There’s plenty of life in this fine old beauty yet

BEAUTY treatment for Wodonga’s old railway station will get serious next week when builders raise the roof.

Built in 1873 and extended in 1883, the long, red-brick building is being converted for Places Victoria to two tenancies, probably places to eat and drink.

It’s an appropriate use, since for decades previously, the station fed hungry passengers at a station dining room and slaked the thirst of others at a refreshment bar.

Southern Cross Developers has spent weeks converting the goods shed opposite for a commercial tenant and are now ready to replace the station’s old iron roof after making extensive internal changes.

V/Line closed the station on June 24, 2011, when the new one opened on the rail bypass.

Southern Cross director John Tyrrell yesterday said the old station had previously been divided into several small rooms.

“We have converted it into two bigger rooms, and replaced some of the old brickwork with matching second-hand bricks,” he said.

Places Victoria’s conversion program required removal of asbestos, new electrical equipment, replacing doors and windows and upgrading toilets, paint, a general clean-up and the new steel roof.

Southern Cross expects the station work under its site manager Jock Adams to continue for several weeks, but the shed will be ready for a “Goods Shed Harvest Festival” on Saturday, March 16.

The festival is linked to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and might become annual.

Places Victoria advertised for tenants’ expressions of interest for the shed and station last year, saying they would be a vital part of the Junction Place precinct.

Mr Tyrrell said the platform and verandah facing the goods shed would stay and broad steps would be built down to a landscaped promenade where the tracks once ran.

An old signalling gantry remains to retain the railway atmosphere.

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