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