Hawkesbury River Railway Station group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Hawkesbury River Railway Station group

Item details

Name of item: Hawkesbury River Railway Station group
Other name/s: Brooklyn Station
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Location: Lat: -33.5471412201 Long: 151.2262954190
Primary address: Main Northern railway, Brooklyn, NSW 2083
Local govt. area: Hornsby
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan

Boundary:

North: 20m north of the northern edge of the station platform; South: 20m south of the southern edge of the station platform; East: the property boundary along Brooklyn Road and Dangar Road; West: the property boundary along the water's edge.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Main Northern railwayBrooklynHornsby  Primary Address
Brooklyn RoadBrooklynHornsby  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government02 Nov 98

Statement of significance:

Hawkesbury Railway Station has State significance. The station group has an outstanding degree of aesthetic significance. It has a particularly picturesque setting on the edge of the Hawkesbury, with views over the water to the east and west and to Long Island to the north. The station affords a view of the land bridge between Brooklyn and Long Island and the portals of the current and former Long Island tunnels, providing a rare opportunity to easily view some of the technical achievements of the Short North line construction. Its waterside setting is unusual and as such it is one of the most picturesque station settings in NSW.

Hawkesbury River Station has historical associations with the construction of the Short North line in the late 1880s and the Hawkesbury River Bridge in 1889, which was a major event and a significant engineering achievement in the history of NSW railways. The station facilitated the development of Brooklyn as a settlement for workers constructing the line and the station forms part of an extensive railway landscape of outstanding significance clustered around the Hawkesbury River, which includes the Long Island tunnels and maintenance depot, the current and former Hawkesbury River railway bridges and worker accommodation in Brooklyn township.

The platform building, island platform and footbridge are representative of structures built at Sydney railway stations between 1892 and 1929 and especially the period between 1909 and 1917. The station building is a good representative example of its type due to its high degree of intactness and integrity.
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: New South Wales Department of Railways
Builder/Maker: New South Wales Department of Railways
Physical description: Station Building, including former Signal Box - type 11 (1910)
Platform (1887)
Footbridge (1910)
Wharf
Store Room (c.1930)
Water Spout
Moveable Heritage

CONTEXT
The Hawkesbury River Station is located at the north-western edge of Brooklyn immediately adjacent to the commercial strip and Brooklyn Marina. It is connected to Long Island to the north via a land bridge (containing rail line and road). It sits within a railway precinct that includes a range of railway workers accommodation to the south of the station on both sides of the line. The station commands impressive views of the Hawkesbury River to the east and west and Long Island to the north.

STATION BUILDING INCLUDING FORMER SIGNAL BOX (1910)
Exterior: The Hawkesbury River Station is an island station building, located between the Up and Down lines. It is a single-storey face brick building with a corrugated iron gable roof. On each platform is a large awning, supported on cast iron brackets, which are in turn supported on painted stone brackets, which are part of brick engaged piers of the station building. The station building features rendered detailing including cornices, architraves, string-courses and sill, some extant tuck-pointing, timber-framed double-hung sashed windows with the upper sashes retaining coloured glass panes. The building is circled by a concrete box drain with cast iron grate covering. Some of the doorsteps are standard concrete with metal foot scraper inserts. Attached to the southern end of the building is a former signal box with large sliding windows. The signal box has rendered external walls.

Interior: Internally, the building has painted plaster walls, painted joinery of a high quality and ceilings of ripple iron or fibrous plaster sheeting. The floors are all wooden. The waiting room retains its original fitted timber seating. The male and female lavatories retain their original configuration and timber partitions, with tiled finishes and fittings dating from c.1950. All of the office furniture and fittings as well as the ticket window are modern. There is evidence of a former fireplace in the former Station Master's office and an original cast iron safe. Some original four panel doors are extant.

PLATFORM (1897)
The platform is located between the Up and Down lines and curves in a gentle crescent facing west. Some of the faces are face brick, particularly on the Down line, while the faces of the Up line are entirely modern and concrete. There is standard modern railway furniture, bins and fences on the platform. The Up platform has a WWII honour roll board and cast iron drinking fountain.

FOOTBRIDGE (1910)
At the northern end of the platform there is an steel truss footbridge dating from the early 20th century, though somewhat modified with the addition of an upper half truss, steel beams and concrete deck and stairs (dating from the late 20th century). The footbridge goes from Brooklyn Road in the east, across the lines to the platform and the wharf.

WHARF
A small timber wharf sits on the western side of the station immediately north of the footbridge.

STORE ROOM (c.1930)
At the southern end of the platform is a single-storey, c.1930s, brick building with a tiled gable roof. It is currently used for staff facilities.

WATER SPOUT
South of the platform between the Up line and siding is a water spout, originally used for the supply of water for steam locomotives. It is a cast iron structure on a concrete base with a timber platform and sheet metal spout, pivoting on a gear mechanism with a counter weight.

MOVEABLE HERITAGE
WWII honour roll and cast iron drinking fountain on platforms.
Collection of historic photographs in waiting room corridor.
Original cast iron safe in former Station Master's Office.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station Building (including former signal box) - Very Good
Platform - Very Good
Footbridge - Very Good
Wharf - Very Poor
Store Room- Good
Water Spout - Poor (rusted through on spout)
Modifications and dates: 1960: Electrification of the Hornsby-Gosford section. The station footbridge was raised, and modifications and improvements were carried out to trackwork, sidings and signalling to suit the use of electric locomotives and the future operation of stainless steel electric interurban car sets on passenger trains. The signal box was closed.
late 1980s and early 1990s: Some additional awnings and structures have been added on the platform. The station steps have been rebuilt with modern materials.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Railway Station

History

Historical notes: The Main Northern line between Sydney and Newcastle was constructed in two distinct stages and in the earliest years, was worked as two separate railway systems.

The line between Sydney (actually the junction at Strathfield) and the Hawkesbury River was opened on 7 April 1887, with the terminus being on the southern bank of the Hawkesbury River. The line between Newcastle and the northern bank of the Hawkesbury River (near present day Wondabyne) was opened in January 1888.

The line was completed through between Sydney and Newcastle with the opening of the massive bridge over the Hawkesbury River in 1889.

Hawkesbury River Railway Station is presently located on the Northern line between Cowan Railway Station and Wondabyne Railway Station.

The single-line section between Hornsby and the Hawkesbury River was opened for traffic on 7 April 1887. Separate side platforms were provided at the-then terminus, one for each of the future Up and Down lines in preparation for the forthcoming planned duplication of the Northern line. Completion of the bridge over the Hawkesbury River was still two years away and the station facilities provided at Hawkesbury River remained in use to serve as the railway terminus until the opening of the bridge. The construction name of Hawkesbury River was ‘Flat Rock’. The station was opened as ‘Hawkesbury River’, re-named ‘Brooklyn’ (1888), ‘Hawkesbury River’ (1889), ‘Hawkesbury’ (1890), finally reverting to Hawkesbury River in 1906.

Whilst the main line terminated at Hawkesbury River, an arrangement of trackwork, sidings and platforms was provided on the causeway formed by reclaimed land on the eastern side of Long Island where the new Long Island tunnel had been constructed. The station was known as ‘River Wharf’ and the tracks terminated at a wharf at the edge of the waterway. The purpose of the arrangement was to allow transhipment between the railways and river ferries, thus allowing passengers to cross the waterway, to another wharf on the northern side of the river, while the Hawkesbury River Bridge was under construction.

In the single line era, Hawkesbury River Station comprised two timber platforms, one for each of the Down main and Up main line. A timber station building was provided on the Up platform.

By 1912, duplication was extended to Hawkesbury River and the layout had changed. An island platform and standard brick station building had been provided, refuge sidings, loops and goods sidings had been laid in, all controlled by interlocking and a signal box on the platform. A footbridge and stairs allowed access to the platform.

In subsequent years, increased rail traffic resulted in constant re-modelling, improvement and updating of railway facilities at Hawkesbury River to cater for bank engines (which assisted up trains from Hawkesbury River to Cowan) and longer and heavier trains. Signalling and interlocking was improved as a result.

Electrification of the Hornsby-Gosford section was opened in 1960. The first stage of the project was the electrification of the Hornsby to Hawkesbury River section and this was opened into Hawkesbury River on 12 April 1959. As part of this scheme, the platforms, overbridges, underbridge, footbridges and other structures were modified or rebuilt to accommodate the wide electric rollingstock, planned to operate between Hornsby and Cowan.

The station footbridge was raised for electrification. The electrification at Hawkesbury River saw the demise of steam locomotive bank engines, replaced by electric locomotives. As a result, modifications and improvements were carried out to trackwork, sidings and signalling to suit the use of electric locomotives and the future operation of stainless steel electric interurban car sets on passenger trains.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, most station buildings on the northern line between Hornsby and Newcastle were further rebuilt with modern materials, a result of the extension of electrification from Gosford to Newcastle. However, the brick station building at Hawkesbury River is extant, although some additional awnings and structures have been added on the platform. The station steps have been rebuilt with modern materials.

At Hawkesbury River, the signal box at the Hornsby-end of the station building was closed at the time of the upgrading, with all signals being controlled by a control centre at Hornsby.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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 and maintaining the public railway system-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Railways to inland settlements-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Hawkesbury River Railway Station was the terminus for the first section of the Short North from Strathfield for two years until the first Hawkesbury River bridge was completed in 1889. As such it has historic associations with the rail linkage of Sydney and Newcastle, which was a major event in the history of NSW railways. It forms part of a significant railway landscape including the Long Island Maintenance Depot, land bridge and tunnels, the current and former Hawkesbury River Rail bridges and railway worker accommodation in Brooklyn township.

The station facilitated the development of Brooklyn as a settlement for workers constructing the line. The associated housing (not owned by RailCorp) increases the significance of the Brooklyn Railway precinct, representing the provision of railway workers accommodation for construction and permanent ongoing operation of the railway, a practice that is no longer occurring.

Like many historic railway stations in NSW the station complex is able to evoke a former era of travel, communication and trade. This is heightened by the presence of a water spout at the southern end of the station from the former days of steam powered railway travel and the jetty, which forms an interface between transport on land and sea.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The station group has an outstanding degree of aesthetic significance. It has a particularly picturesque setting on the edge of the Hawkesbury, with views over the water to the east and west and to Long Island to the north. The station affords a view of the land bridge between Brooklyn and Long Island and the portals of the current and former Long Island tunnels, providing a rare opportunity to easily view some of the technical achievements of the Short North line construction. Its waterside setting is unusual and as such it is one of the most picturesque station settings in NSW.

The station building is an example of early twentieth century railway station design with fabric and details typical of this period and is similar to other rail buildings of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the Sydney region.
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 f)
[Rarity]
The Hawkesbury River station complex is a common station Type 11 (standard A8-10), well represented elsewhere in the Sydney metro network. Its waterside setting is however rare, providing one of the most picturesque station settings in NSW.

The station group also forms part of an unusual late nineteenth and early twentieth century railway landscape of outstanding significance clustered around the Hawkesbury River, which includes the Long Island tunnels and maintenance depot, the current and former Hawkesbury River railway bridges and worker accommodation in Brooklyn township.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The platform building, island platform and footbridge are representative of structures built at Sydney railway stations between 1892 and 1929 and especially the period between 1909 and 1917. The station building is a good representative example of Type A8-10 stations due to its high degree of intactness and integrity.
Integrity/Intactness: The station group is intact and maintains its historic relationship with the Hawkesbury River setting, the Long Island Group, the current and former Hawkesbury River Rail Bridges and workers accommodation in Brooklyn township.

The station building is intact with most original fittings and fixtures. The footbridge has been raised to accommodate electric trains, but maintains its original steel support structure.
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.

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 0116602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Hawkesbury River Railway Station group View detail

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: Heritage Office
Database number: 5012051
File number: 11/11937


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