Station relocation plan

Old Sydenham railway station. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 233706_01

Tara Murray

The more than 100-year-old Sydenham Railway Station could be given a new lease on life.

The Mornington Railway Preservation Society has submitted an application to Brimbank council to move the building to its heritage tourist railway.

The building, which has not been used for the past 19 years, is owned by QIC, which owns Watergardens Shopping Centre.

Society president Andrew Swaine said the group had been keen to add a railway station to its site for several years.

“One of the things we don’t have, and would like to get, is a station,” Mr Swaine said.

“We’ve been looking at a number of different stations that we could relocate.

“We want to preserve the building and bring it back to what it was meant to be used for. We want to give it a second lease on life.”

Mr Swaine said conversations with QIC had been fruitful.

“It’s surplus to their needs,” he said.

“The building is deteriorating rapidly and needs some maintenance. It’s now getting water damage inside the building and the verandah is corroded.”

Mr Swaine said the society had carried out some background work and a heritage study on the station. He said, given the location, the old station had lost some of its relevance.

He said if the group is successful in its bid, it would maintain the records of the station and ensure they are available for local historical societies.

It would also install a commemorative plaque at the station’s current location.

Watergardens centre manager Joe Galea confirmed there were proposed plans to relocate the station.

“This proposed relocation is supported by Sydenham Historical Society and the Keilor Historical Society, as the relocation will not only return the building to its original use but celebrate its origin and heritage, a fitting next chapter for a building that has been unused for 19 years,” he said.

Brimbank city development director Kelvin Walsh confirmed the council had received a planning permit application to relocate the station.

He said the application was likely to be determined at an upcoming council meeting.

“The building is covered by a Heritage Overlay within the Brimbank Planning Scheme which requires a permit for the demolition (relocation).

“The application seeks a permit for the demolition (relocation) of the building to a new home at the Moorooduc Station where it would be reconstructed and used for railway purposes.

“Council is in the process of undertaking an initial assessment of the application and the application will undergo formal public notice in due course.”