Springwood Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Springwood Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Springwood Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Location: Lat: -33.6987703266 Long: 150.5638216980
Primary address: Main Western railway, Springwood, NSW 2777
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin

Boundary:

North-western: Rail corridor to Station Road (excluding carpark); South-eastern: RailCorp property boundary to Macquarie Road & boundary of the private property fronting Macquarie Road; North-eastern: 5 metres from the end of the platform; South-western: 5 metres from the end of the platform.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Main Western railwaySpringwoodBlue Mountains   Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government16 Nov 98

Statement of significance:

Springwood Railway Station Group is of state significance as an important railway station for over 140 years with several trains to and from Sydney starting and terminating here. The main station building is the second oldest surviving station building in the Blue Mountains and is an unusual example of a Victorian Gothic railway station building. It is one of three stations in the Blue Mountains upgraded in 1880s demonstrating increase of tourism activity (the others being Lawson and Wentworth Falls) and is the only station building surviving from this period. Modifications to the building resulting from the duplication of the railway line in 1902 retained the elegant Victorian Gothic character of the station. With the intact lavatory building it is an important element in the chain of railway stations across the Blue Mountains. The size of the main station building and its solid well detailed construction suggests the growing importance of the village of Springwood in the 1880s. Springwood Railway Station Group is important to the local townscape forming a landmark at the curve in Macquarie Street towards the western end of the shopping centre.
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: Private contractors- John White, Chas. & Wm. Coghill & Thos. Proull
Construction years: 1883-1884
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Station Building - type 3, second-class (1884) (including Signal Box, 1935)
Lavatory Building (Male Toilet) - brick (1944)

STRUCTURES
Island platform - face brick (1884 & 1902)
Pedestrian Subway (1997/1998)

STATION BUILDING (1884)
External: Constructed of face brick with corrugated steel roof which extends on both sides to form an awning over both platforms. The Springwood station building is an early second class single storey island building in the Victorian Gothic style. The extension at the east end of the building, breaking the symmetry, has a hipped roof behind the parapet. Two chimneys on the ridgeline of the main roof are rendered with wide rendered and moulded corbels. The existing chimney pots are not original. The walls of the original building are Flemish bond tuckpointed brickwork with sandstone capping to the parapets and sandstone quoins to the external corners and reveals to openings. An arch on the centre of the original parapets has a stone infill carved with 'ERECTED 1884'. Sandstone finials top the gables and bull’s-eye vents in the gables are edged with sandstone. The east extension of the building is in stretcher bond brickwork but is finished with sandstone detailing matching the original construction. The brickwork has been painted. The building has three panelled doors with fanlights and dentilated transoms. Doors to the centre of the building are similar but have two panels. Windows are double hung and finished with sandstone label moulds. The original wide awning on the north side of the building is supported on timber stop chamfered columns with capitals and pattern carved on the centre of the columns. Cast iron brackets provide further embellishment to the columns. Awnings on the south side of the building are typical of the 1902 railway stations in the Blue Mountains with a wide low pitched roof supported on steel brackets supported on stone corbels. The ends of both awnings are finished with a timber boarded valance. A train mural by artist Vernon Treweeke is located on the eastern side of the main station building covering the privacy wall to the male toilet. Other murals by the same artist are located at Katoomba and Woodford Railway Stations.

Internal: The building appears to have maintained few of its original detailing and finishes due to the upgrade works of 1997/98. However, the original floor layout including a waiting room, ticket office, parcels office and signal box and ladies room are still present in addition to early double panelled timber framed windows and timber doors. Light fittings and carpet finish are relatively new. The 1902 extension to the southern side of the building is clearly apparent forming a corridor along the building. The 1935 signal box within the station building’s envelope survives with its signage and no longer operates (lever frame and CTC panel removed). It is currently a storage room with exposed roof structure and painted brick walls.

LAVATORY BUILDING (1944, 1998)
External: A simple gabled building on axis with the platform with a clearstory ventilated roof. The roof is of corrugated steel with exposed purlins to the gable ends and exposed rafters. The walls are Flemish bond tuckpointed brick work. Entry is at east end through an arched door behind a brick screen with the Mural on the outer side. Windows in the north wall have stone sills.

Internal: All toilet and light fittings date to 1998 upgrade works with painted brick walls and fibrocement ceiling panels.

ISLAND PLATFORM (1902)
Springwood Railway Station has an island platform in a curved shape towards the east. The platform is brick faced with concrete deck and asphalt finish. A small square portion of grass has been inlayed into the platform surrounded by concrete west of the lavatories. A few potted plants are located on the north side of the platform under the station building awning, near the booking office and either side of the station level lift entrance. No garden beds are present. Entrance to the subway is located at the east end of the platform between the lift and station building. Period and modern light fittings and timber bench seating in addition to modern and early signage, aluminium palisade fencing between the station building and the lavatories and at both ends of the platform.

PEDESTRIAN SUBWAY (1997/1998)
The pedestrian subway is marked by a long gabled corrugated roof on the Macquarie Street footpath and a low pitched gabled roof over the west end of the platform with cantilevered awnings connected to the awnings of the main station building. The walkway is most prominent from the western Macquarie Street approaches to the station than from the more eastern approaches. Access to the platform is via a ramped access way from both sides of the subway towards a central stairway on the west side of the subway and a lift at the east wall. The internal walls of the subway are tiled from floor to ceiling. The station is a prominent element in the Macquarie Street streetscape, overlooking a bend in the road making it a local landmark.

MOVABLE ITEMS
- A Milners’ Patent safe (no number) has been observed at the station office.
- Several original station signage depicting ' Station Master', 'Waiting Room', 'Booking Office', 'Parcels Office', 'Signal Box' etc.
- 2 x commemorative plaques (1984 & 1998) on Platform 1 elevation of the station building.
- Early light fittings on platform

LANDSCAPE FEATURES
A brick 1902 retaining wall runs along the edge of the Macquarie Street footpath, elevating the railway line and platform from the street.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station Building - Generally in good condition
Lavatory Building - Good
Island Platform - Good
Pedestrian Subway - Good
Date condition updated:10 Sep 08
Modifications and dates: 1902 - Extension to the southern side of the building and the platform during duplication of the line
1944 - Extension to the main station building at Sydney end
1997-98 - Pedestrian Subway with lift and modern canopies constructed
Further information: Small fibro shed adjacent to yard is excluded from listing.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: When the first railway line over the Blue Mountains was constructed in 1867 under the direction of John Whitton, a station at Springwood was opened. This location has been an important railway station for over 140 years, with several trains to and from Sydney starting and terminating here. The present brick main station building was constructed in 1884, at the same time as stations were built at Wentworth Falls and Lawson.

In the 1880s, the Blue Mountains started to become a popular holiday destination and this was reflected in the provision of new, brick platform structures to replace the initial timber buildings. Springwood received in 1886 the finest building on the Blue Mountains, apart from Mount Victoria. It was also a rare example of local, official involvement in the building design, with the District Engineer, Fred Avery, approving the architectural details.

A gate keepers cottage was located west of the station building (now privately owned) and is not part of this listing. Bathurst Road crossed the railway line on the western side of the station and the resident gatekeeper was responsible for manning the gates at the level crossing. A footbridge provided pedestrian access across the line. With only one line across the mountains at this stage, the station building faced north to the line and to the crossing loops that were then in place on the north side of the main line.

The railway line over the Blue Mountains was duplicated in 1902 necessitating alterations to most of the platforms on that line. In most cases a new station was built, but in the case of Springwood Railway Station, a new platform wall was built on the south side of the main station building and alterations to the main station building were undertaken to provide a shelter on that side of the station. This was probably when the building was also extended one bay to the east. The level crossing was replaced by a subway and the residence to the west of the railway station was removed to make way for the footbridge which provided access from the north and south sides of the station to the platform. A men's toilet block was built to the east of the main station building. It is not clear whether the footbridge was a modification of the earlier footbridge or a new construction. (The footbridge which existed prior to the 1902 modifications was not the original footbridge of 1879).

A signal box was opened in 1935 within the building envelope. In 1995 the room in which the interlocking frame is situated was changed.

From the 1940s onward, Springwood was an important watering station for steam locomotives proceeding to Sydney. Whilst taking on water there, however, it was extremely difficult for locomotives to be positioned in the necessarily precise location because of the falling gradient.

Few changes were made to the station between 1902 and 1997. In 1998, station upgrading works were undertaken including the construction of a subway to provide pedestrian access from the north and south to the platform, replacing the 1902 footbridge, a lift between the subway and the main station building, and a new canopy over the west end of the platform to provide shelter to the subway and platform.

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)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Transporting agricultural supplies and machinery-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Springwood Railway Station is of historical significance as an important railway station for over 140 years with several trains to and from Sydney starting and terminating here. The main station building is the second oldest surviving station building in the Blue Mountains. It is one of three stations in the Blue Mountains upgraded in 1880s (the others being Lawson and Wentworth Falls) and is the only station building surviving from this period. The size of the main station building and its solid well detailed construction suggests the growing importance of the village of Springwood in the 1880s.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Springwood Railway Station has historical associations with the District Engineer, Fred Avery, who was involved in the station's design and approved the architectural details. However, this association is considered to be of secondary significance.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Springwood Railway Station is of aesthetic significance as an extant example of a railway station building in the Victorian Gothic style. The use of brickwork with sandstone detailing gives the building an elegant character, which was retained and further enhanced with the duplication of the railway line across the Blue Mountains in 1902. This character is continued in the men's lavatory block at the east end of the platform. The station group in particular the main building remains a landmark within the townscape of Springwood.
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 past.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Springwood station building is a rare extant example of a railway station building in the Victorian Gothic style with upgrade works in the 1880s. Springwood station building is the only surviving building from this style as the other two station buildings from this era at Lawson and Wentworth Falls have been demolished.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The main 1880s station building is classified as a ‘type 3’ second-class station building and is one of approximately 40 other similar station buildings across NSW and has representative significance for demonstrating widespread 19th Century railway customs, activities and design in NSW.
Integrity/Intactness: The station group has a high degree of integrity with minimal changes to the exterior of the buildings. The overall integrity of the station has been reduced due to the 1990s upgrade works, which obscure views to the roofscape of the building and impact on the setting.
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 0124702 Apr 99 271546

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenARHS2009Historical information prepared for S170 update project
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Springwood Railway Station group View detail
WrittenCroft and Walker1982Heritage Study, Blue Mountains
WrittenJack, Hubert, Lavelle, Morris2002Springwood, Blaxland, Hazelbrook HA
WrittenJack, R.I, University of Sydney1999Blue Mountains Heritage Register Review
WrittenR.T. Taaffe2008Supplementary advice, 13th November
WrittenSharp, S.A1982The Railway Stations of NSW 1855-1980
WrittenSharp, Stuart1997Springwood Railway Station Upgrading: Heritage Impact Statement
WrittenTaaffe, R.T1990The Use and Selection of Materials in Railway Signal Box Construction 1912-1990
WrittenTropman and Tropman1992Heritage Study Review, Blue Mountains

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: 5012219


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