Moss Vale rail underbridge over Argyle Street | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Moss Vale rail underbridge over Argyle Street

Item details

Name of item: Moss Vale rail underbridge over Argyle Street
Other name/s: Argyle Street railway bridge
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Bridge/ Viaduct
Location: Lat: -34.5507426872 Long: 150.3701094770
Primary address: Main Southern railway 146.037, Moss Vale, NSW 2577
Local govt. area: Wingecarribee
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Illawarra
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT11 DP1183341

Boundary:

The listing boundary is included in the boundary for the whole of the Moss Vale site and crosses the line 20m south of the the Argyle St underbridge, follows the SRA property boundary on the west side to a point 20m beyond the footbridge over the main lines, then crossing the line, the entry road to the top of the brick retaining wall, then heading south incorporating the property boundary of the station master's residence, then following the SRA property boundary until it reaches 20m beyond the end of the underbridge.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Main Southern railway 146.037Moss ValeWingecarribee  Primary Address
Argyle StreetMoss ValeWingecarribee  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Rail Infrastructure CorporationState Government 

Statement of significance:

The Argyle Street railway truss in Moss Vale is highly significant because it is an important item of infrastructure on the historic Main South Railway and has been in use for 85 years, it is a dominant feature of the Moss Vale townscape, it shares in the enormous social and commercial contribution that the Main South Railway has made to New South Wales and the bridge has technical significance because of it was one of the new heavy duty trusses of the American style Pratt truss which had become standard for large span bridges. The skew design and construction adds to the technical significance. The skew construction is relatively rare for major bridges. The bridge is a highly visible and fine example of a heavy duty, steel Pratt truss bridge, which retains its original fabric.
Date significance updated: 11 Apr 07
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: Engineering staff, NSWGR
Builder/Maker: Steel supplied by Dorman Long, Middlesborough, England
Construction years: 1914-1914
Physical description: A large steel through Pratt truss on a 40.54 m (133 feet) skew span with brick abutments and wing walls.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical condition is good.
Date condition updated:16 Mar 06
Current use: Underbridge which carries the double track Main South Railway.
Former use: Aboriginal land, farm, railway station

History

Historical notes: Moss Vale:
In 1850 the vale (that would become known as Moss Vale) looked very much as it had since white settlers first began farming there 30 years before. The large Throsby Park estate spread for several thousand acres. Dr Charles Throsby had settled the land in 1819 and by 1850, his nephew and heir Charles had transformed the property into the finest in the district. The adjacent Hutchinson estate ran to White's Creek. Convict William Hutchinson was transported to NSW in 1799, one of the more successful emancipists. He prospered under Governor Macquarie's patronage and was appointed to the important position of Principal Superintendent of Convicts in 1814 and later active in establishing the Bank of NSW. South of White's Creek lay Browley, another early land grant in the area, to John Waite, long-time servant of Dr Charles Throsby, who received his 100 acre parcel of land in recognition of his outstanding service to Throsby on his journeys of exploration. He prospered, acquiring much more land, and became one of the leading local settlers. It was on these three estates that Moss Vale would develop (Emery, 2001, 82).

For Moss Vale's development, 1867 was a momentous year. In December, the newly-completed railway line from Sydney opened and in anticipation fo an influx of people, the owners of the large estates began subdividing, with the first town plots sold in 1863. By the time the station opened in 1867, the town had a store, postal service and hotel, mainly to cater for the needs of the large number of railway workers and their families who had come to the district. Their small tent communities had sprung up all along the Great Southern Railway line as it forged south to Goulburn. Lewis Levy from Berrima opened the first store, having cannily anticipated the decline in business in Berrima once it was bypassed by the railway. Business people of Sutton Forest saw Moss Vale's potential as the future centre of the district and many of the first land buyers in Moss Vale were Sutton Forest and Berrima people (ibid, 2001, 82).

Moss Vale Railway Station:
The first plans for a railway through Moss Vale district were made on 26th August 1846. A survey of the area was carried out in 1848. The railway line stopped at Campbelltown until 1863. The state government was unsure as to whether steam trains would be able to travel further (Sheedy, 1988).

The Engineer in chief for the project was John Whitton. The Railways plan was drawn up in 1860 for the line to continue to Picton with an extension to Goulburn. There were in all seven sections to be completed. The fifth section extended approximately four miles north of Moss Vale. This line opened on 2nd December 1867.The name given to the Station was Sutton's Forest. This was a remnant of the name given to the area by Governor Macquarie in 1820. All trains terminated at Sutton's Forest until the Marulan line was opened on 6th August 1868. The Goulburn line (through Moss Vale) was completed in 1876 (ibid, 1988).

The coming of the railway provided the impetus for the establishment of the township (ibid, 2001, 82). The station's name of Sutton's Forest was officially changed to Moss Vale in 1877, after the local innkeeper Jimmy Moss (ibid, 1988). Emery (2001, 82) calls him Jemmy Moss, noting he was an ex-convict servant of Charles Throsby who lived in a hut on Throsby land in what is now Spring Street (Moss Vale). Moss was transported to NSW for seven years in 1828 for stealing, but became a valued employee of Throsby's family from about the late 1830s. When the survey for subdivision of part of the (Throsby Park) estate began in the 1860s, Jemmy and his wife Mary Ann were apparently very concerned. The story goes that Moss asked Oliver Throsby if their home was to be taken away, but was reassured that 'as long as your name is Moss and mine is Throsby, this place is yours'. Moss died in 1867 and was buried in Berrima Cemetery (ibid, 2001, 82).

Initially, the town suffered from something of an identity crisis, with the naming of the railway station as Sutton Forest. The subdivision of part of the Browley estate was named the village of Sutton Forest North, while the Post Office preferred Moss Vale (as a name). It was not until 1877 that the station was officially renamed Moss Vale, probably reflecting what was the favoured local choice, but also to avoid confusion with the original Sutton Forest village a few kilometers further south. By this time, Moss Vale was showing all the signs of a town on the move. The opening up of the Yarrawa Brush (rainforest, for clearing for farming) during the 1860s - the Robertson, Burrawang and Wildes's Meadow area - added to the importance of the rail head at Moss Vale, which became the district centre for sending produce and other freight to the Sydney market (ibid, 2001, 82).

By the late 1870s, Moss Vale, like neighbouring Bowral, was experiencing the first influences of tourism. Who coined the phrase 'Sanitorium of the South' to describe the district is not known, but it achieved the desired effect, and summer-weary souls of Sydney soon took to the cooler Highland climate. The Earl of Belmore, Governor of NSW from 1867-72 beggan the vice-regal assocation with Moss Vale when he leased Throsby Park as a country residence. His successor, Sir Hercules Robinson, also retreated to the Highlands from time to time, but it wasn't until 1882 that a property was purchased by the NSW government specifically for use as a vice-regal retreat. 'Prospect', the Sutton Forest home of R.P.Richardson (of Richardson & Wrench (real estate agents) fame) was chosen as the official summer residence, renamed Hillview and for the next 75 years saw the comings and goings of some 16 state governors (ibid, 2001, 82).

The continuing growth of South Western NSW saw the rail link between Yass and Albury opened on 14th June 1883 (ibid, 1988).

On 3rd January, 1962 the first train ran from Sydney to Melbourne on a standard gauge railway line (ibid, 1988)

Moss Vale Rail Underbridge:
During the period 1910 to 1923, the New South Wales Government Railways embarked on a large programme of railway duplications; on the Main South from Picton to Cootamundra, on the Main West from Bowenfels to Orange, on the Main North from Farley to Branxton and on the Illawarra Line from Waterfall to Wollongong.

The dominant structure for the underbridges was the brick arch in single spans and multiple span viaducts. Concurrently, there were brick arches on the Metropolitan Goods Lines. Separate SHI forms have been prepared for all the significant examples.

However, there were sites where brick arches were not appropriate and Argyle Street, Moss Vale, on the Main South, was one of them.

When the original single track Main South past through Moss Vale in 1868, it crossed Argyle Street on a low level timber beam bridge. In 1886 the Existing Lines Branch replaced the timber bridge with a wrought iron truss, still single track.

When the duplications were planned around 1910 a new double track bridge was designed. It was to be at a higher level, clear span over Argyle Street. By then the change over from British to American bridge technology was complete and American style steel Pratt trusses were standard for large span railway bridges.

A policy decision was made to build for the future with bridges designed to carry locomotives of double the current weight and for higher speeds. This avoided the expensive operation of frequent replacing of and relocating of inadequate bridges, as happened at Moss Vale when the 30-year old wrought iron truss was removed then rebuilt at Liverpool over the Georges River to serve the military area. The cost-effectiveness of the policy has been proved at Moss Vale, and many other sites, because the bridges are still in use carrying the modern heavy diesel locomotives with strings of heavy bulk wagons.

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. 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 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-
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 Building and maintaining the public railway system-
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. Building settlements, towns and cities-National Theme 4
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 Townships-
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 tourist-
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 Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Subdivision of urban estates-
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 settlements-
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 Developing private towns-
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 Role of transport in settlement-
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-
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 Impacts of railways on rural development-
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 20th 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 19th Century 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 - building and administering rail networks-
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. Technological innovation and design solutions-
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. Adaptation of overseas design for local use-
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. Applying architectural design to utlilitarian structures-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Dorman Long, English Engineering Company-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Argyle Street railway truss at Moss Vale is an important item of infrastructure on the historic Main South Railway and has been in use for 85 years.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The bridge is a dominant feature of the Moss Vale townscape.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Main South has brought enormous social and commercial benefits to south western NSW, the Southern Highlands and Sydney for 130 years, and all infrastructure has shared
In the significance of that outcome.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The bridge has technical significance because of it was one of the new heavy duty trusses of the American style Pratt truss which had become standard for large span bridges. The skew design and construction adds to the technical significance.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Skew bridges are relatively rare, particularly for major bridges where square crossing are preferred.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
A fine example of a highly visible steel Pratt truss bridge.
Integrity/Intactness: The bridge retains if original fabric.
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 0104902 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Rail Infrastructure Corporation s.170 Register2003 Rail Infrastructure Corporation  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenEmery, Linda2001'Moss Vale: Historic Places in the Southern Higlands: Occasional Series'

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

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5012111


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