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Mount Morgan Railway Station Complex

Place Details
Place ID 600752
Registration Type State Heritage
Place Name Mount Morgan Railway Station Complex
Place Classification Landscape
Place Category Transport - Rail
Place Type Railway station
Themes 5 Moving goods, people and information / 5.8 Postal services
5 Moving goods, people and information / 5.3 Using rail
2 Exploiting, utilising and transforming the land / 2.2 Exploiting natural resources
Register Entry Date 21/10/1992

Address Mount Morgan - Wowan Line
Town / Suburb MOUNT MORGAN
Post Code 4714

Cultural Heritage Significance
Principal Period
of Significance
1898-1987 (historical) 1898-1920s (fabric)
Criterion A Mount Morgan railway station has historic significance as a substantial and imposing complex built to serve a thriving mining township. Of the various comparable places including Charters Towers, Ravenswood and Gympie only Mount Morgan survives with a high level of integrity sufficient to directly demonstrate the optimism of the period. The station building compares closely with the later Archer Park (1899), Emerald (1900) and Longreach (1916), surviving as the earliest example of this important group designed by Henrik Hansen at that time when the noted architect John J. Clark was receiving commissions from Queensland Railways and may have had influence on its design.
Criterion B The water tank is rare, comparing only with Quilpie in that its builder's plate connects it with the noted engineering firm of Walkers Limited of Maryborough. The goods shed is also a rare survivor comparing with Warwick and Wyandra which also retain warehouse cranes.
Criterion D The complex retains the principle elements of a late Victorian station of importance.
Criterion E The building has aesthetic qualities valued today by the community.
Criterion H (Criterion under review)

History The Mount Morgan gold mine had been developed in 1883 and by 1889 with a mining population of 5,836 people, Mount Morgan's fortunes had attained their first peak. From 1903 copper was extracted and in 1929 a new company, Mount Morgan Limited, established an open cut to extract the copper ore. The line linking Mount Morgan with Rockhampton, via Kabra on the Central Railway, was opened to Mount Morgan on 26 November 1898. The line was subsequently extended to Wowan on 16 October 1912. From the opening a service of three trains daily was provided. The section from the bottom of the Razorback Range at Moonmera to Moongan at the top was very steep and required an additional rack rail and specially built rack locomotives which were maintained at Mount Morgan from 1898 to 1952 when a lower gradient deviation was opened. An appropriate station building for an important provincial town was designed and plans signed by Henrik Hansen who was responsible for similar stations at Cunnamulla, Winton, Archer Park and Emerald in the same period. The first stage of the station building was designed and constructed in 1898. The locomotive water supply at Mount Morgan failed in 1901. The following year when water supplies failed completely, the mine and town were kept going by trains hauling water from Stanwell. Twelve trains per day unloaded into the bed of the Dee River from the nearby railway bridge (since made into a road bridge). In 1917-18 the station yard was enlarged, a forkline installed to replace the turntable and the engine shed moved to a new site to allow more room. In 1919-20 an elevated coal stage was erected. A parcels office and station masters office was added at the north end of the station building in 1912. Refreshment rooms followed in 1921, initially opened or taken over as part of the State enterprises policy. The rooms were subsequently closed and re-sited as barrack quarters in 1968. By 1940 the complex consisted of station building, refreshment rooms, dock road, 20,000 gallon tank, engine shed, oil store, examiners shed, 40 ton double rail weighbridge, goods shed, office and 10 ton crane with warehouse crane, station masters house, firemans house, quarters, forkline, small coal stage and trucking yards. In April 1952 the Razorback Range deviation was opened allowing the haulage of Callide coal through Mount Morgan with conventional steam locomotives. The rack line was abandoned. In 1955 a separate room for shunters was provided and the guards room moved. In 1959 the 10 ton crane (spare) was moved to Innisfail. A 75 ton double rail weighbridge was provided in 1964. During the 1960s coal-fired steam engines were gradually replaced by diesel-electric locomotives which were maintained at the Rockhampton railway workshops. Previously the steam engines had been repaired and maintained at the Mount Morgan locomotive depot. The first diesel-electric locomotive to work through Mount Morgan was on 26 May 1964. Steam train operations through Mount Morgan ceased in October 1967. In 1971 the coal stage was dismantled. With activities at Mount Morgan mine declining to a point where there was little traffic, the retention of the Mount Morgan railway depot became uneconomical and in May 1984 the facility was downgraded to 2 employees. From 1 August 1987 after traffic to the mine ceased, the railway from Kabra through Mount Morgan to Wowan closed. The station building and yard and a short section of track were retained. Mount Morgan Shire Council was given tenancy in 1988.

Description The Station Building is a Classical Revival Boom Style structure with imposing roadside elevational treatment and 10 bay carriage shade. The roadside elevation has a central arcaded portico carried on grouped cast iron columns with surmounting cast iron lace panels and timber parapet having a curved pediment and 'AD 1898 Mount Morgan' on the entablature. Flanking verandahs strengthen the buildings symmetry which is offset by the 1912 additions, having their own portico in the manner of an end pavilion with pedimented treatment enhancing the overall composition. There are minor later additions at both ends and the parapet urns have been removed. Accommodation consists of the vestibule which is enriched on the platform side with fretted timber brackets and spandrels, comparable with Clifton and Toowoomba station buildings. The ladies' room and closets are to the south and offices and parcels office to the north. The carriage shade protects 2 tracks and has standard curved Warren girder trusses supported on timber posts and c.g.i. cladding. The former Refreshment Rooms, since relocated to an adjoining site as barracks, are a rectangular building, c.6 x 10 metres with rear kitchen wing, offset gable roof, later windows and shades. The Shunters/Guards Room, later bike shed and crew room, is a representative building of its period. The Goods Shed is a c.36 x 108 foot timber framed c.g.i. clad structure with internal platform and siding, 4 doors to the sides and a later timber office at the south end. There is an intact rainwater head at the south-west corner. There is a 30 cwt warehouse crane inside the building. The Weighbridge Office is insitu but the weighbridge has been removed. The Signal Cabin has been relocated from Glenmore Junction (North Coast Railway - junction for Yeppoon and Emu Park closed lines). The 20,000 gallon Tank is a 2 tier cast iron tank with 2 jibs, manufactured by Walkers Limited Engineers, Maryborough, supported on riveted and bellied iron beams and a timber stand with store.

Element Name Mount Morgan Railway Station Complex
Style Classicism
Design Period 1870s - 1890s Late 19th century
Construction Period 1898 - 1921
Construction Method Frame - timber
Fabric (Exterior Structure) Timber
Fabric (Roof) Metal sheeting - corrugated iron
Roof Form Parapet front - hipped roof behind
Place Components Tank - water
Parcels office
Railway siding
Carriage shade (railway)
Crane / Gantry
Railway station
Signal box/Signal cabin/Switch house/Mechanical points (rail)
Toilet block/Earth closet/Water closet
Foyer - entrance
Railway refreshment room/s
Machinery/Plant/Equipment - transport - rail
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Information about places in the Queensland Heritage Register is maintained by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992. Information available here is only part of the full Register entry and should not be taken as an official entry. Absence does not mean a particular place is not in the Register.

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Last updated: 15 March 2013

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