The unearthing of hidden heritage treasures - METRONET


The unearthing of hidden heritage treasures

  • 30 April 2021

As work on the 135-year-old heritage listed Claremont Station began on February 5, previously-hidden elements were gradually unearthed, which has now turned the work into a one-of-a-kind series of heritage restoration works.

As the project team began peeling back the layers to stabilise and restore the station a number of rotted and damaged parts to replace were found, including the station building’s canopy, floor joists and supporting posts.

Furthermore, the remaining fill material under the station platform is in poor condition and must be replaced before essential services like CCTV, lighting, passenger information and train driver video networks can be installed.

The heritage specialisation required to restore this important part of our rail history is incredible. For example, the material required to re-create the canopy posts – all of which are unique and must be shaped using hand tools only – is not easy to source. And Western Australia only has a few artisans able to complete these works.

As these processes are not as efficient as modern machinery, Claremont Station is not expected to reopen until June.

The project team thanks users of Claremont Station and the surrounding residents impacted by the station works for their patience and understanding, while we work to return Claremont Station’s operations.

Passengers who may be impacted by the extended closure should visit the Transperth website, sign up for My Alerts, download the Transperth app or call the Transperth InfoLine on 13 62 13 for more information.

Photo: Degraded hidden elements at Claremont Station platform


Down memory train

During 1860 to the 1870s, speculators and investors recognised the Claremont area as a possible route for a rail link between Perth and Fremantle. Buyers of these land parcels were largely merchants and the moderately wealthy. An investor named John Morrison, was granted Location 702 which included land as far south as Perth-Fremantle Road (now Stirling Highway) and north to what is now Shenton Road.

In the early 1870s, land speculation in the area was driven by proposals for the construction of a railway linking Fremantle to Perth and the potential for suburban development along the railway route. In 1875, James Morrison, the son of John Morrison, expanded the family holdings by another 72 acres. During this period, the government obtained a portion of this land for the northern railway line. On 25 August 1880, Morrison released his estate ‘Claremont’, the name of which came from his wife Clara Charlotte (nee de Burgh). Morrison’s vision for Claremont was for it to be ‘home for the professional classes and respectable bourgeoisie, householders who could afford to commute’ to Perth or Fremantle.

Construction of the railway commenced in 1879, and the line was opened in 1881.

Photo: During the Perth Royal Show, 12 November 1945, State Library of Western Australia.

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