The Railway Goods Shed and Footbridge in Collie, that were instrumental in establishing the only coal industry in Western Australia, have been included in the State Register of Heritage Places.
Designed in 1898 by C.Y. O’Connor, the Goods Shed is the largest standard Class 1 shed built by the former railways department, and includes a double gabled roof with the track running through the length of the building on one side.
The footbridge is one of the few rare surviving examples of a rural railway footbridge in the State and was restored by volunteer labour, reopening in 2013. It spans the entire distance over the main railway line, connecting the two sides of the Collie town centre.
The Goods Shed has experienced ongoing intervention since being rebuilt in 1911 and was refurbished by the Collie Heritage Group in 1998-2002.
Today, the Goods Shed is home to the Collie Heritage Group and Men’s Shed Group and is also used as a popular market venue in Collie. Extensions of the building are used as a museum and for conservation training workshops to help train people to work on/conserve heritage buildings, as part of the newly formed Heritage Skills Association.
Heritage Minister David Templeman said it signifies the development of the coal industry in Collie and railway heritage in Western Australia.
“While the Railway Goods Shed and Footbridge highlight the enormous leaps our railway system has taken, it also reminds us of the debt we owe to those early innovators and presents a time capsule of mid-twentieth century life,” Minister Templeman said.
“Today, these places continue to support contemporary community activities and are popular with hikers, families and visitors enjoying a day out and seeking to learn about the rich railway history in Collie that is so highly valued by the community.”
Collie-Preston MLA, Mick Murray, said the result is a wonderful example of conservation work by local volunteers from the Collie Heritage group who have worked so hard to retain the town’s unique rail history.
“I’m so pleased to see this place has been recognised for its historic value and continues to be used by many community groups today who are passionate about our local history,” Mr Murray said.