Murtoa Railway Station

VicTrack

Years: 2015-2018

Client: VicTrack

Budget: $450,000

Murtoa Railway Station was a large complex several structures, platforms and a branch terminus up until trains ceased service in the 1980s. The only surviving building was the main station, which had been entirely infested with termites. As the termites had eaten from the bottom up, the building was literally sinking into the earth.

 

As part of the VicTrack Community Use of Vacant Rail Buildings Program, Davidson Architecture were commissioned to provide designs for restoration of the building fabric and conversion of the building into a usable Community Building for use and displays by the local Murtoa and District Historical Society.

 

Working with Mark Hodkinson Heritage Engineer, we worked out a methodology which involved suspending the roof and upper portions of the building frame while the degraded base and lower portions of the timber frame could be cut out and entirely replaced with termite resistant timber founded on a new concrete slab poured below the salvaged building.

 

The complex sequence of events was carried out with great skill by local Murtoa Contractors David and Paul Delahunty, with much of the excavation done by hand due to the impeding structure remaining above.

 

The labyrinth of existing offices which had been partitioned in the 1960s were opened up into a magnificent exhibition hall at the north western end of the station, and a kitchenette was installed to one of the original waiting rooms, while an AS1428.1 compliant DDA toilet with baby change was installed to a refurbished external toilet block.

 

A unique cast iron cantilever verandah to the former western platform was removed, disassembled fully restored and then replaced, and the eastern verandah was restored with the steel pole columns replaced with timber columns to match the existing.

 

Finally, the external colour was restored through paint scrapings, and the external pavement was replaced to tidy up the site.

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