Muswellbrook Railway Station and yard group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Muswellbrook Railway Station and yard group

Item details

Name of item: Muswellbrook Railway Station and yard group
Other name/s: Musclebrook Railway Station
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Location: Lat: -32.2674542401 Long: 150.8902317380
Primary address: Main Northern railway, Muswellbrook, NSW 2333
Local govt. area: Muswellbrook
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Wanaruah
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT11 DP1115346
PART LOT12 DP1115346

Boundary:

The listing boundary is the western end of the station platform, the southern boundary is a line 6m from the platform face, the northern boundary is a line along the rear fence of the refreshment room. The listing boundary is the western end of the station platform, the southern boundary is a line 6m from the platform face, the northern boundary is a line along the rear fence of the refreshment room building, and the eastern boundary is 5m from the Sydney end of the station platform.The listing boundary for the signal box is the footprint of the building.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Main Northern railwayMuswellbrookMuswellbrook  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government05 Nov 98

Statement of significance:

The station group represents an excellent example of an early complex surviving in its basic form and adapted with the addition of other structures as passengers increased. The first station building can be clearly seen with its rare example of an early street verandah and most of its detailing intact. The refreshment room is a good example of a type of building that thrived and are no longer in use. They are significant community buildings in the townscape, dominating the skyline with the bulk of the refreshment rooms. The signal box adds significance to the group and is itself a good example of a later elevated signal box.
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: John Whitton, Chief Engineer
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Station building - type 3, second class brick building,1869.
The original station building was a small well proportioned brick structure with simple stone lintels and hipped roof.
Rendered brick building with a hipped roof of corrugated, galvanised iron (originally slate). The building is elevated above street level. Its entrance is via steps leading to a stone flagged verandah with a hipped roof of corrugated galvanised iron, supported by timber posts. The verandah roof to the street is original. The doors are timber with moulded panels and window frames are timber, double-hung sash type.

The platform awning is an extension of the awning built at the time of construction of the adjacent refreshment room building. It is a cast iron, cantilevered awning of corrugated, galvanised iron (CCG Architects, 2016).

The internal layout has changed since originally constructed, consisting today of a store room, waiting room, female toilets and male toilets (ibid, 2016).

Refreshment rooms, 1921-2. Additions, c1927-8.
Two storey building immediately adjacent to the station building. Two hipped roofs clad in diamond pattern slate tiles with terracotta ridge capping and ram's head finials. The ground floor projects outward from under the first floor, so that a portion has its own roof. The roofs are finished with timber barge boards and painted rough-cast infill. The chimneys are also rough-cast cement. Tuck-pointed brickwork, timber moulded panel doors, some with transom windows, timber double-hung sash windows bordered with stone lintels and ornate, rendered sills and pressed metal cornices.

The layout consists of refreshment rooms and kitchens on the ground floor with passenger accommodation on the upper floor, with associated bathrooms and linen stores. Internally the building features pressed metal cornices and ceilings, hardwood floors, a pine staircase and balustrade (ibid, 2016, 11).

Signal box - hip roof elevated type 4, 1923
An elevated, two storey signal box of a timber frame, pre-cast concrete and asbestos cement cladding. Lower floor comprises a drop-in, pre-cast concrete panel between concrete uprights and conventional timber-framed construction on the upper floor. A hipped roof with broad overhanging eaves, clad in fibro asbestos laid in a diamond pattern and terracotta ridge capping. WIndow frames are timber, double-hung sash with between 6 and 9 panes. Access is va a steel ladder and there is a toilet on the upper landing (ibid, 2016, 12).

STRUCTURES
Platform - brick-faced, 1869

Carriage dock - 1869
Was used for parcel and mail vans (ibid, 2016, 11).

Remains of locomotive depot (1943), including:
Turntable
Crane - jib crane within shed T 145, 1869
Loading bank - timber
Modifications and dates: Changes of level of the rear of both station and refreshment room buildings have occurred after construction (CCG, 2016).
1865 station building, platform, carriage dock, crane.
Early 20th c. extension of station building to Sydney end, adding Station Master's room (back-to-back fire place with existing (formerly external) fireplace in what is now a store room, was a parcel room). Extension had windows to the street, a fireplace and no door to the station platform (as per 1917, 1918 plans). This extension is gone now (2016).
c.1910 post card photo shows two chimneys at each ends of the hipped roof, including this one at the 'Sydney end'. The 1917 plans show 'proposed station buildngs' including refreshment rooms that were never built, or never built in the configuration on the plans. A 1980 photo shows no chimney protroding from the Sydney end roof hip/ridge. This suggests the configuration of these chimneys is not original and probably dates to the mid 20th century (CCG Architects, 2016).

1921-22 Refreshment Rooms added beside station building
1927-28 addition/extension/modification of refreshment room building.

1923 Signal box added.

1943 Locomotive depot, including turntable, crane and jib.
Further information: Does not include the former locomotive depot or its turntable
Current use: Railway Station and yard
Former use: Railway Station and yard

History

Historical notes: The single railway line from Singleton to, and station of 'Musclebrook' was completed and opened in 1869, by the Earl of Belmore, Governor of NSW. Construction for the Muswellbrook section was awarded to George Blunt on 2/9/1864 (CCG Architects, 2016, 9).

The line (formerly known as the Great Northern Railway) runs through the Central Coast, Hunter and New England regions. It was the original main line between Sydney and Brisbane, however this required a change of gauge at Wallangarra. The line is now closed north of Armidale, and the main Brisbane-Sydney route is now the North Coast line (ibid, 2016, 9).

The 1869 station building is one of several notable early stations attributed to John Whitton during his long career with NSW Railways. It borrows heavily from his design experience in England and the influence of Georgian and Victorian architectural styles. Internally it comprised a Station Master's office, ticket office, waiting room, ladies room and lavatories (Cottee, 2004, quoted in ibid, 2016, 9).

Major changes and alterations included installation of a turntable in 1869 and its replacement by a larger one in 1890, lengthening of the platform and provision of an ash pit in 1891 (ibid, 2016, 9).

It was not until 1890 that the Railways Department changed the station name to Muswellbrook. A gatehouse was built at the level crossing in 1892. In 1898 and 1911 the platform was extended and in 1909 a station master's residence was approved for 545 pounds (ibid, 2016, 9).

Muswellbrook railway precinct was expanded in the early 20th century with addition of the much larger two storey brick railway refreshment rooms immediately adjacent to the station building (ibid, 2016, 9).

The refreshment rooms were commissioned in 1922, opened in 1922. A news paper report of the time said:
The new refreshment rooms at the Muswellbrook railway station were opened on Monday on the arrival of the passenger train from Tamworth. Miss Lawson, who acted as manageress at Glen Innes for seven years and five
years in a similar capacity at Singleton, is in charge of the rooms. The staff consists of 10 hands, four of whom were local appointments. Most of the food required will be brought from Sydney. The ground floor comprises: Dining saloon 30 feet wide and 50 feet long, and a bar 30 feet by 14 feet. At the northern end of the building on the ground floor are the cooking quarters, consisting of kitchen, scullery, pantry, storeroom, washhouse. On the top floor are eight rooms, bath room and linen press for use of the staff (Singleton Argus, 19/10/1922, 2, via www.trove.nla.gov.au).

In 1927 the Refreshment Rooms were extended, altered to include five bedrooms for the public. This building replaced the rest houses, which had been transferred from Murrurundi and Singleton and re-erected at Muswellbrook in 1918.

The subway underpass was constructed in 1928 as a replacement for the level crossing at the Sydney end of the station (ibid, 2016, 10). An overbridge was built on Bridge Street, replacing the level crossing. Meanwhile, a locomotice depot had been built in 1943.

In 1977 a coal mine at Ulan was opened and the railway was extended from Sandy Hollow to Ulan in 1982 to transport coal to Newcastle, via Muswellbrook (ibid, 2016, 10).

In 2007 approval was given for 2-staged refurbishment of the railway refreshment room as a museum; provision of stair & entry ramp and install lift, then for construction of a stand-alone visitor information centre, storeroom, toilets, deck & landscaping.

In 2011 approval was given to demolish the disused signal box.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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 (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 Building and maintaining the public railway system-
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 Creating landmark structures and places in regional settings-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Railways to inland settlements-
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 - building and operating public infrastructure-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
This item is assessed as historically rare. This item is assessed as scientifically rare. This item is assessed as arch. rare. This item is assessed as socially rare.
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 0120802 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerMuswellbrook Railway Precinct4806182   
Regional Environmental PlanHunter Valley REP 03 Nov 89   
Local Environmental PlanMuswellbrook LEP 2009I105   
National Trust of Australia register  4102   
Register of the National Estate 0138321 Mar 78   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999 State Rail Authority  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Muswellbrook Railway Station View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Muswellbrook Railway Station 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: 5012118
File number: EF14/5014


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