The former Brisbane City Council Electricity Supply Department Substation No 10 is important in demonstrating the change to a Series System for distributing and supplying electricity in Brisbane. It was built in 1936 at a time of tramway expansion following the Council’s acquisition of the tramways system from the Brisbane Tramways Trust in 1925. As one of 11 substations built during this period, it stands as an important reminder of a substantial public transport infrastructure that once powered Brisbane’s extensive tram network.
Also known as
Brisbane City Council Electricity Supply Department Substation No 10
Local Heritage Place Since —
Date of Citation —
Walls: Face brick
Roy Rusden Ogg (Architect)
Criterion for listing
(A) Historical;(F) Technical;(H) Historical association
The Tram Substation No 10 was built in 1936 by Brisbane City Council which also owned the land.
Located at Annerley Junction, it was one of 11 substations erected in the 1920s and 1930s and located at strategic points across the city. Brisbane City Council purchased the site in 1935 to build the substation. W. Arundell was the Chief Engineer, and designed by architect, Roy Rusden Ogg, who was BCC Tramways Department architect at the time. The Chief Draughtsman was E L Bryant. The substation had a 500 kw Mercury Arc Rectifier.
This former industrial building remains structurally sound. The machinery has been removed. It appears to have been built on the site where several earlier wooden buildings associated with the Annerley Junction Hotel (eg wheelwright, saddler, etc) were located.
Trams were very important to the urbanisation of Annerley, and the junction of Annerley and Ipswich Roads (where the former tram substation is located), was the focus of the suburb.
The Brisbane Tramway Co Ltd introduced electric traction in 1897. It took over the existing horse lines. An extension in Ipswich Road as far as Cornwall Street was built in 1895 and extended in 1899 just south of the junction of Annerley and Ipswich Roads. By 1915 the Ipswich Road line was extended to Aubigney Street (Yeronga Park). Further extensions were made to Beaudesert Road, Marooka in 1937 and to Evans Road in 1941 to help serve munitions factories during World War 11.
Meanwhile the Dutton Park tramline (opened in 1908) provided a second service to the northern part of Annerley and was extended from Cornwall Street in 1939.
The Brisbane Tramways Trust, which acquired the tramway system from the private Brisbane Tramways Co from 1 Jan 1923, operated the system for three years before it was abolished and the greater Brisbane City Council took over operations.
Land titles show that the property on which the former substation was located, was transferred to Queensland Brewery Limited in November 1970. It was later transferred to the current owners of the Annerley Junction Hotel in 2001. The former substation is currently used as a drive-in bottle shop for the Annerley Junction Hotel.
The substation is a solid, well-built face brick building. The functional austerity of the substation is relieved by finely crafted brickwork detailing with dentils and cornices to the high parapets on the facades facing Annerley and Ipswich Roads which feature metal rainwater heads and downpipes.
The building, which appears to be in fairly good condition, has a number of relatively small multi-paned window openings at the upper level. These windows are generally recessed within the brickwork with rendered architraves and small projecting sills.
The former substation has frontages to both Ipswich and Annerley Roads.
Statement of significance
Relevant assessment criteria
This is a place of local heritage significance and meets one or more of the local heritage criteria under the Heritage planning scheme policy of the Brisbane City Plan 2014. It is significant because:
The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of the city's or local area’s history
as an interwar tram substation built at a time of tramway expansion following the Brisbane City Council's acquisition of the tramways system from the Brisbane Tramways Trust in 1925.
The place is important in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technological achievement at a particular period
As a fairly intact example of an industrial building that helped power Brisbane’s extensive tramway network; and, as the first substation to demonstrate the change to a Series System for distributing and supplying electricity in Brisbane.
The place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organization of importance in the city’s or local area’s history
as a substation that was owned by the Brisbane City Council for 35 years and provided a municipal public transport system across the city.
Brisbane City Council Properties on the Web
BCC-owned Former Electricity and Tramways Substations, Conservation Management Plan, Brisbane City Council 2003
Lawson, Ronald 1973, Brisbane in the 1890s: A Study of an Australian Urban Society, University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia
McKellar's Map of Brisbane and Suburbs. Brisbane: Surveyor-General’s Office, 1895
Donald Watson and Judith McKay, Queensland Architects of the Nineteenth Century, South Brisbane: Queensland Museum, 1994
Heritage Unit, Stephens District: Character and Heritage Study, Heritage Unit, Brisbane City Council, 1995
Brisbane City Council Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Detail Plans
Department of Natural Resources, Certificates of Title
John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Picture Queensland
John Kerr, ‘Welcome to Annerley’, The Annals of Annerley, RHSQ 1997
Garry R Ford, ‘Brisbane Tramway Centenary: a Brief Chronology’, Royal Historical Society of Queensland Journal, Vol 12:2 (Sept, 1985)
Mackenzie, Annie, Memories along the Boggo Track, Boolarong Publications, 1992
Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2019)