Addresses

At 2 Railway Parade, Shorncliffe, Queensland 4017

Type of place

Air raid shelter, Railway station, Defence site

Period

Federation 1890-1914

Style

Arts and Crafts

This is an image of the local heritage place known as Shorncliffe Railway Station

This is an image of the local heritage place known as Converted to male toilets

This is an image of the local heritage place known as Shroncliffe Waiting Shed

Shorncliffe Railway Station & Overbridge

Shorncliffe Railway Station & Overbridge Download Citation (pdf, 497.72 KB)

Addresses

At 2 Railway Parade, Shorncliffe, Queensland 4017

Type of place

Air raid shelter, Railway station, Defence site

Period

Federation 1890-1914

Style

Arts and Crafts

The Shorncliffe Railway Station is a unique surviving bayside suburban station in Brisbane, purpose built in 1897 to function as a resort station, and later extended 1912, and 1914 to serve the growing suburb. The station retains unique island bench seating in the waiting area, and has rare timber lattice truss platform shades, and an open ventilated roof structure to the large waiting area, and the majority of original timber detailing, windows and joinery survives. Shorncliffe Railway Station also contains the only surviving WWII railway station air raid shelter in Brisbane, later adapted to male toilets. An increasingly rare early 20th century timber foot bridge, lying 75 metres to the west, also remains extant. Shorncliffe Railway Station is a rare surviving design in Brisbane by Queensland Railways Architect, Henrik Hansen, who was responsible for designing a number of the most notable timber railway stations in Queensland, such as those in Mount Morgan [1898] Archer Park [1899] Emerald [1900] and Longreach, [1916].

Also known as

Sandgate Railway Station

Lot plan

L88_CP827279

Key dates

Local Heritage Place Since —

Date of Citation —

Construction

Structure;
Walls: Timber

People/associations

Henrik Hansen (Architect)

Criterion for listing

(A) Historical; (B) Rarity; (C) Scientific; (D) Representative; (H) Historical association

Interactive mapping

City Plan Interactive Mapping

Also known as

Sandgate Railway Station

Lot plan

L88_CP827279

Key dates

Local Heritage Place Since —

Date of Citation —

Construction

Structure;
Walls: Timber

People/associations

Henrik Hansen (Architect)

Criterion for listing

(A) Historical; (B) Rarity; (C) Scientific; (D) Representative; (H) Historical association

Interactive mapping

City Plan Interactive Mapping

History

The Sandgate Line, opened in 1882, was extended to Shorncliffe (Cabbage Tree Head) in 1897. Originally known as Sandgate, the new station’s name was changed to Shorncliffe in October 1938.  An addition was made to the parcels office in 1912 and to a roadside verandah in 1914. A timber foot bridge was constructed in the early C20th and an air-raid shelter c.1940. 

The Sandgate line was built in 1882 to allow the booming population of Brisbane to more readily access the growing seaside township and its beaches which had become Brisbane’s seaside resort. As the resident population grew, as well as the volume of day-trippers, locals lobbied for increased services. In April 1883 a deputation urged the Minister for Works to extend the railway a short distance beyond the existing terminus to Kate and Friday Streets for the convenience of people living in the southern part of the town who had to travel nearly a mile from the station.1 Initially it was stated that the existing arrangements were suitable for the population. In 1887 a member of the deputation asked when plans would be presented but received only “a diplomatic response”2.  By 1889 a budget had been made available, but it was not until August 1896 that the route was pegged out. A tender for the construction of the line and new station had been accepted some years previously but had been delayed. On Saturday 1 May 1897 the extension of the Sandgate railway line from the old station to Shorncliffe was opened “without any formality” with the Railway Commissioner, his Deputy and the Chief Engineer paying a visit for a final inspection. Although the station was fully constructed, the painting was not yet completed.3 The new station was called Sandgate while old terminus station was renamed “Sandgate Central”.

The station building was designed by Queensland Railway’s architect Henrik Hansen, as an adaptation of a standard design to meet the requirements of a seaside resort station, with a larger than usual waiting area. Although some residents expressed concerns about special excursion trains to Sandgate which would make the station “the scene of a scrambling, pushing, … noisy crowd on Sunday afternoons”, the success of this seaside resort station inspired other seaside locations, such as Yeppoon, Pialba, Urangan, Cleveland, Southport, Tweed Heads and Coolangatta to construct seaside rail lines and stations. Yeppoon station is the only other surviving seaside resort station in Queensland and is much less intact than Shorncliffe and has no characteristic island seating.

Henrik Hansen was the foremost Architect in Queensland Railways at this time, being responsible for designing a series of impressive timber railway stations across Queensland, notably Mount Morgan [1898] Archer Park [1899] Emerald [1900] and Longreach, [1916]. Hansen worked for Queensland Railways from 1877 until he was retrenched in 1904, and was responsible for the design of a number of fine, heritage-listed railway buildings; Mount Morgan Railway Station (1898) (QHR 600752), the refreshment rooms at Toowoomba (1900) (QHR 600872), and Emerald Railway Station (1900) (QHR 600490) as well as being involved in the design of the Railway Workshops at North Ipswich 1901-13 (QHR 601526). 

The opening of the new station close to the popular Sandgate Pier made seaside excursions for companies and clubs easier. In 1899 the annual seaside trip of the new Swanbank Colliery saw between 400 and 500 workers and their families on board a train that required an additional engine at the rear to make the trip to Sandgate. Picnickers headed for the beach alongside the pier and three-legged races, skipping contests complete with prizes and trophies, concerts and speeches were held in the foreshore park. Excursions to the Town Hall (then in Pier Ave) added a programme of dances to the outing, while the members of the excursion committee had a sumptuous tea at the Musgrave Hotel.4 Many other companies, clubs and schools enjoyed similar excursions in the late nineteenth and early-mid twentieth centuries. On Boxing Days and New Years’ Days record numbers of holiday makers flocked to Sandgate to the extent that the town could not accommodate everyone who wanted to stay. For example, by noon on Boxing Day 1899 over 5,000 passengers had arrived by train; and in the afternoon nine trains left “all excessively crowded” with another three trainloads of passengers waiting for subsequent trains.5

Such crowds continued throughout the first half of the twentieth century with a trip to the seaside being a popular Sunday outing. The station retains a timber footbridge constructed to allow patrons to safely cross the tracks. Additions were made to the parcels office in 1912, and to the roadside veranda, protecting the booking windows, and to the ladies’ closets in 1914. In 1938 the name of the station was changed from Sandgate to Shorncliffe and Sandgate Central station became just Sandgate. Approval was given by the Railway Department to change the names to avoid confusion, despite a contrary view that favoured the retention of the by then familiar names. 

The following year saw the start of World War Two. In 1941, after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, the northern half of Australia was seen to be particularly at risk and air raid precautions were rapidly organised and constructed. Queensland’s Premier, William Forgan Smith, ordered the construction of public air raid shelters where over 30 people would normally be present. By March 1942 the Public Works Department reported that Queensland Railways had built shelters at larger stations, suburban commuter stations and stations with refreshment rooms. An air raid shelter to a plan approved by Queensland Railways and the Public Works Department was constructed at Shorncliffe for the protection of patrons and staff. After the war had ended in 1945, like the air raid shelters designed to be reused as bus shelters in metropolitan Brisbane, the Shorncliffe station concrete shelter was converted to a men’s toilet in the 1950s.

Shorncliffe Station is now a unique surviving bayside suburban station in Brisbane containing the only extant island bench seats in Queensland. Shorncliffe Station is also unique in having the only surviving reinforced concrete railway air raid shelter in Metropolitan Brisbane, which has been converted to male toilet facilities.

Description

A substantial timber framed and weatherboarded station structure under a corrugated cement gable roof, with a platform shade constructed of cantilevered timber lattice trusses sheeted in corrugated galvanised iron. The open waiting room has curved brackets to the posts and curved brackets to the room and to the lean to roof to the street. The waiting room retains purpose-built island seating, unique in Queensland Railway stations. The building includes a staff room, station masters’ office and parcel store.  A number of original doors and windows survive.

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:






References

  1.  ‘Deputations’ The Queenslander 2 April 1883, p.626. www.nla.gov.au/newspaper

  2. The Brisbane Courier 11 August 1887, p.4. www.nla.gov.au/newspaper

  3. Sandgate Railway Extension: Opened Today’ The Telegraph 1 May 1897, p.6.www.nla.gov.au/newspaper

  4. ‘Railway Excursion to Sandgate’ Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 14 February 1899, p.2. www.nla.gov.au/newspaper

  5. ‘The Holidays at Sandgate’ The Brisbane Courier 27 December 1899, p6. www.nla.gov.au/newspaper

  6. Brisbane City Council. Property Records

  7. Bruce Buchannan Architects A Heritage Management Survey, Queensland Railways, 2002.

  8. DEHP. Entry in the Queensland Heritage Register for Yeppoon Railway Station QHR 602363

  9. John D Kerr, Queensland Rail Heritage Report Final report, July 1993. Prepared for DEH and Queensland Rail.

  10. National Library Australia digitised newspapers online https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper

  11. Queensland Government. Queensland WWII Historic Places http://www.ww2places.qld.gov.au/

  12. Sandgate & District Historical Society & Museum By the Seaside 1993.

  13. A.Ward Queensland Railway Heritage Places Study: Stage 2 Vol.4. April 1997


Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2020)

Federation 1890-1914
Arts and Crafts
Air raid shelter
Railway station
Defence site
At 2 Railway Parade, Shorncliffe, Queensland 4017
At 2 Railway Parade, Shorncliffe, Queensland 4017 L88_CP827279
Historical, Rarity, Scientific, Representative, Historical association