Newdegate station rejuvenation

Rueben HaleThe West Australian

The old Newdegate Railway Station has been given a $100,000 facelift in time for this year's Newdegate Machinery Field Days.

As part of a station rejuvenation project, Newdegate Machinery Field Days committee members and local volunteers have worked tirelessly since the start of the year to both move and restore the end-of-the-line Wheatbelt station.

Newdegate's station, which was built in 1929, was the last stop on the line from Wagin. Today, the line is only used to transport wheat from the district.

With doubts in the community over the future of the station, the concept of its restoration started to gain pace several years ago after CBH representatives liaised with the Newdegate Machinery Field Days committee about establishing a permanent structure on the field days site.

Former CBH executives Colin Tutt and Cathy Bolt and CBH general manager grower and external relations Karlie Mucjanko, alongside WATCO chief operating officer Jim Griffiths, sought to establish a permanent complex for the grower-owned co-operative similar to the building that housed the Department of Agriculture and Food WA.

Soon after, the idea to relocate Newdegate's railway station to its new home at the site of the field days was born.

The project comprised two stages, the first of which was the construction of a 400sqm shed to be used by CBH and as an entertainment area during the field days. The second stage was the incorporation of the station building into the complex.

CBH contributed $45,000 towards the restoration project and construction of the new complex, and Brookfield Rail came on board with a $40,000 donation.

Peter Ness, who heads the committee overseeing the project, said the project had far exceeded community expectations.

"This sort of project does something for a close-knit community like Newdegate, by helping to maintain the family friendly stability of the town," he said.

Mr Ness said Brookfield Rail would be calling the station building home during the 2015 and 2016 Newdegate Machinery Field Days.

Mr Ness said without donations from CBH and Brookfield Rail, in addition to the tireless work of local volunteers and committee members, the project would not have been possible.

"This is just another achievement for our small town," he said.

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