The historic weatherboard Murchison East Railway Station building endured a great deal of history, change and even a birth during its 130 years.JENNA BISHOP June 6, 2014 3:19am
Busy times: An aerial view of the station during grain harvest in 1968 when all five lines were in use. The station is in the right bottom corner.
Murchison and District Historical Society member and lifetime Murchison resident Warwick Finley said the loss of the historic building would be felt in the community, especially as a lot of people would remember using the old station building.
Mr Finley said a child was born at the Murchison East Railway Station in 1906.
‘‘A pregnant girl was on the train by herself in 1906 and the conductor asked her to get off at Murchison East because it looked like she was about to have the baby,’’ he said.
Mr Finley said the station would have been busiest in 1914, during the peak era of railway expansion and delivery.
He said it was also a service point during the war.
‘‘It was a very busy station during World War II with the prisoner of war camps nearby,’’ he said.
‘‘The number of railway people employed at Murchison at the outbreak of war was 22 people and their families.’’
Society president Kay Ball said the railway originally terminated in Avenel in 1874 but after plenty of lobbying in the town, the railway was completed in 1879.
The first train went through on January 15, 1880.
Mrs Ball said the Murchison sawmill churned out 1200 sleepers a week for the railway.
She said she remembers sitting in front of one of the building’s fireplaces to keep warm in winter while waiting for trains.
‘‘We think it’s been closed for the past 15 years due to poor condition and not being used anymore,’’ she said.
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