KiwiRail is planning to repair and preserve the former Mataura Railway Station.
Mataura Community Board member Laurel Turnbull has received a letter from KiwiRail senior government relations adviser David Allard advising of the company’s plans for the station.
The building, in Main St, was designed by architect Sir George Troup in 1921.
It is listed as a category 2 historic place by Heritage New Zealand and is one of a handful of buildings designed by Sir George that is still standing.
In 2019, KiwiRail offered the building to the Gore District Council for $1.
The previous community board’s members were in favour of council buying the building.
It spent $30,000 on a feasibility study for the project and had bought two sections in the town for the building to be relocated to.
This was because KiwiRail had stipulated that if the station was restored on-site, it had the right to repossess the building after giving 12 months’ notice.
At a council meeting last year, councillors voted not to go ahead with the deal after the intended restoration of the station was deemed unviable.
Mrs Turnbull said the railway station had been falling into disrepair for years and it was good something would be done.
‘‘The railway station has been a bone of contention in the town for many years.
‘‘We’re all quite excited.’’
KiwiRail has boarded up the windows to prevent vandalism.
Mrs Turnbull had originally written to Minister of Transport Michael Wood about the railway station.
In her letter she said the railway station was in ‘‘an unsightly, unusable state and is falling apart’’.
The letter was passed on to Mr Allard as it was an operational issue the minister would not be involved with.
In his letter, Mr Allard said work would be completed to extend the life of the building.
Any seismic work to make the building safe in the case of an earthquake would be undertaken.
This might include removing the chimneys.
The asbestos roof would also be removed and replaced.
A KiwiRail spokesperson said the planning phases of maintenance and conservation works for the building was in the early stages.
‘‘We will have a better idea of the relevant costs and renovation programme once the scoping work is done, with it expected to be completed in September.’’