Emu Plains Railway Station group | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Heritage

Emu Plains Railway Station group

Item details

Name of item: Emu Plains Railway Station group
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Location: Lat: -33.7454963352 Long: 150.6724483440
Primary address: Main Western railway, Emu Plains, NSW 2750
Local govt. area: Penrith
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin

Boundary:

North: RailCorp property boundary to Mackellar Street; South: RailCorp property boundary to Station Street South (excluding commuter carpark, but including the residence's garden); West: RailCorp property boundary to Old Bathurst Road (excluding underbridge); East: 5 metres from the end of platforms.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Main Western railwayEmu PlainsPenrith  Primary Address
Railway RowEmu PlainsPenrith  Alternate Address
Mackellar StreetEmu PlainsPenrith  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government27 Oct 98

Statement of significance:

Emu Plains Railway Station is of state significance as an early station dating from 1884 marking an important location in the development of the railway at the foot of the ascent of the Blue Mountains. The 1884 station building, combining a Station Master's residence and station offices, is an excellent example of a Victorian era Gothic Revival style railway building representing the prosperity and architectural achievement at the time. The building is one of only three extant Metropolitan examples demonstrating the former custom of providing accommodation for railway staff within the same building as the station facilities. Although other earlier associated structures have been removed from the place, the station remains as an important landmark in the locality. The mature trees around the station group enhance its streetscape presentation and landmark quality.
Date significance updated: 26 Oct 10
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: NSW Government Railways
Builder/Maker: Private contractor, M. Reed et al
Construction years: 1884-1907
Physical description: LANDSCAPE FEATURES
Rows of mature trees, possibly dating from the early 1900s, are located along the eastern part of thegroup's southern boundary and may have some landscape value. On the southern side of the complex and tracks towards Railway Row, these include three mature jacarandas (J.mimosifolia), a large mature camphor laurel (Cinnamommum camphora), several mature river or she-oaks (Casuarina cunninghamiana), a Queensland black bean or native chestnut (Castanospermum australe) further away in the car parking area, white cedar (Melia azederach var.australasica)(Stuart Read, pers.comm., 7/2015).

The northern boundary comprises 2013 all-native plantings (Stuart Read, pers.comm., 12/2017).

BUILDINGS
Station Building & Residence - Platform 2, type 1 (1884)
Ticket Machine Shelter - Platform 1 (c2008)

STRUCTURES
2 x platforms, roadside, brick & concrete faced (1884 & 1907)
Footbridge, prestressed concrete girder (1990)

STATION BUILDING & RESIDENCE (1884)
Exterior: Emu Plains station building is a Victorian Gothic Revival style building combining the station office and Station Master's residence upstairs. Constructed of face brick with stone detailing the building presents two-storey to the platforms and three-storey to the street.

Distinctive features include a steep parapeted gabled slate roof along width with front & rear transverse parapeted gable at the centre over the upper floor of the residence, two medieval-style chimneys to ground floor wings, stone parapet and gable capping, stone label mould throughout, fretted motif to front & rear gable ends with decorative round gable vent to front, and a pitched corrugated metal verandah supported on decorative cast iron columns along the platform facade. A faceted window bay to the basement and ground floor levels with slate pitched roof and moulded top dominates the eastern end of the building. Eastern gable ends of the main roof feature a rectangular gable vent with stone lintel and sill.

The platform (north) elevation of the building retains its original fenestration with some modifications to the central window and two door openings. Changes include conversion of the central window with sidelights into a ticket window with aluminium frames and frosted glass to sidelights, the adjoining door opening to the west has also been converted into a ticket window with roller shutter, and the door to the eastern room has been replaced. The three-storey rear (south) elevation of the building presents a secondary and more ancillary elevation with all original window and door openings clearly visible, some bricked in and some converted into smaller window openings. New small windows openings are also evident.

The Station Master's residence is accessed via a concrete stair with half-arched string from the rear.

Interior: The building generally retains its original floor layout with minor changes, and is currently undergoing significant restoration and repair works in particular to the residence. The station offices have been refurbished at some time however they still feature some original detailing such as timber board ceiling linings, ceiling rose to main office, lath & plaster ceilings with later ceiling panels.

All internal features of the Station Master's residence have been stripped-off with all structural elements essentially being exposed. The basement level features a series of semi-circular arches between the spaces, and timber beam and joist ceiling to ground floor supported with additional steel beams for structural stability, face brickwork to walls, kitchen fireplace, and exposed service pipes. The layout of the ground floor of the residence remains in its original configuration with some of the fireplace timber surrounds and custom orb metal ceiling and lath & plaster ceilings with ceiling rose surviving. All internal door and window joinery has been removed. A timber staircase with turned timber newel posts and square balusters provides access to the upper floor of the residence. Walls of the staircase are clad with later unsympathetic timber boards which extends into the majority of the upper floor rooms. Original lath & plaster ceiling is visible where the plaster is damaged or removed. No original fittings remain.

TICKET MACHINE SHELTER (c2008)
A face brick shelter with corrugated metal gabled roof with round gable motif, reflecting the original station building, is located at the western end of Platform 1 just off the platform stairs and exit to Mackellar Street. The platform and stair sides are open with a corrugated metal steel framed awning along the platform elevation. It provides shelter to the ticket machine.

PLATFORMS 1 & 2 (1884 & 1907)
Both platforms are roadside platforms with brick faces on the bottom half and concrete faces on the upper half indicating raised platform levels. The concrete decks of the platforms are finished with asphalt. Platform 1 was constructed in 1907 as part of the duplication of the Western rail line. An earlier steel shelter dating c1994 is located on Platform 2 to the west of the station building. A new canopy with steel supports and awning frame is currently under construction along Platform 1. Modern aluminium palisade fencing, timber bench seating, lighting and security and safety equipment are the other features of the platforms.

On the northern (McKellar Street) side of the Up Platform are 11 jacaranda (J.mimosifolia) trees possibly dating to the early 1900s (Angophora Consulting Arborist, Report dated 20/9/2013).

FOOTBRIDGE (1990)
The existing footbridge with stairs to each platform was constructed in 1990 and is a typical pre-stressed concrete girder footbridge. Plain metal balustrades provide safety along both sides of the footbridge and the stairs.

MOVEABLE ITEMS
An early safe with asset number 218 (similar to Ajax manufacturing safes in size and material) is located in the station office.

POTENTIAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL FEATURES
There are no visible evidence of earlier structures/station building on the site and given consideration to the changes made over the years it is unlikely any remnants of these structures would survive. The site has low archaeological potential.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station Building & Residence - The building generally is in good condition.

Ticket machine Shelter - It is in very good condition owing to its relatively new structure.

Platforms - Both platforms are in good condition.

Footbridge - It is in good condition with no evidence of structural issues.
Date condition updated:02 Jul 14
Modifications and dates: 1907 - A second side platform was built
c1994 - A steel shelter shed on the second platform erected
2008-09 - Substantial refurbishment and restoration works to Station Master's residence, construction of lifts on both ends of the footbridge, and erection of new steel canopy along Platform 1.
Further information: RAIL SIDING
Remnants of the ex rail line to the gravel quarry is located on Mackellar Street further to the east of the Emu Plains station. The siding is no longer within the RailCorp property boundaries and is not included in this listing.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Aboriginal land, town lot, Railway Station

History

Historical notes: Emu Plains:
The township of Emu was renamed Emu Plains in 1882. It was on the Great Western Road (later Highway) from Sydney over the Blue Mountains to Bathurst and had several inns between the Nepean River and the foot of Lapstone Hill from the 1830s. (Moppett/BMACHO, 2015, 1).

Emu Plains may have been named for the sighting of emus on the river flats, in the late 1700s or may have originated from soldier Captain Watkin Tench in his early exploration of part of the region. The name Emu Plains came into use around 1814. The Government Farm was established here in 1819 by Governor Macquarie, where convicts cleared land and cultivated wheat, maize, tobacco and other crops for 13 years. The town of Emu was surveyed for settlers in the early 1830s. By this time a road had been established across the Blue Mountains to the Bathurst plains and more land was being sought for expansion of Sydney town. The convict farm was officially closed in 1832 and the land sold.

The Nepean River was first crossed by the ford and the Emu ferry. The challenge to bridge the river was thwarted several times by significant floods which occurred regularly. The final bridge which met the challenge was the Victoria Bridge, a road/rail structure. This was given over to road traffic only in 1907, when a new railway bridge opened.

Emu Plains Railway Station:
The single Main Western Rail Line was opened in 1867 and duplicated from Penrith West in 1907, in conjunction with the opening of the existing double track bridge over the Nepean River. The Emu Plains Railway Station opened in 1868 on the south side of the Bathurst Road. It is a two storey structure with the station master's residence upstairs. It is one of teh oldest railway stations in Australia. A Victorian Gothic Revival style building, it is one of only three remaining metropolitan expamples (with Fairfield and Riverstone) of the early custom of providing accommodation for railway staff within the same building as the station facilties, and is the only two storey metropolitan example (Moppett, in BMACHO, 12/2015, 13).

In 1882, the NSW Government Railways decided to relocate the station site and abandoned the 1868 building. NSWGR erected the existing two-storey structure in 1884, which combines both station offices and the Station Master's residence. A telegraph office was opened at the station a year later.

The building has undergone various internal modifications. The railway line from Penrith was electrified in 1956.

A second side platform was built in 1907 but the original waiting shed was replaced in 1978 with a concrete block structure, which has also been removed. There is also a steel shelter shed on the second platform dating from c1994.

The two side platforms are connected by an overhead pedestrian bridge built in 1990.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Gardens-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Other open space-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. River flats-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Introduce cultural planting-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes and parklands of distinctive styles-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of institutions - productive and ornamental-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Developing local landmarks-
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 Railway Station-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Early land grants-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses - from rural to suburban-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Resuming private lands for public purposes-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Early farming (Cattle grazing)-
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 19th Century Infrastructure-
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 Impact of railways on suburban development-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - building and administering rail networks-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - building and operating public infrastructure-
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. Landscaping - Federation period-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Emu Plains station group is of historical significance as an early railway station dating from 1884 and as an important location in the development of the railway marking the foot of the ascent of the Blue Mountains.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The station building combining a Station Master's residence and station offices is an excellent example of a Victorian Gothic Revival style building featuring face brickwork, fretted motifs to gable ends, stone quoins to the openings, medieval-style chimneys, stone capping and mouldings.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The place has the potential to contribute to the local community's sense of place and can provide a connection to the local community's history.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Emu Plains station group has research significance for its ability to provide physical evidence of Victorian era type 1 (subtype 3) combined residence and office station buildings. It also provides evidence of the defunct custom of providing accommodation for railway employees.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Emu Plains station building, together with Fairfield and Riverstone, is one of three Metropolitan examples of combined residences/offices station buildings (type 1), and is the only two-storey Metropolitan example of this type.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The station group is a representative example of late Victorian period railway stations, demonstrating characteristics and architectural quality as well as prosperity in the railway development. The Gothic Revival station building is an excellent example of its style.
Integrity/Intactness: The station building is intact externally. It is also relatively intact internally, and although the majority of its finishes have been removed it retains the original floor layout and structural floor and ceiling elements.
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:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0113602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     
Local Environmental PlanPenrith LEP 1991EP-1020 Dec 91   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Penrith Valley Heritage Drive View detail
WrittenMoppett, Patsy2015'Emu Plains Railway Station and Stationmaster's Residence'
WrittenMoppett, Patsy (ed.), Heritage: newsletter of the Blue Mountains Association of Cultural Heritage Organisations Inc., May-June 2015, Issue 382015'Former Australian Arms Inn, Emu Plains Post Office' View detail

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

rez
(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5012003
File number: EF14/5160; H00/00123, 11/17198


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