Homebush Railway Station group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Homebush Railway Station group

Item details

Name of item: Homebush Railway Station group
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Location: Lat: -33.8668728615 Long: 151.0869807230
Primary address: Great Southern and Western Railway, Homebush, NSW 2140
Local govt. area: Strathfield
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT1 DP1015899

Boundary:

North: Loftus Crescent (excluding the carpark) and outer edge of outer rail line. South: Property boundary to The Crescent (including the signal box) East: 5 metres from end of platform West: 5 metres from end of platform
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Great Southern and Western RailwayHomebushStrathfield  Primary Address
The CrescentHomebushStrathfield  Alternate Address
Loftus CrescentHomebushStrathfield  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government02 Nov 98

Statement of significance:

Homebush Railway Station has state significance as the site of three different railway stations that represent three significant historical phases in the development of the NSW railways. The site is significant as one of only four original intermediate stations on the first railway line in NSW between Sydney and Parramatta; the subsequent rebuilding of the station in the 1860s was associated with servicing the nearby Government Abattoirs at Homebush; and the existing station arrangement dating from the 1891 quadruplication of the line represents the expansion of the railways in the late 19th Century to accommodate increasing rail services.

Homebush Railway Station is significant for its rare collection of railway structures dating from 1891 that form a unique and cohesive group. Designed under the direction of Commissioner Edward Eddy, the platform buildings demonstrate the first use of island platforms in NSW and are one of only four extant examples of 1891 ‘Standard Eddy’ platform buildings. The 1891 overhead booking office is also a rare structure being one of only three similar structures representing the earliest use of above-platform buildings. The station buildings including the signal box, brick store rooms and footbridge collectively demonstrate a former era of travel, communication and trade. The group remains highly intact.
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: NSW Government Railways
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Platform Building, Platform 1/2 (Type 10) (1891)
Platform Building, Platform 5/6 (Type 10) (1891)
Store rooms, (1891)
Public toilet block, (1996)
Overhead Booking Office (1891)
Signal Box, (1892)

STRUCTURES
Platforms: Platform 1, (1924) Platform 2, (1891) Platform 3/4, (1891) Platform 5/6, (1891) Platform 7, (2008)
Pedestrian footbridge, (1992)
Canopies: Platform 3/4, (1994) Platform 7, (2008)

CONTEXT
Homebush Railway Station is entered from The Crescent to the south (with direct access to Platform 7 and to all other platforms and the booking office via the footbridge. Access is also from Loftus Street to the north via the footbridge. To the north of the station is a residential area; while to the south is a shopping precinct. Platforms are numbered 1 through to 7 from north to south.

PLATFORM BUILDING- Platform 1/2 (1891)
External: This ‘Standard Eddy’ platform building is an original timber framed and shiplap weatherboard structure, with a brick chimney, a simple hipped roof with new roof sheeting and guttering with some original rainwater fixtures. It has engaged timber columns to the corners. The building has original windows with architrave and sill aprons and a new flat panelled door. The hipped roof over the building extends to the north of the canopy and the eaves butt up against the fascia on the east and west elevation. Modern services and conduits have been fixed to the original fabric and security grilles have been fitted to outer side of the windows. An air-conditioning unit has been fixed through the fanlight above the door. The building has a canopy comprising of cast iron columns and trusses, timber framing, diagonal lining boards, mouldings and wide fascia.

Internal: Completely modern timber lining dating from the 1970s, although there may be some extant fabric beneath.

PLATFORM BUILDING- Platform 5/6 (1891)
External: The building is a ‘Standard Eddy’ platform building with original timber framed and shiplap weatherboards, engaged timber column details to the corner and supporting cast iron brackets to the canopy. The building has a simple hipped roof with new roof sheeting and guttering with some original rainwater fixtures. The hipped roof over the building is contained within the canopy such that the underneath of the canopy soffit continues up to the external walls of the building. The building has original windows that have coloured glass to the top sashes, and associated mouldings. The eastern end of the building has been refitted with new timber cladding, and the original window has been fixed with a new architrave to match existing details. Original downpipes have been retained at lower levels. Modern conduits and services have been concealed. The building has an original canopy with cast iron columns and trusses, timber framing, diagonal lining boards, mouldings and fascia. Some of the timber elements have been replaced or repaired following damage by termites.

Internal: At the western end, most of the original fabric remains including doors, windows, floorboards, timber lining boards to walls and ceiling and fitted bench seating. The eastern end of the building has a new modern fitout. All new work is to sympathetic detail and is reversible.

STORE ROOM- Platform 1/2 (1891)
External: The storage room located beneath the toilet block was originally a storage vault under the overbridge and was extended to the west when the toilets (accessible from the footbridge) were completed in c.1996. An original arched doorway to east has been bricked up.

Internal: The room has exposed brick vault and arches.

STORE ROOM- Platform 3/4 (1891)
External: The store room is a brick structure located beneath the booking office. It has original doors and windows, with coloured glass to top sash, and associated timber mouldings. Security grilles have been fitted to the doors and windows.

Internal: The room has exposed brick vault and arches and it has original downpipes integrated within the interior of the room.

STORE ROOM- Platform 5/6 (1891)
External: The store room is a brick structure beneath the footbridge and it has original windows, with arched heads, and associated timber mouldings.

Internal: The room has exposed brick vault and arches and it has original downpipes integrated within the interior of the room.

PUBLIC TOILET BLOCK (1996)
The building containing public toilets is located above Platform 2 and is a recently built, modern structure in a style derived from the overhead booking office. It is an oblong building with a corrugated steel pyramid roof.

OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE (1891)
External: It is located on the footbridge directly above Platform 3/4 and is connected to the platforms by stairs. It is a timber shiplap weatherboard building on a brick base with existing original windows with coloured glazing to the south elevation. The booking office had an overhanging extension to its north which has now been removed. The northern side exterior wall has been reinstated and fitted with new windows. The booking office has been raised about 900mm possibly to comply with required distance above high voltage wires. The building has a corrugated steel pyramid roof. The western end of the building has a brick chimney breast but there is no chimney.

Internal: The booking office has much original fabric and detailing including mouldings, timber lining boards to ceilings and walls, timber weatherboards, windows with architraves, sills, and coloured glass. New partition walls are found internally and new windows to the northern side. Modern services and conduits have been face fixed to building fabric.

SIGNAL BOX (1892)
External: The former signal box is a three storey brick building in English bond with a timber gabled roof with weatherboard cladding to the gable ends. The main roof and cantilevered awning (bell cast profile) over the top floor windows are covered in corrugated galvanised iron. A central single brick chimney is on the south elevation and on the western elevation is a timber ladder stair giving access to the upper floors. The stair has a cantilevered top landing supported by decorative cast iron brackets and the bottom landing is supported by steel posts. The top landing gives access to an external toilet. The northern elevation has three recessed bays each containing two arched windows. The three lower windows are currently boarded up and the eastern most semicircular upper window is missing the original cast iron frame. The top floor has timber framed multi paned sliding casement windows combined alternatively with fixed sashes.

Internal: The basic elements include painted brick walls with timber floor structure and timber partition walls. Timber beaded edge boards line the ceiling on the top floor. There is no signalling equipment remaining.

PLATFORMS
Platforms are all brick faced with asphalt surface. Platforms 1 and 2 form an island platform arrangement. However Platform 1 does not actually exist on the stations numbering system, the track adjacent (fenced off from the platform) is used as a goods line. Platform 2 is not currently in use except by trains during track work or in emergencies. Platform 3 is not currently in use except by trains during track work or in emergencies and it forms an island platform arrangement with Platform 4 (Up). Platform 5 (Down) and Platform 6 (Down) are an island platform arrangement. Platform 7 is a centre turnback platform which will be in operation from 2010.

PEDESTRIAN FOOTBRIDGE (1992)
The footbridge, which entirely replaces the original footbridge, is a recent prestressed concrete structure that comprises of a concrete deck resting on the original brick store rooms on the platforms. It has concrete stairs with new lattice balustrades that match the balustrading of the former footbridge. Original newel posts at the foot of stairs to Platforms 3/4 and 5/6 feature iron cross motifs.

CANOPIES
The canopy on Platform 3/4 was rebuilt following the 1994 fire. It has sympathetic details and it is possible that some of the original cast iron members were reused. The contemporary parts of the canopy are identifiable in terms of the subtle variations to original timber profiles and detailing and other new elements. The canopy on Platform 7 has been built to sympathetic details, with subtle variations to original profiles and detailing. The brick boundary wall was reconstructed to match the detail of the existing original boundary wall.

LANDSCAPE/NATURAL FEATURES
The brick boundary wall to the south side of the station along The Crescent.

MOVEABLE ITEMS
There is a safe in the store room on Platform 3/4.
Original signage (numerous examples including ‘Homebush’ station signs)
Bench seating (Platform 5)
Some joinery items although suffer some damage
Metal brackets (stored for re-use)

ARCHAEOLOGICAL POTENTIAL
Homebush Railway Station has low archaeological potential. The original station master's residence was located to the north of Platform 1. However the establishment of the goods lines to the north resulted in the demolition of the residence and has most likely disturbed any archaeological evidence. The southern-eastern edge of the station along The Crescent had a number of elements such as the 1890s carriage shed, locomotive depot and locomotive watering facilities, and the 1923 nursery that provided plants to the gardens of surrounding stations. However all these structures have since been demolished and the work being undertaken by the current turnback project would most likely remove any archaeological evidence that may have existed along this edge. Another 1920s structure which has been removed was the telephone exchange building that was located to the west of the existing signal box. It is possible that there is some archaeological evidence of this structure but levelling and introduction of vegetation in this area has most probably disturbed it.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
PLATFORM BUILDING (Platform 1/2)
The platform building is in good condition.

PLATFORM BUILDING (Platform 5/6)
The platform building is in good condition.

STORE ROOM (Platform 1/2)
The store room is in moderate condition. There is some dampness to the interior walls and some traces of organic growth to the exterior walls.

STORE ROOM (Platform 3/4)
The store room is in moderate condition. There is some dampness to the interior and exterior walls.

STORE ROOM (Platform 5/6)
The store room is in poor condition. There is rising dampness to the interior walls and this has caused severe peeling of paint.

PUBLIC TOILET BLOCK
The public toilets are in good condition

OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE
The Overhead Booking Office is in good condition

SIGNAL BOX
Externally the signal box is in moderate condition. However its interiors are reported to be severely damaged by termites.

PLATFORMS
The platforms are in good condition.

PEDESTRIAN FOOTBRIDGE
The footbridge is in very good condition

CANOPIES
The canopies are in very good condition.
Date condition updated:07 May 14
Modifications and dates: 1895: Water column erected.
1908: Water tank and standpipe erected.

1923: Garden nursery established on north side to provide plants for station gardens.
1928: Local and Suburban lines electrified to Homebush.
post-1928: After 1928, with the removal of the signalling machinery, a middle floor was installed in the signal box with amenities for the signals maintenance staff including timber lockers, wall basins and more recently two fibreglass shower recesses.
1929: Watering facilities for locomotives removed.
1955: Main lines electrified.

1970: Carriage and horse dock siding removed.
1974: Garden nursery closed, the land subsequently used for the new Strathfield signal box. Topicary shrubs between the tracks west of the station in the form of a kangaroo, emu and other shapes were removed, c.1970s/80s.

c.1992: Booking Office annex/overhang removed
1994: Fire destroys Platform 3/4 building - New Canopy constructed in place 1996
c.1996: Brick storage under footbridge on Platform 1-2 extended and WC Facilities built above
2007-08: Refurbishment to buildings Platform 5/6
2007-08: New Platform 7 constructed with new brick boundary walls
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Railway Station

History

Historical notes: The Main Western line to Parramatta (Granville) was originally completed in 1855. The line opened on 26 September 1855 and was double track from Sydney to Newtown and then single track to Parramatta (but duplicated in 1856). The line was built as a direct connection to Parramatta and, subsequently, for the purpose of connecting Sydney with the major rural railways that were constructed across the Blue Mountains to Bathurst and across the Southern Highlands to Goulburn via Liverpool. There were few stops along the line between Sydney and Parramatta and it was not the original intention of the line to serve suburban development. Changes to the line were more often related to the line's long distance purpose than to the communities along it.

Traffic to the west and south (and later north) of the state brought the need to amplify the line, first in 1891 when it was quadrupled and later in 1927 when it was sextupled (to Homebush) and electrified. With both of these major changes the earlier stations were usually entirely demolished and replaced with a new station. The 1927 work completed this process with the complete replacement of Strathfield and much of Newtown Stations. During this time suburban development also extended west along the line and these new stations were thus specifically designed as full-scale suburban passenger stations rather than rural 'halts'. The Engineer for Existing Lines, George Cowdery (appointed 1863), was a particularly strong influence on the architecture of this line, building particularly elegant stations in the late 1880s ahead of the 1891 quadruplication, in addition to replacing the original stone arch viaduct at Lewisham with iron truss bridges. Sextuplication in 1927 brought less change to most local stations (which were on the southern side), the new tracks being express ones on the northern side.

Homebush Station was originally opened with the line in 1855. In 1862 a new station building was erected on the southern side and in the 1870s stockyards were erected adjacent to the station (the station servicing the nearby Government abattoirs at Homebush). The stockyards were closed and replaced by Flemington stockyards in 1883.

In 1891, with quadruplication, Homebush Station was completely rebuilt resulting in the present station layout being established with a centre island platform opening in late 1891. The station comprised large platform buildings, an overhead pedestrian footbridge with a booking office and an existing 1880s Station Master's Residence on the north side of the station.

The existing three-storey brick signal box was built in 1892 and remained in use until 1928 when its function was replaced by a new 'power' box. The 1928 signal box remained in use until 1982 when it was replaced by a simple brick and concrete building. The 1892 signal box is now the only remaining box at the station of the five built since the station opened.

For many years Homebush was the terminating point for Local suburban services on the Western line. A carriage shed was built at Homebush in 1890 located to the east of Homebush Rd which connected to one of a number of sidings built at the station during this period. The carriage shed was later used as a store then training and education facilities until it was demolished in 2001.

In 1891 a locomotive depot and locomotive watering facilities were also constructed near the carriage shed. By the late 1920's the Depot was largely redundant and was ultimately demolished c.1929.

Numerous smaller buildings were also constructed at Homebush such as a telephone exchange, storage sheds, amenities buildings and a track ganger's shed. All have been demolished.

The station also featured a Garden Nursery, a .ow single storey building built in 1923 along the eastern frontage of The Crescent which was established so that other stations could be provided with a range of shrubs and flower plants to improve their landscaped appearance. Railway station gardens were created state-wide from c.1890 onwards. Competitions and prizes sprang up and two nurseries (Homebush and Hamilton, near Newcastle) were opened to provide plants, in addition to those sourced from staff home gardens. Changing practices both in nursery supplies and the station gardens promotions saw the nursery close in 1974 (Ray Love, pers.comm., via David Sheedy, 2002) and its staff of gardeners disbanded (Longworth, 2012, 4)

Due to increased goods train traffic, two lines were built on the north side of the station in 1924 converting the side platform into an island. The footbridge was also extended over the new tracks and a two-storey office built abutting the footbridge on its western side. These changes resulted in the demolition of the 1880 station master's Residence.

In 1992 the steel footbridge was replaced by the present pre-cast concrete bridge having part replica steel lattice balustrades imitating the original wrought iron lattice girder design.

The main station master's office and waiting room building on Platforms 3 and 4 were destroyed by fire in 1994 and rebuilt as a similar awning structure.

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 (none)-
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 Rail transport-
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-
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 - providing rail transport-
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. Public works-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Homebush Railway Station Group has historical significance at the state level representing three significant historical phases in the development of the NSW railways. Established during the first phase of NSW railway construction in the 1850s the site is significant as one of only four original intermediate stations on the first railway line in NSW between Sydney and Parramatta. The subsequent (second) rebuilding of the station in the 1860s was associated with servicing the nearby Government Abattoirs at Homebush. The existing (third) station arrangement with its extant platforms, station buildings and signal box dates from the 1891 quadruplication of the line represents the expansion of the railways in the late 19th century to accommodate increasing rail services. The existing 1890s platform buildings are historically significant as they are able to demonstrate the first use of island platforms in NSW. In addition the signal box, footbridge and brick store rooms collectively demonstrate a former era of travel, communication and trade.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The signal box and remaining contemporary railway buildings at Homebush railway station are closely identified with Commissioner Edward Eddy under whose direction the Homebush Railway station and signal box were designed, the station buildings being the first of the new standard type of station buildings.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
As a group the form, fabric and detailing of the Homebush station buildings characterise the type of construction and architectural style employed in late 19th century railway station buildings in the Sydney region. The 1890s ‘Standard Eddy’ platform buildings all the characteristic features of this type of station building, namely cantilevered awnings with wide fascia and most importantly the purpose-designed location on island platforms. The 1890s overhead booking office is aesthetically significant as it has characteristic features of this type of station building namely the use of brick for construction, the small size of the building and the location of the building on the footbridge. The 1890s signal box is an in-operational signal box, with no signalling equipment and deteriorated interiors but it retains a number of features which typify this type of signal box, including inverted corrugated galvanised iron awnings above the operating level windows and landing and the full building width second floor landing which has a small timber compartment for a toilet at its rear.
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]
Homebush Railway Station has low archaeological research potential. Any evidence pertaining to the former station master’s residence, the 1890s carriage shed, locomotive depot, locomotive watering facilities, and the 1923 nursery has been removed or disturbed by subsequent developments on site. The 1920s telephone exchange building has also been demolished and the site on which it existed has been levelled and planted with vegetation.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Homebush Railway Station is significant for its rare collection of railway structures dating from 1891 that form a unique and cohesive group. Homebush Railway Station is one of the four known stations including Croydon, Katoomba and Summer Hill which have extant ‘Standard Eddy’ platform buildings. The 1891 overhead booking office is also a rare structure being one of only three known examples of similar pre1910 overhead booking offices in the state, the others being at Newtown and Redfern.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The platform buildings at Homebush Station are in a largely intact condition externally and they are good representations of the 'Standard Eddy' building.

The Homebush signal box is still able externally to demonstrate the essential design qualities of a late 19th Century elevated signal box of the NSW Government Railways. The design was widely used throughout the system from 1883 until 1911 and some twenty boxes of either full timber or mostly brick load bearing wall construction were built.
Integrity/Intactness: The integrity of Homebush Station as a whole is considered to be high. The station has a number of original structures in a relatively intact condition namely the platform buildings, overhead booking office, store rooms and signal box.

PLATFORM BUILDING (Platform 1/2)
The building is largely intact externally although its interiors have been modified considerably to meet ever-changing operational requirements. Some of the original elements retained include the chimney, chimney breast and some windows. Modern services such as air-conditioning, lighting and CCTV have been installed yet they do not detract from the overall integrity of the building. Where the original fabric has been modified or repaired it has been done in an appropriate way that has little impact on the significance of the original building. New build elements are sensitive in their design and do not detract from the integrity of the original building.

PLATFORM BUILDING (Platform 5/6)
The building has a high level of integrity. It retains a number of original elements including windows, doors, internal weatherboard finish to walls and ceilings, timber floorboards, cast iron ventilators and fitted bench seating. Modifications, repairs and additions of new elements have been done in an appropriate way that has little impact on the significance of the building.

STORE ROOM (Platform 1/2)
The western end of the store room is new construction. The eastern end is the original brick storage vault that has retained most of its original fabric.

STORE ROOM (Platform 3/4)
The store is largely intact and has retained a number of original elements such as windows, timber board ceiling, mosaic floor tiles and downpipes integrated within the interior of the room.

STORE ROOM (Platform 5/6)
The store room is largely intact and original windows, with arched heads, and associated timber mouldings have been retained.

PUBLIC TOILET BLOCK
This is a new construction.

SIGNAL BOX
Externally the signal box has retained its original structure and form. However the integrity of the building is greatly reduced by the alterations that have been undertaken to its interiors which have also included the removal of all original signalling equipment. In addition the poor condition of the interiors endangers the original fabric.

OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE
The building has a moderate level of integrity. It retains a number of original elements including windows, doors, internal weatherboard finish to walls and ceilings and timber floorboards. New elements added are sensitive in their design, and do not detract from the significance and integrity of what remains of the original buildings.

PLATFORMS
Platforms 1-6 are original platforms. Platform 7 is a recent construction.

PEDESTRIAN FOOTBRIDGE
This is largely a new construction although the original newel posts with cross motifs have been retained at the foot of stairs to Platforms 3-4 and 5-6.

CANOPIES
The canopies are all new constructions.
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 0117002 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Homebush Railway Station group View detail
WrittenLongworth, Jim2012NSW Railway Conservation Guide: Railway Station Gardens View detail
WrittenSheedy, David (& Ray Love)2002Homebush Signal Box - Conservation Management Plan

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

rez
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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5012056
File number: 10/08436


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