Friday, July 8, 2011
Maldon icon rises from the ashes
The $590,000 reconstruction works to the Maldon Railway Station are now complete, Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder announced on Wednesday.
Mr Mulder said the 1888 heritage-listed station building, gutted by fire in late 2009, has been rebuilt and restored.
"With the completion of these heritage works the home of the Victorian Goldfields Railway has been restored to its former glory," Mr Mulder said.
"These major reconstruction works have restored the much-loved state-listed Maldon Station for present and future generations to enjoy.
"Victoria has a rich rail history, and the Coalition Government strongly supported these works and the ongoing operation of the Victorian Goldfields Railway.
"The Victorian Goldfields Railway will continue as a major tourism link between Castlemaine and Maldon, bringing large numbers of visitors into the townships."
Mr Mulder said the Maldon station required substantial repairs to most of the station building, including its roof, ceilings, kitchen and station master's office.
"The Maldon station works included structural works, installation of new slate roofing and repairs to windows and doors, interior works, plumbing and electrical works," Mr Mulder said.
Mr Mulder said VicTrack had worked closely with heritage partners to deliver further works to refurbish the station building verandah, completing a full restoration of the building.
"These works were also able to include additional refurbishment of the station verandah, making the entire building as good as new," Mr Mulder said.
Paul McDonald, President of the Victorian Goldfields Railway, welcomed the completion of works.
"On behalf of the Maldon and Castlemaine townships we welcome the completion of works to restore the Maldon Station building," Mr McDonald said.
"Our beloved Maldon station, the home of the Victorian Goldfields Railway, has been brought back to life by the dedicated work and support of the State Government and expert staff."
"Victorian Goldfields Railway volunteers and tourist railway passengers alike will be thrilled by the completion of these works.
"Maldon residents will also be thrilled to have `their' station back, even better than it was before the fire.
"We are grateful for the assistance of the Mount Alexander Shire Council, Heritage Victoria, the State Government and VicTrack to bring our railway history back to life," Mr McDonald said.
Nationals MP for Northern Victoria Region, Damian Drum said: "Like many others, I was saddened by the devastation and recognised that Maldon felt a genuine sense of loss."
"Maldon treasures its built heritage, but the station was more than just a museum piece. It wasn't just a facade in a heritage streetscape - it is a working piece of history, bringing economic activity and people to the town."
The works were carried out by Castlemaine-based Vic Restorations Building.
A community celebration to officially re-open the restored station building is planned for the end of August 2011.