of the best surviving station master’s residences in the State.

STORES BRANCH OFFICE - KEPPEL AND HAVANNAH STS
This is a small building now used for offices with a central doorway and 4 rooms. The building is timber with a corrugated iron roof and a return verandah on the Havannah St side, with good joinery details.

SUBWAY
The brick subway linking platforms 1 and 2 is no longer in use. It features a disused stair leading to the brick vaulted subway which passes under the tracks and a portion of the platform. Possibly constructed/ extended with line duplication in 1915.

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:

- Collection of early platform furniture of various styles
- ‘NSWTD’ Timber framed mirror
- Canvas First Aid ‘Bathurst Loco’ Stretcher
- Collection of framed historical photographs around the station
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
All structures appear generally to be in good condition apart from the subway which is in a poor condition and no longer in use.
Date condition updated:22 Jun 09
Modifications and dates: Many buildings and structures have been removed from the site at Bathurst railway precinct over time.

2012: c.1970s former sheds at Rail Fabrication Centre demolished (located outside heritage boundary)
Current use: Operational station (RailCorp) and provisioning centre (ARTC), redundant buildings leased
Former use: Station and yard

History

Historical notes: Bathurst is located on the Main Western line. The single line railway from Kelso to Bathurst was opened on 4 April 1876 and continued the same year to Blayney. Bathurst had already been established as a major centre based on large pastoral holdings and the 1850s gold rush which boosted the population of the town. Much of the civic building in Bathurst took place following the gold rush. Proposals for the first railways in NSW were largely driven by the interests of large land holders seeking improved transport for their wool from the inland centres of Bathurst, Goulburn, Muswellbrook and Singleton. The town received a sustainable boost in activity and development from the arrival of the railway which allowed the town to communicate and trade quickly and cheaply with Sydney.

Bathurst station opened on 4 April 1876 with the station building, goods shed and Divisional Engineer's office all completed in 1876. The Station Master’s residence (also completed in 1876) was a grand two-storey residence, befitting a prominent citizen of the town (Cottee, 2004).

Other early buildings included the Stores office (c1876), coal stage (relocated from Raglan in 1877), a new coal stage (1878), blacksmith’s shop (1878-1879), turntable (relocated from Rydal in 1879), depot (1879), engine shed (1881) and the West signal box (1885) (SRA, 1993; Simpson Dawbin, 2002; Cottee, 2004; Forsyth, 2008).

The workshops, established during the 1880s, started a large railway workers' community and a rail institute to educate the hundreds of workers at Bathurst. Ben Chifley, later Prime Minister of Australia, was born in Bathurst and joined the railways when he was 17, becoming the youngest First Class locomotive driver at the age of 24. In the early years of the 20th century, Chifley attended night school and extension classes at the Institute. The union meetings Chifley attended at the Institute helped to shape his trade union and Labour politics. Chifley was also one of the founders of the AFULE (the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen) (Dickson, 2009; AFULE, 2009).

Numerous changes and additions were made to the site in the late 19th century and 20th century, examples of which include the original stockyards (c1900), a wagon repair shed (1891), a new turntable (1897), platform lengthened (1897), waiting shed erected on the Down platform (1902), Down platform extended and widened (1911), line duplicated (1915) elevated coal storage (1916), refreshment room (1917), new T6 trucking yards (1927), and an additional signal box in 1944 (Simpson Dawbin, 2002; Cottee, 2004; Forsyth, 2008).

The post-war period (between 1945 and 1960) saw as many as 500 staff working at Bathurst station and yard at its peak. However, by the 1970s, changes in freight transportation and the move to diesel services resulted in the redundancy of many buildings and former functions on site and the rationalisation of many structures (Simpson Dawbin, 2002).

The refreshment room closed in 1968 and The Railway Institute in 1975. While many former buildings remain unoccupied, the former District Engineer's office is now used by the Bathurst Community College and the Station Master’s residence is occupied by a private tenant (Simpson Dawbin, 2002).

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-
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 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 settlement-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Educating people in regional locations-
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 to demonstrate the late 19th and early 20th Century development of the NSW railways. The station building dates from the opening of the line at Bathurst in 1876, and along with other related structures has the ability to provide evidence of a late 19th Century working railway precinct. The scale and detailing of the station buildings reflect the importance and size of Bathurst as the largest city west of the Blue Mountains.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The site is significant for its associations with Ben Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia, whose early career and education at Bathurst Railway Precinct were instrumental in shaping his trade union and Labor politics.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The site has aesthetic significance as a first class railway station that demonstrates railway design in the 1870s. The 1876 station building is a unique Victorian Tudor style railway building and is a fine example of a first class railway station building with original fabric and fine detailing typical of the period. The station is located at the end of Keppel St, one of the main streets of Bathurst and the buildings form a significant civic group in the town of Bathurst, particularly with the location of the residence in Havannah St and the orientation of the station building to the 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 f)
[Rarity]
The station has rarity significance as the design of Bathurst station building is unique when compared to other buildings on the NSW Railway system.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The site has representative significance for its collection of railway structures, including the SM’s residence, waiting shed, signal box, and other related items 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 many other railway sites across the state.
Integrity/Intactness: The station group including the station buildings, platforms, SM’s residence, signal box, and other structures 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.

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 Study1999SRA340State 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.M. Cottee2004Stations on the track: selected New South Wales country railway stations: an historical overview
WrittenO.H.M. Consultants2008Heritage review of Bathurst station & yard
WrittenSimpson Dawbin Associates2002Bathurst railway station precinct: heritage assessment of state rail property proposed for subdivision and disposal: volume 1
WrittenState Rail Authority of NSW1993How and why of station names

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

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(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: 4806340


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