Railway station making return tripHome » News » Regions
By Leith Huffadine on Thu, 28 Aug 2014
The Regions: Central Otago
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Lauder Beautification Society members and those involved with plans to move the Lauder railway station close to its original location next to the Otago Central Rail Trail. From left: Ralph Milne, Derrick Clarke, Esme Macdonald, Vicky Ryalls, Pam Harrex, and Bruce Macdonald. A faded sign on the Lauder Railway Station. Photo by Leith Huffadine
The Lauder railway station may get wheels of its own, if only briefly.
Plans are under way to move the railway station by truck back to near its original site, next to the Otago Central Rail Trail, which follows the route of the Otago Central Railway.
The wooden building was sold after the station closed in 1985, and has sat on private property about 400m away from the trail since.
It had previously stood next to the railway line which ran between the Ida Valley and Omakau from 1904 until 1990.
Lauder Beautification Society member Ralph Milne said the idea to move the station back had existed for some time.
But, the ''ball really got rolling'' last November, when Bruce and Esme Macdonald, owners of the about 50sq m building, gave it to the community.
Mrs Macdonald said the building belonged next to the rail trail and would provide
Lauder with a ''focus'' point.
''It was just deteriorating down there and we figured that's the best use for it.''
Mr Milne said the move needed to happen.
''If it's not done now, it won't be done.''
Consent had already been granted to move the building, he said.
Once moved to its new location, the building would be renovated and used as a shelter and information centre.
Lauder Beautification Society member Pam Harrex said much work was required to get the building moved, including resource and building consents.
Doc Central Otago partnership ranger Jacob Dexter said the department supported the idea in principle.
Mrs Harrex said funding for the move would come from community fundraising efforts, and funding from grants the beautification society had been applying for.
Once the building had been moved, which she hoped would happen in the next 12 to 18 months, restoration would be carried out.
Maintenance of the station, once it was in place, would be a responsibility of the beautification society.
Those involved in moving the building were thankful of support from local businesses and individuals who had offered financial help or ''man power'', Mrs Harrex said.
Otago Central Rail Trail Trust chairwoman Kate Wilson said the trust was not directly involved with the project ''at the moment'', but was very supportive of the plans.
In a similar project about a decade ago, the Wedderburn goods shed was returned to its original location near the rail trail from a disused mine about 5km away.