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Relocation of Hornsby Signal Box

Conservation Management Plan for Hornsby Power Signal BoxThis Signal Box is a listed heritage item within Hornsby Railway Yard. The precinct has always been an important railway centre and junction which retains evidence of structures from different periods of development since the original station building was constructed in 1886. The Signal Box was constructed in 1928 with state of the art power technology, introduced in conjunction with electrification of the Sydney Metropolitan network. Following the introduction of centralized computer signalling in 1998, the building became redundant but is the last survivor of this era of signal boxes with its 1928 equipment and interior remaining intact.

In 2006, major redevelopment was planned to allow for the construction of an additional main line, new station platform and stabling sidings, to relieve congestion on the main lines. This work is under construction at the present time and is due for completion in 2008.

Unfortunately the Signal Box was located squarely within the route of the new main line, and the building appeared destined for inevitable demolition. Dawbin Architects assisted in the assessment of alternative options to investigate the feasibility of saving this heritage building. A contractor with the skills and equipment for such an undertaking was available, culminating on 10 September 2007 with the relocation of the two storey brick signal box as one complete entity to a new site clear of the construction works. Importantly the new location is appropriate in terms of maintaining the railway context of the signal box and its relationship with the heritage station and other buildings in the precinct.

Conservation Management Plan for Hornsby Power Signal Box
Conservation Management Plan for Hornsby Power Signal Box
Technologically, this operation was groundbreaking in the construction industry as it was the first time that a masonry structure has been relocated as a single unit in Australia. The building is 7 metres x18 metres and weighs over 350 tonnes. The relocation over a distance of 150 metres was successfully achieved with no damage to extremely fragile fabric. That fact the first such relocation involved a large two storey masonry structure, was a major technical achievement.

Other Projects
Hensonville Grove - Villa Housing Development in the Philippines
AusAID - Streetwise Joint Project 2010 - 2011

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