Parkes Railway Station group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Parkes Railway Station group

Item details

Name of item: Parkes Railway Station group
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Location: Lat: -33.1422449940 Long: 148.1732352020
Primary address: May Street, Parkes, NSW 2870
Local govt. area: Parkes
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Peak Hill
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP1006841
LOT1 DP1007651
LOT3 DP1007651
LOT4 DP1007651
LOT5 DP1007651
LOT6 DP1007651
LOT1 DP1069298
LOT1 DP1172018
LOT1 DP1186375
LOT1 DP134055


The listing boundary is Hartigan Avenue and May Street to the north, Forbes Street to the west as it crosses the rails, the southern property boundary and to the east the East Street level crossing.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
May StreetParkesParkes  Primary Address
Parkes-Broken Hill railwayParkesParkes  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government05 Nov 98

Statement of significance:

Parkes Railway Precinct is of state significance as an important major railway junction that is associated with the earliest development of railway infrastructure in the west of NSW in the late 19th century. The precinct features a fine, albeit altered, example of a Victorian station building dating from the opening of the precinct in 1893. The precinct includes a locomotive depot with a partial roundhouse and remains of the former goods yard and a range of items typically found at many large railway complexes in NSW from the late 19th and 20th centuries including the footbridge, jib crane and dock platform, which all contribute to the significance of Parkes as a major railway junction. The Roundhouse is significant as only one of seven surviving structures. The footbridge is notable as the last riveted Warren truss footbridge constructed for the NSW network.
Date significance updated: 19 Jul 13
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.


Construction years: 1881-1893
Physical description: MAJOR STRUCTURES - Managed by RailCorp
Station Building - type 4, brick standard roadside third class building (1893) and brick Platform.

Railway Refreshment Room - brick (c1928)
Signal Box - type O, elevated fibro (1944)
Roundhouse Precinct (1942) Locomotive Servicing Facilities including Turntable
Goods Shed
Silver City Comet Shed and associated structures

Dock Platform - remains at western end
Footbridge - steel Warren truss (1935)
Jib Crane

The brick barracks building (c1912), former Railway Institute building (1962) and the repair siding shed are now owned and managed by Pacific National.

The station building is an altered example of an 1893 standard roadside building. Originally the building was a five room gabled building which featured a central waiting room with a Station Master's office and parcel office to the western side flanked by a shed and lamp room wing, with a ladies and gents waiting room to the east flanked by a bathroom wing. Historic plans show three brick chimneys and gablet vents and a front verandah to the entry which all still exist. Timber finials to gable ends still exist on the original detached wings.

The building underwent alterations in 1926 and further alterations in 1947 which extended the building to either end to incorporate the previous external wings in to the form of the main building and also altering the use of most rooms. The extensions were undertaken in a sympathetic manner including matching windows and an extended platform awning to match the existing. As such the building presents as a cohesive building that still retains its Victorian character.

The brick platform dates from 1893 and was extended c1928 and features modern asphalt surfacing.

From historic plans it appears prior to the current building being erected on this site, that there were previously two small structures used as temporary Railway Refreshment rooms and accommodation for the staff. In 1923, a 12x 6m marquee built of Birkmyre cloth with framing and flooring was erected as a refreshment room (Forsyth, 2008).

Plans from c1928 show the demolition of the previous structures and the erection of the existing brick building on the same site.

Further historic plans show minor alterations in 1939 and a further extension to the west in 1943. The building is unusual in that it appears to be comprised of two different buildings with a gabled part fronting on to the platform with a cantilevered awning, and a rear kitchen wing with a brick parapet with projecting string course.

Two-storey elevated fibro signal box with low hipped pyramid roof clad in concrete tiles. The signal box is no longer in use.

A steel riveted through Warren truss footbridge on steel trestles and channel iron stair stringers with Kembla markings on steel sections. The existing footbridge replaced an earlier footbridge which had been relocated from Liverpool in 1923. The bridge is noted as the last riveted truss footbridge constructed for the NSW network.
Modifications and dates: Numerous additions and changes occurred throughout the 20th century including erection of a rest house (1912), wheat silo (1920), Traffic District Headquarters located at Parkes (1920), purchase of existing residences for Station Master and Steam Shed Inspector, (1920 and 1922), conversion of existing Station Master’s residence to railway refreshment room accommodation (1923), new footbridge relocated from Liverpool (1923), erection of temporary railway refreshment rooms (1923), alterations and additions to the station building (c.1927) rail motor shed erected (1927), new railway refreshment rooms opened (1928), relocated footbridge and signal Box (1928) and a new roundhouse built (1928).

Later alterations to the site included a new footbridge (1935), an elevated coal bunker built (1941), roundhouse and facilities enlarged for defence works, including new 360kL tank and stand, boiler plant, water columns, 75’ diameter turntable replacing 60’ (1944), new Institute Building opened (1962), and new goods shed built (1964).
Further information: Note: The type O, elevated, fibro signal box (1944) is managed by ARTC but falls outside the listing boundary.
Current use: Operational railway station managed by RailCorp; roundhouse leased to Silverton
Former use: Railway station, yard, and locomotive facility


Historical notes: A railway Shop Order was issued on 7 December 1912 for the construction of a 'permanent 'Rest House' at Parkes (Enginemans or crew barracks).

This reference indicates that a 'temporary' Rest House or Barracks was provided there much earlier, more likely at or near the time of opening, in the 1898 period. The style of barracks usually provided in the 1890's, up until the early 1900's at many locations in the state, usually consisted of what was known as 'Engine Driver's' and 'Guards Accommodation'. These buildings were of a railway standards design and resembled a moderately -sized hip roofed cottage. They usually had two or three bedrooms at the front of the building, a kitchen and meal room toward the rear, with a bathroom and laundry at the rear. The toilet was usually a separate building out in the yard. In this situation, a train crew (driver, fireman and guard) would all sleep in the one room, three iron bedsteads being provided. These buildings were provided at many locations at the time, and it was quite likely that one was built at Parkes, and remained there until the 1911 period. No evidence of the location of any such temporary structure was found at or near the present barracks building.

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 Public tramline system-
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 Providing and using pedestrian tracks and ways-
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. Housing public servants and officials-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The place has historic significance to demonstrate the late 19th and early 20th century development of the NSW railways as a major junction station that expanded in conjunction with the development of branch lines throughout western NSW. The station building dates from the opening of the line at Parkes in 1893, and along with other related structures has the ability to provide evidence of a late 19th century and early 20th century working railway precinct. The complex of related railway structures at Parkes are significant as evidence of a major junction station which continues to be a key station in the in the NSW network.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The station building is a fine, albeit modified, example of a late Victorian station building with later sympathetic additions that retain the original Victorian character and detailing of the building. The adjoining railway refreshment room dating from 1928 is a good example of a large single storey refreshment room. The two buildings form a coherent group of related railway structures complemented by their large decorative platform awnings.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The social significance of the place has not been formally assessed through community consultation but no specific strong or special social associations within the local community have been identified through the existing evidence.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
No research values have been identified that are not readily found at other similar railway sites in NSW.
SHR Criteria f)
The site has rarity significance as the roundhouse is one of only seven similar structures in NSW, although better examples exist. The footbridge is notable as the last riveted Warren truss footbridge constructed on the NSW network.
SHR Criteria g)
The site has representative significance for its collection of railway structures including the station building, railway refreshment rooms, signal box, footbridge, crane, locomotive depot and other related items that collectively demonstrate widespread 19th and early 20th century railway customs, activities and design in NSW, and are representative of similar items that are found at other railway sites in NSW.
Integrity/Intactness: The station buildings including the 1920s and 1940s additions have a high level of integrity.
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
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementParkes Engineman's Barracks CMP The CMP is for the Barracks building, which is a contributory element to SHR item #1220 'Parkes Railway Station Group' Dec 19 2000
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
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.

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


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0122002 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Parkes Railway Station group View detail

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

(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: 5012129

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.