What is significant?
In 1889 the Shire tramway from Kerang to Koondrook on the Murray River was opened to traffic. It was constructed as a result of the Shire Council Tramways Act of 1886 allowing loans to be issued to shires for the construction of tramways in country areas. The railway line runs down the main street and it is for this reason, as much as the fact that the line was originally built by the Koondrook Shire, that it was known as the Koondrook Tramway. The former tram station buildings, located in the centre of the Koondrook town main street, were constructed in 1925 and it was possibly at this time that the other related track-side buildings were constructed on the line to Kerang. The layout of the yard in Koondrook is in the form of a Y and consists of a former railway station and goods shed. The site once included another goods shed and turntable pit, but these have been removed. The corrugated iron clad former tramway station is in the form of a pavilion, with ridge cresting to the roof. The goods shed is a timber clad, overhanging gable-roofed structure with bull-nosed verandah to the end elevation. Other associated features include three separate, corrugated iron clad, former passenger waiting shelters, constructed on the Kerang line further outside of Koondrook (found at Gannawarra, Hinksons and 4km west of Koondrook town).
How is it significant?
The former Koondrook Tram Complex is of historical, aesthetic and architectural importance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The former Koondrook Tram Complex is of historical importance as one of the few non-government stations remaining in Victoria. It is important for its potential to yield information on the changing nature of railways, locomotive technology and public transport use in Victoria. It is a unique reminder of the Shire Council Tramways Act of 1886, when loans were issued to shires for the construction of tramways in country areas. All of the original buildings from the Dookie-Katamite tramway, which was also constructed as a result of the 1886 act, have been removed.
The former Koondrook Tram Complex is of architectural importance as it includes substantially intact and rare examples of country tram station buildings located in an isolated township. The picturesque buildings in Koondrook are remarkable for their unique location in the centre of the town’s main street and their Y configuration. The ‘pavilion’ design of the main station building is unusual, incorporating horizontal corrugated galvanised iron wall linings. The presence of the tiny wayside shelters and platforms, three in all, remaining at various points along the tramway route are rare structural types and add to the significance of the complex. The platforms are significant as rare examples of the once common practice of non-government builders of railways, constructing station platforms entirely of timber.