Tarana Railway Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Tarana Railway Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Tarana Railway Precinct
Other name/s: Rydal, Sodwalls
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Tarana Road, Tarana, NSW 2787
Local govt. area: Lithgow


TBCThe classification boundary is a line running parallel with the tracks on the north side behind the 1916 station building, extending east until the road underpass then turning south across the tracks and then west along a line behind the station residence boundary to a point approximately 30m past the west end of the platform and turning north to meet the northern boundary.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Tarana RoadTaranaLithgow  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Tarana Railway Precinct is of state significance as a rare, partly intact, example of a combined railway station/ office/ residence, similar to only five other stations in the state. The 1872 station building is a fine example of a Victorian railway building with original fabric and fine detailing typical of the period, with later alterations complimenting the original structure. The station precinct including the timber waiting shed, signal box, water tank, footbridge, crane and water column collectively demonstrate widespread 19th and early 20th century railway customs, activities and design in NSW. The structures form a cohesive group demonstrating the station layout following duplication during 1916. The group remains largely intact, the only significant element missing being the former goods shed.
Date significance updated: 27 Nov 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.


Physical description: STRUCTURES - Managed by John Holland
Combined Station/Residence - type 1, brick with extensions (1872)
Signal Box - type F, timber, skillion roof (1916)
Footbridge - steel warren truss (1917)

Waiting Shed - type 11, timber (1915)
Platforms, station lighting and signs

OTHER ITEMS - Managed by John Holland
Water tank - type 1, cast-iron, up platform (1907)
Water Column (1907)
Dock Platform

The main station building is in good condition with some later sympathetic alterations and additions to the original building. The first section of the structure was built without a platform awning. The building has been extended by infilling the original front verandah and providing a new platform awning and extending the residence significantly at the rear.

The building features painted brick walls with a hipped and gabled roof clad in corrugated iron with three brick chimneys featuring brick cowls. Two gable ends face onto the platform and one gable to the rear yard all featuring fretted barge boards. The awning structure to the front platform features simple timber posts. The residence part of the building features a side verandah with a small gable and timber finial marking the entrance. Fenestration comprises timber double hung sash windows.

A standard one-room structure with corrugated iron gabled roof extending to form an awning on the Up platform. Clad in weatherboard typical of similar structures introduced at other locations as part of duplication works early in the century.

This is a small modest skillion roof, timber weatherboard clad box typical of similar structures introduced at other locations as part of duplication works early in the century. This is a variation from the standard design with the awning extending to one side rather than to the continuation of the roof slope on the platform side.

The different platform faces indicate the growth of the station by the stages of construction and the variations in material used. Platform 1 (1872?) is a straight side platform of brick construction, with asphalt and gravel surface. Coping has been raised in concrete. Platform 2 (1915?) is a straight side platform made of brick, with asphalt and gravel surface, brick coping. It is not in use. There is also a brick terminal platform (1872?), not is use, gravel surface, brick coping.

A steel warren truss constructed using Lanarkshire and Dorman Long Steel. The use of an overhead footbridge in a country location indicates the importance of the site, partly as a junction station. The footbridge adds a strong visual link to the precinct enhancing the intactness of the complex.

These items in this particular situation add significance to the complex and are good representative examples.

Iron rail fence posts throughout
Several galvanised farm gates
Timber and iron window hoods
Concrete and cast iron door thresholds/boot scrapers
Station signs – freestanding timber platform signs with painted “Tarana” lettering on iron rail or galvanised posts and several wall-mounted signs
Wrought iron and timber platform bench
Green steel light shade on pedestrian footbridge
Fitted timber benches in waiting shed
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
All structures appear generally to be in moderate condition
Date condition updated:27 Nov 09
Current use: Operational railway station- used for Countrylink passenger services
Former use: Junction railway station and goods yard


Historical notes: Tarana is located on the Main Western line between Lithgow and Bathurst, at the junction of the now closed Oberon branch line. The single line opened from Rydal to Locksley on 22 April 1872. The line was duplicated from Sodwalls to Tarana in 1916.

Tarana station opened on 22 April 1872 when the combined station/residence at Tarana was constructed. A goods shed, now demolished, was constructed in 1875.

Changes to the railway station at Tarana since 1872 include the loop and platform (extended 1899), reservoir constructed at Fish River and 45kL tank and water column erected (1907), platform extended (1910), night officer’s house constructed (1912), signal box and out-of-shed constructed (1916), footbridge constructed (1917), ash pits provided (1918), station buildings altered for new Oberon branch line (1923), coal stage of 50-tonne capacity constructed (1924), ash pit extended (1938), new ash pit and water pumping plant electrified (1955), new concrete and steel loading bank erected (1965) (Forsyth, 2009).

The station closed on 26 May 1989.

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 Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Servicing the pastoral industry-
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 Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Provision of railway water supplies-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site has historic significance demonstrating late 19th and early 20th century development of the NSW railways. The combined office/residence from the opening of the line at Tarana in 1872 demonstrates the layout of a late 19th century railway station and the past custom of providing accommodation for railway staff.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The place has aesthetic significance as a railway station that demonstrates railway design in the 1870s. The 1872 station building is a fine example of a Victorian railway building with original fabric and fine detailing typical of the period, with later alterations complimenting the original structure. The station precinct forms an attractive grouping of railway structures.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The place has social significance to the local community on account of its long history, providing an important source of employment, trade and social interaction for the local community. The site 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 tangible connection to the local community’s past.
SHR Criteria f)
The place has rarity significance as a combined office/residence and is one of only five similar structures remaining in NSW, with other examples at Blayney, Georges Plains, Quirindi and Rydal. The station group forms one of the most intact station complexes surviving from the early period of railway construction in NSW.

The water tank is relatively rare being only one of a few cast-iron tanks extant in NSW.
SHR Criteria g)
The place has representative significance for its collection of railway structures, including the waiting shed, signal box, footbridge, water tank and water column, 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.
Integrity/Intactness: The station group including the station buildings/ residence, platforms, signal box, and waiting shed 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 Study1999 State 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
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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(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: 4806792

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.

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