Belmore Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Belmore Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Belmore Railway Station Group
Other name/s: Burwood Road
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Location: Lat: -33.9171364778 Long: 151.0887725510
Primary address: Burwood Road, Belmore, NSW 2192
Local govt. area: Canterbury
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan

Boundary:

North: Property boundary to Redman Parade South: Property boundary to Tobruk Avenue, excluding shops and carpark to west of Burwood Road East: 5 metres from the eastern end of the island platform West: 5 metres from the western end of the island platform (excluding the overbridge)
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Burwood RoadBelmoreCanterbury  Primary Address
Redman ParadeBelmoreCanterbury  Alternate Address
Bankstown railwayBelmoreCanterbury  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government20 Oct 98

Statement of significance:

Belmore Station is of State significance as it was the initial terminus station on the Sydenham to Bankstown Line which had been constructed to relieve congestion on the Main South Line as well as to promote agriculture and suburban growth. The platform building represents the period of transition from the boom time of the 1880s to the standardisation of NSW railway building design of the 1890s onwards and the high level of aesthetic design of pre-1900 standard railway buildings, which included the use of polychromatic brickwork, decorative dentil coursing, ornate awning brackets and carved bargeboards. The building is relatively intact and is representative of a small group of such ornate platform buildings including Canterbury and Marrickville on the Bankstown Line.
Date significance updated: 21 Jul 09
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: NSW Government Railways
Construction years: 1895-1937
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Platform building, Platforms 1-2 (Type 11) (1895)
Overhead Booking Office and Concourse, (1937, 2008)

STRUCTURES
Platforms 1-2, (1895, 1907)
Overbridge, (substantially modified 1961)
Platform Canopies, (2008)

CONTEXT
Belmore Station has a single island platform with the original platform building and a modified booking office and concourse with an access lift. The platform is accessed directly via the modern stairs through the concourse from the overbridge on Burwood Road. Burwood Road is the main commercial shopping strip in the suburb.

PLATFORM BUILDING (1895)
External: Rectangular polychromatic face brick building with gabled roof and surrounding cantilevered awning clad in corrugated roof sheeting. The face brick is in stretcher bond, which was originally a dark brick up to a dado (the lower brick walls have now been painted) of lighter salmon coloured bricks which frame the upper half of the windows and doors, with a diamond pattern dentil course at the high level. The building is eight bays in length, with the bays defined by engaged brick piers which coincide with the awning brackets. Original chimneys with cement mouldings and terracotta flues remain but have been painted.

The cantilever awning is on filigreed steel brackets supported on decorative cement cornices on engaged brick piers and bolt fixings to the station building brick walls. The soffit lining is the underside of the corrugated steel roof fixed to intermediate exposed purlins. There is a decorative timber moulding at the junction with the brick wall. The awning returns around the eastern end of the building but has been removed at the western end. The edge of the awning is finished with a decorative timber boarded valance.

The external walls rise from a projecting brick plinth (now painted) with a decorative two part cement dado moulding which frames the salmon brick dado and is continuous between door and window openings. Decorative cement window and door frames rise above the dado moulding, each with a decorative keystone.

The window and door openings have segmental arches and the windows feature a decorative moulded cement sill. The original timber windows were double hung with a double paned lower sash and a multi-paned upper sash featuring coloured glass of which some still remains. This detail continued through in the fanlights above the doors. The doors were timber panelled and most still remain. The end brick gable walls feature a louvre within a round brick window framed in salmon coloured voussoir shaped bricks, with four cement keystones.

Internal: The building comprises a booking hall originally entered by a set of double doors at the bottom of the stairs; a booking office; station masters room; general waiting room; ladies waiting room and ladies toilet, a lamp room and men's toilet. The internal usage has now changed, and the toilets have modern fitouts.

OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE (1937, 2008)
External: The original weatherboard overhead booking office was constructed in 1937, and had a hipped roof clad in Marseille pattern terracotta tiles which have been replaced by new terracotta tiles. It was constructed by placing steel beams across the Up line and supporting them on brick piers on the railway embankment on the north and on steel trestles on the platform. As well as accommodating the station master and ticket selling facilities it contained a parcels office and a booking hall which opened onto Burwood Road, with a bookstall in the north western corner. The building was substantially modified in 2008 by opening up the front wall on Burwood Road to provide larger full height glazing and more open access to the booking hall. The stairs were replaced and covered with a glazed canopy as well as the addition of an access lift.

Internal: The booking office which is on the platform side of the building contains the area for ticketing and also contains the station masters office as well as staff facilities in the old parcels office. The interior of the booking office and open booking hall has hardboard lined ceilings with timber battens. The walls in the booking office and old parcels office are also lined with hardboard, while the booking hall is lined with weatherboards. The timber floors have been replaced with concrete with carpet internally and tiles in the open booking hall. The original timber panelled doors and ticket window have been replaced.

PLATFORM (1895, 1907))
One Island platform with asphalt surface, original brick platform face and edge. The platform was lengthened in 1907.

OVERBRIDGE (1961)
The Burwood Road overbridge was originally a wooden structure, supported on brick piers. In 1961 the roadway deck was replaced with prestressed concrete which spans between the original brick abutments on each side and the original brick pier on the platform. Not a significant element.

CANOPIES (2008)
Modern glass canopy covers the stairway access from the booking hall concourse.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL POTENTIAL
Based on the surviving documentation and the evidence on site it is unlikely there would be any potential archaeological remains.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
PLATFORM BUILDING
Generally in good condition.

OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE
Good condition.

PLATFORM
Generally good condition.

CANOPIES
Good condition.

OVERBRIDGE
Good condition.
Modifications and dates: 1907: Platform extended.
1920s-1930s: construction of various sidings in yard.
c1922: Construction of shop on railway land to north of station.
1926: Western extension of station platform.
1926: Railway electrified.
1937: Construction of overhead booking office.
Early 1950s: Overhead booking office extended to north for parcels office.
1961: Timber overbridge replaced with prestressed concrete
2008: Overhead booking office altered and new stairs , lift and canopies added.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: Belmore is located on the Sydenham to Bankstown Railway line and was opened as the initial terminus station on 1 February 1895. Its initial construction name was Burwood Road but it was named Belmore on opening. (There is no evidence that the station was to be named St. George as suggested in some sources. However it was not unusual for a number of names to be publicly canvassed in the lead-up to opening of a station and this was probably the case in this instance. The locality and station were named after the Earl of Belmore, Governor of New South Wales between 1868 and 1872.)

The station was built when Belmore was still rural. The station layout featured a typical brick station building on an island platform. A station master’s residence was also built in 1895 and is still extant at 346 Burwood Road, opposite the station, but is now in private ownership.

The line had its origins in Railway Commissioner Goodchap’s 1882 recommendation that an additional line was needed between Newtown and Liverpool to relieve traffic on the Southern Line and to encourage agriculture and suburban settlement. Lobbying by local interests and land speculators achieved Parliamentary approval by 1890 and construction commenced in 1892. The most important stations on the line, Belmore, Canterbury and Marrickville, were built with impressive near-identical brick buildings, the other intermediate stations (Campsie, Dulwich Hill and Hurlstone Park) receiving more modest timber buildings (later replaced), possibly reflecting economies of the depression of the 1890s.

The depression suppressed the profitability of the line and the extension to Liverpool did not proceed. However, suburban development followed in the early twentieth century, particularly during the interwar period when many War Service homes were built west of Canterbury. The line was extended to Bankstown in 1909 (and then to Regents Park in 1928, making it part of a loop line through Lidcombe), its justification by then being the servicing of suburban development.

Prior to 1909 there were sidings for the storage of locomotives due to the railway terminating at Belmore. Suburban development intensified post World War I when many War Service homes were built in the area. Sidings at the station were extended during the 1920s for Belmore and Canterbury Councils for the purposes of unloading timber and other material for house construction and municipal works.

In 1925-26 a number of works were undertaken in preparation for electrification of the line including a sub-station and platform extension. The sub-station is now used as a signals training facility.

The overhead timber booking office at Belmore was constructed c.1937 at the top of the steps fronting onto the down side of Burwood Road to take the ticket selling and parcel functions. The change was also made to most other stations built to a similar configuration. The station master’s office remained in the platform building for another forty years, but this function too has now moved to the street level building and the platform building remains largely unused.

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)-
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-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Belmore Railway Station possesses state historical significance as it was the initial terminus station on the Sydenham to Bankstown Line built to relieve the crowding on the Main Southern Line and encourage agriculture and suburban growth in the late 1800s and early 20th century. The brick platform building represents that period which marked the transition from the boom period of the 1880s to the standardisation of NSW railway building design of the 1890s and onwards.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The platform building at Belmore Station has state aesthetic and technical significance because it demonstrates the particular design and style of brick island buildings erected by the NSW Railways in the pre-1900s and also because of the excellent quality of its aesthetic features such as the polychromatic brickwork, dentilled brick cornice and cement mouldings which distinguish it from other platform building types.
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 g)
[Representativeness]
The station is representative of, and is a fine example of a pre-1900 standard railway station building. It’s styling reflected the importance of the station at that time, the other important stations on the Bankstown line with the same design being Canterbury and Marrickville. The overhead booking office is also a representative example of this type of railway building and is largely intact.
Integrity/Intactness: PLATFORM BUILDING
Externally the platform building retains most of the original detailing, however the face brick has been painted to dado level. Some windows have been modified by the insertion of fibreglass vandal-proof sheeting into the sashes. Original roof vents have been removed, and the face brick chimneys painted. The male toilet modesty screen has been removed. Three external doors have been replaced by flush doors. The original access stairs were replaced in 2008.

Although the toilets have modern fixtures, a substantial amount of the original finishes remain. This includes plaster wall finishes, plaster ceilings and cornices, ceiling roses, the ticket window framing in the booking hall, benches and cupboards in the booking office as well as the cast iron fireplace. The old lamp room has been converted to a unisex toilet/ baby changing room.

OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE
While significantly altered by the opening of the western elevation, and the insertion of new metal glazing, the building retains a large amount of its original fabric including timber cladding and timber framed windows on the north, south and east elevations. The roof remains, but with new terracotta tiles.

Internally the ceiling linings in the booking hall and booking office remain as do the wall linings. The original timber floors are now concrete.
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 0108102 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     
Local Environmental Plan  16 Oct 98 1488286
Local Environmental Plan - Lapsed 015007 Jun 96 0672953

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Belmore Railway Station Group View detail
WrittenJohn Forsyth2007New South Wales Railway Stations: an alphabetical arrangement of railway station and place names
WrittenK. Edwards1982Beginning the Bankstown Line: a history of the Marrickville to Burwood Road Railway
WrittenMichael Bogle2006Shop Complex Associated with the Belmore Railway Station Group, 363 Burwood Road, Belmore: Heritage Assessment and Statement of Heritage Impact
WrittenPollon, F. & Healy, G. (ed.s)1988"Ashbury" and "Canterbury" entries, in The Book of Sydney Suburbs
WrittenTony Prescott2009Historical Research for RailCorp's S170 Update Project

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: 5045375


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