Sta­tion by sea steams ahead

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By ES­THER LAUAKI

Hun­dreds of peo­ple dressed to the nines on Sun­day to cel­e­brate Plim­mer­ton sta­tion’s re­turn to glory.

Af­ter months of com­mu­nity work­ing bees, the re­fur­bished sta­tion has re-opened.

A Main­line Steam en­gine rolled in from Welling­ton for a stylish stop – its pas­sen­gers dressed in 1940s fashion – wel­comed with cheers and ap­plause from res­i­dents who looked just as dap­per.

The build­ing was closed in 1989 and ear­marked for de­mo­li­tion but the com­mu­nity, de­ter­mined to sal­vage the lo­cal land­mark, worked with Porirua City Coun­cil to come up with a cheaper way to re­store it.

Vol­un­teers held work­ing bees most week­ends since Fe­bru­ary to fit out the in­te­rior and Ki­wiRail funded a new roof and struc­tural re­pairs to the build­ing.

Project man­ager Al­lan Dod­son thanked all the vol­un­teers for their ‘‘tremen­dous com­mu­nity ef­fort’’.

The re­stored build­ing has a cov­ered wait­ing area for the hun­dreds of com­muters who travel to and from Plim­mer­ton each day.

Mean­while, the in­te­rior space has been leased to model train shop Mack’s Tracks which will also sell train tick­ets and re­fresh­ments.

Mr Dod­son es­ti­mated the com­mu­nity sup­port, in terms of do­nated goods, vol­un­teer work hours and com­mu­nity funds would to­tal more than $50,000.

Pukerua Bay com­muter Arthur Solo­man said he was ‘‘amazed’’ with the re­vamp.

‘‘It’s beau­ti­ful, a vast im­prove- ment to the old run­down build­ing. They’ve done a great job.

‘‘I’m sure the sta­tion will be well used.’’

A train is com­ing: Pukerua Bay cou­ples, from left, Keith and Brenda Turner, with Sharon and Kelvin Leathem, wait in an­tic­i­pa­tion be­fore the vin­tage cel­e­bra­tion of Plim­mer­ton sta­tion’s re-open­ing.

His­toric day:

Photo: FAIR­FAX

Les John­son, left, was sta­tion mas­ter from 1976 to 1989 when the sta­tion was closed. Pic­nick­ing are Freda Groom­bridge, Denise and Chris Drowley.

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