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This page documents all known precast concrete station buildings of the
New South Wales Railways.
Main focus is on the building types and their configurations as constructed.
Only brief histories and major features are dealt with here - for further
details and background history please refer to 'References and Acknowledgements'
at the foot of this page.
While much information presented on this page has been sourced from those
references, additional material including railway plans, Rota Notes, and
many photographs have been examined to provide up-to-date and more accurate
data than previously published elsewhere.
spreadsheet of NSWR precast concrete station buildings here.
Records are initially sorted by station Opening date. You can use the 'Data, Sort' option in your spreadsheet program (Microsoft Excel, or similar) to rearrange the list order, for example by Location or Line.
The first concrete railway station building in New South Wales, erected at Lake Cargelligo in 1918. Concrete slabs were dropped between slotted posts to form the walls, which were externally rendered. The building layout was unique and its design was never repeated, but many features were incorporated into later standard concrete types.
Early standard Ac types
Perhaps the untold story of NSWR concrete buildings was this series of passenger stations based on existing timber types. Drawings from 1917 show five modular designs Ac1 to Ac5 that were equivalent to timber A1 to A5 buildings. A common defining feature was provision of a dedicated passenger Waiting Room. Their layout allowed for expansion from one type to the next - for example, an Ac2 could be extended by addition of another room to make an Ac3, though in practice it seems this method of consecutive additions was rarely, if ever, employed.
The first section of railway to use Ac type concrete stations was Kempsey to Macksville in 1919. The small Ac1, Ac2 and Ac3 standard designs were soon superseded by the more familiar Pc1, Pc2 and Pc3 types, and only the larger Ac4 was repeated in any numbers.
Based on the common timber A1 building, early plans show the Ac1 as a simple 20 foot precast concrete Waiting Room with one rainwater tank. No Ac1's are known to have been erected.
The Ac2 expanded on the Ac1 by addition of a 13 foot 3 inch Stores room to the right of the Waiting Room. The first Ac2 is believed to be that provided at Warrell Creek on the North Coast Line in 1919, with the building later being extended at the left end. Ac2's were also built for Main West duplication at Brewongle and Kelso in 1922. These two buildings had valanced awnings with curved steel support brackets, and were amongst the earliest to use 10 inch rusticated wall slabs.
The Ac3 was a further expansion of the Ac2 type, with the addition of a 16 foot Ladies Waiting Room and WC at the right end, and a second rainwater tank. The only known Ac3 was at Eungai on the North Coast line, opened in 1919.
The Ac4 was a larger precast concrete station for more important locations, and was the only Ac series built in significant numbers. It incorporated an Office with ticket counter between the Waiting Room and Store. Buildings of 15 inch slab construction were erected at Macksville (1919), Broken Hill (1919), Bombala (1921), Eugowra (1922), Rankins Springs (1923) and Hillston (1923), while Ballina received a 10 inch slab building as late as 1930. The Broken Hill building was significantly altered and extended during its life.
Click on the image at right for an HO scale drawing of the Ac4, a PDF file that can be printed to scale on A3 size paper.
Note: If your web browser cannot directly view this PDF file you should save it (right click, "Save Target As..." or "Save Link As...") then open it with a suitable PDF viewer.
The Ac5 was a larger U shaped station building incorporating gabled, transverse Store/Parcels and Ladies sections, and rear verandah. Only two Ac5's were built. Leeton (1922) had 15 inch wall slabs and closely followed the original Ac5 plans. Willow Tree's replacement building (circa 1929) had a valanced awning on steel supports and 10 inch rusticated wall slabs. Both buildings remain in use.
Standard Pc types
While the Ac types had been designed as passenger stations, the Signalling Branch developed small concrete stations intended for general mixed use. Early drawings of 1918 show the Pc1 as a simple one room shelter, and three of these buildings were erected on the Broken Hill line in 1919. A Pc2, which added an Office and 'Living' room to the Pc1 layout, was provided at Menindee. Broken Hill itself was opened with an Ac4.
The Pc1, Pc2, and later the Pc3 which added Ladies Rooms, became standard designs that would dominate the next decade of railway construction in rural New South Wales.
Early Pc buildings were erected without awnings, had no rear access to the shelter, and lacked fan lights. Standard roof material was fibro shingles with terra-cotta ridge cap, and at least two distinct roof pitches were used. Plans after 1920 added a corrugated iron platform awning, and the steeper pitch roof became standard. A rear door and loading stage was added to the Store. From 1924 onwards 10 inch rusticated wall slabs superseded flat 15 inch slabs, and soon afterwards timber fan lights replaced the concrete type. After 1927 corrugated fibro roofs were provided.
A 15 foot 6 inch long shelter shed with offset entrance door facing the platform. One rainwater tank was normally provided. The shelter or "Store" usually had a seat and shelf, and was intended to be used as both a passenger waiting room and small goods shed. These simple shelters were the most numerous concrete stations, with about ninety Pc1's built on rural branch lines in NSW.
Although all shared the same basic dimensions, there were several differences that distinguished each building. Until about 1924 Pc1's were constructed from 15 inch wall slabs. Fan-lights, rear door and loading stage were absent from early Pc1's, and some even lacked the awning. Water tank could be located at either end, and although the usual configuration had the front door offset to the right side, at least four Pc1's were built in a reversed or 'mirror' layout.
Late Pc1's had 10 inch rusticated wall slabs, and all had fan-lights. After 1927 corrugated fibro roofs were normal.
The Pc1 at Jincumbilly on the Bombala line pictured here is an early building featuring 15 inch slabs, swing doors, no fan lights and no rear loading stage. Although near complete, its concrete rainwater tank is missing.
The Pc2 added a 22 foot 6 inch Office and 'Living' Room to the right end of the Pc1 shelter or 'Store', providing basic accommodation for staff. Pc2's were usually provided at small stations that were attended part time.
The first Pc2 was built at Menindee in 1919. Pc2's with 15 inch wall slabs followed at Leadville, Hannahs Bridge, Pleasant Hills, Rand, Tumbarumba, Tallimba, Weethalle, Goolgowi, Baradine, Gwabegar, Bomera, Premer, Springridge and Kunama. Later Pc2 stations with 10 inch rusticated slabs were located at: Newee Creek, Conoble, Crooble, North Star, Larras Lee, Yullundry, Walmer, Arthurville and Toongi.
A drawing exists for a refined Pc2 at Gooloogong (Eugowra branch), that shows a valanced awning with curved steel supports, however it appears this building was never erected.
Premer station is an example of the standard 'Pc2' type with 15 inch wall slabs and concrete framed fan lights. When photographed in 2013 it retained the original fibro shingle roof with terra-cotta ridge cap and finials, but its concrete water tank and timber platform face had been replaced. To the right of the Pc2 stands a small precast concrete signal hut.
The Pc3 added a 15 foot Ladies Waiting Room, WC and one rainwater tank to the right end of the Pc2 layout. At least one railway drawing refers to the additional room and tank as Pc4, though it seems unlikely that a Pc4 would ever have been built as a standalone structure.
The earliest Pc3 appears to be Coolah station of 1920, though it might have initially been a Pc2. This building had a low pitched roof and was extended at some stage.
Pc3's with 15 inch wall slabs were built at Oberon and Batlow in 1923, while subsequent buildings with 10 inch slabs were provided at Lowanna, Mangoplah, Westby, Ivanhoe, Taralga, Kurrajong, Kywong, Kikoira, Naradhan, Burcher, Wiangaree, The Risk, Boggabilla and Robertson.
Later Pc3 stations differed slightly in window and door arrangements at the Ladies end - on the platform side, entrance doors to the Ladies room and WC were normally off an open vestibule, and the height of this opening varied. The WC rear of most buildings had a half-height louvered window instead of a full sized one (usually located in the end) of earlier stations. Pc3's constructed from 1928 onwards - about half the buildings - received a corrugated main roof instead of fibro tiles (slates).
This view of Robertson's Pc3 clearly shows the open vestibule with door to the Ladies Room. Door to Gents in the end wall is an alteration unique to this station. Corrugated iron has replaced the original fibro roof.
The Ac8 is the only known NSW precast concrete station building designed for island platforms. Its layout was based on the A8 brick station building commonly seen in the Sydney area. Detail drawings show that the Ac8 shared components with earlier Ac passenger types. Only two examples were built, at Cumnock and Yeoval on the Molong-Dubbo line in 1926. Both buildings had 10 inch wall slabs and other features typical of precast concrete stations in that era. Cumnock station building remains extant, although out of use.
Other precast stations that did not conform to standard design layouts, and were constructed as one-off designs.
At Toongabbie a two-room building to Ac dimensions was built as early as 1920 using 10 inch wall slabs (possibly the first), and valanced awnings with standard curved steel supports. Unlike the similar Ac2, it had a Ladies Room and Waiting Room only. This unique building was demolished with main line quadruplication about 1946.
An overhead booking office with 10 inch slabs was built at suburban Croydon.
At Lake Cowal on the Burcher branch, a Pc1 with Ladies Room (Pc1 + Pc4 ?) was built.
The largest NSWR precast station still stands at Murwillumbah. At over 130 feet long its layout is unique, and the building appears to be completely non-standard.
Pictured at right is the extended Pc2 at Weethalle. Note that the original 15 inch slab building has a Ladies Room added to the right end using 10 inch slabs. Several Pc2's were extended like this in the 1920's, providing them with similar facilities to the larger Pc3 buildings.
Click here for a plan (HO scale at 150 DPI) of the Tallimba extension, which was identical to that at Weethalle. The reverse layout was used on the opposite end of some buildings.
Extensions are known to have been added to Warrell Creek's Ac2, the Ac4 at Broken Hill, Pc1's at Tabbita and Merriwagga, Pc2's at Menindee, Baradine, Gwabegar, Tumbarumba, Tallimba, Weethalle and North Star, and Pc3's at Coolah and Ivanhoe. There may have been others.
Merriwagga's Pc1 and Broken Hill's Ac4 were extended at both ends. Changes to Broken Hill's layout made the building barely recognisable as an Ac4.
The former Pc2's at Pleasant Hills, Rand, Newee Creek, Walmer and Yullundry were reduced in size by demolition of the office and living rooms, effectively converting them to Pc1's. The Risk's Pc3 ended its life cut back to just a toilet block!
References and Acknowledgements
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