The Black Arch rail culvert is one of the most intact and least-modified early bluestone railway bridges in the region and part of the first major Government railway line. The distinctive stone work demonstrates the engineering and stonemasonry skills of the period while its setting allows the visual impact to be fully appreciated, but unfortunately, only from the south side (Criterion A3, B2 & D2).
The scale and elaborate stonework, as well as its general form demonstrate the influence of imported British railway engineering and design standards at the onset of railway development in Australia. As part of the first Government railway in Victoria, one of the first country railways in Australia and a line built to British engineering standards with IK Brunel as supervising engineer (from England) this demonstrates the beginnings and origins of railway construction in Victoria. (Criterion A4)
Australian Heritage Commission (AHC) criteria
The Australian Heritage Commission criteria consist of a set of eight criteria which cover social, aesthetic, scientific, and historic values. Each criterion has sub-criteria written specifically for cultural or natural values. The relevant criteria are:
A.3 richness and diversity of cultural features
A.4 demonstrates well the course and pattern of history, important historic events
Rusticated rock faced bluestone single arch rail bridge with raised keystone and drafted string courses at the footings, the springing of the arch and the base of the parapet. Pilasters frame the semi-circular arch. Curved wing walls have recent concrete extensions and the original cobbled creek bed has been concreted in part. The bridge has been reinforced with sections of rail attached with tension bolts through the stonework. Additional tracks constructed in the 1960s are carried on a higher embankment with a concrete lined tunnel immediately to the north.
Elaborate bluestone masonry distinguishes this bridge and compares with other work on the line, including culverts at Sydenham and St. Albans. To the north is the Hill reserve which takes in the route of the former Duke Street extension which ran under this bridge.
Creation date(s): 1859 c. Heritage Significancestate Map (Melway) 40 K3
map no. 24132 Boundary description The bridge itself and the bed of Stony Creek extending 20 metres in each direction. Local Government Area: Cities of Brimbank and Maribyrnong Ownership Type public