Tocumwal road and rail bridge over Murray River | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Tocumwal road and rail bridge over Murray River

Item details

Name of item: Tocumwal road and rail bridge over Murray River
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Bridge/ Viaduct
Location: Lat: -35.8140857773 Long: 145.5567214740
Primary address: Narrandera-Tocumwal railway, Tocumwal, NSW 2714
Local govt. area: Berrigan
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Cummeragunja

Boundary:

The listing boundary is the bridge structure itself including abutments and approaches.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Narrandera-Tocumwal railwayTocumwalBerrigan  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Rail Infrastructure CorporationState Government 

Statement of significance:

The river bridge was a combined road and rail structure. It is of very high significance because of its technological value and its importance in the history of transport in the State and inter State rivalries.
Date significance updated: 29 Nov 00
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

Construction years: 1895-
Physical description: STRUCTURES
rail/road bridge - steel across Murray River to Victoria lift span, RNE, LEP.

Comprises mostly wrought iron elements:
Three spans: two through truss spans and through girder centre span, carrying a single broad-gauge railway track over the Murray River. The up end and down end spans (side spans) comprise wrought iron through trusses and the central span, which can be raised to allow river vessels through at high water levels, comprises of wrought iron through girders. Steel I-beam stringers span longitudinally between mild steel cross-girders and diagonal wrought iron tie rod plan bracing in the side spans. In the centre span, stringers span between wrought iron cross girders with wrought iron equal angle wind bracing (ibid, 2017, 12)

Steel grid mesh spans between the stringers in spans 1 and 3, while in span 2 there are timber planks between the rails, and wrought iron trough sections either side of the rails. The rails are directly fixed to the stringers' top flanges in the centre span (ibid, 2017, 12).

The centre span historically was operated as a lift span to allow passage of river-going vessels. The lift span mechanism has been disabled (Nuttall Engineering, 2017, 4).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Recently there have been a few investigations into the bridge's condition. Though none have fully covered the entirety of the structure, they give good insight into ongoing issues and the state of components. More detail is in section 2 . The results of the inspection found no defects that may cause concern for the safe running of trains. However many require attention to prevent them from turning into more serious defects (Nuttall Engineering, 2017, 4).
Date condition updated:30 Jan 18
Modifications and dates: Since 1895 consrtuction, the bridge has undergone a number of changes, including strengthening and repair works on several occasions, deck replacements and raising the deck level (Nuttall Engineering, 2017, 4).

Initially provided for road traffic only, it was strengthened for rail traffic in 1908, and used for both road and rail traffic until November 1987.

The record drawings indicate apparent repairs and strengthening works in 1973, 1980, 1982 and 1987.

1977 lift span locked.

1987 road vehicle access removed (i.e. rail traffic only).

2012 strengthening and side span deck replacement.

A concrete road bridge was provided as an alternative route for road traffic upstream, with the old bridge used for rail traffic only since that time, at which point various strengthening works were undertaken to allow for the new loading conditions. The deck was modified and strengthening repairs undertaken in 2012 (Nuttall Engineering, 2017, 11-12).
Current use: Railway bridge over Murray River
Former use: Aboriginal land, farmland

History

Historical notes: The Tocumwall Railway Bridge was built in 1895, with three spans, the centre span having an opening lift for navigation (allowing river boats to pass). WHen opened, monthly lifting of the centre span was carried out for testing purposes (Nuttall Engineering, 2017, 11-12).

Initially provided for road traffic only, it was strengthened for rail traffic in 1908, and used for both road and rail traffic until November 1987. WHen the bridge was made a rail/road bridge, the centre span was always kept down unless river traffic needed it (up)(ibid, 2017, 12).

By 1930, river traffic declined, and so by 1944, the montly lifting was altered to yearly. In 1951 it was proposed to keep the span closed, the last lift (of it) for river traffic being in 1933, and no maintenance lifting having been done for a decade (ibid, 2017, 12).

In September 1977, both state governments agreed to keep the centre lift span fixed, and removed the requirement for being able to lift it (ibid, 2017, 12).

A concrete road bridge was provided as an alternative route for road traffic upstream, with the old bridge used for rail traffic only since that time, at which point various strengthening works were undertaken to allow for the new loading conditions. The record drawings indicate apparent repairs and strengthening works in 1973, 1980, 1982 and 1987. The deck was modified and strengthening repairs undertaken in 2012. (ibid, 2017, 11-12).

Easter 1995 celebrations included operation of the bridge's lift span (ibid, 2017,12). Tocumwal Rail bridge is currently in use by V/Line providing transport to passengers and freight travelling between Shepparton and NSW (Tiarne Gordon , 2018, 2).

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. River flats-
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 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 Bridging rivers-
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. State government-
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-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
This item is assessed as historically 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.

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 0106102 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenNuttal Engineering Consultants2017Special Investigation Report - Tocumwal Rawilway Bridge - Structure ID: KM 250.621 - Murray River Bridge at Tocumwal - Inspection and Assessment Report
WrittenTiane Gordon2018Tocumwal Rail and Road Bridge over Murray River - Heritage Impact Statement

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: 5012248
File number: EF14/4403


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