Heritage, Passenger Rail

Cheltenham Station building to be preserved

A Victorian-era wooden building that previously stood on the city-bound platform of Cheltenham Station in Melbourne’s south-east has been donated to a railway group to be preserved for future generations. 

The Mornington Railway Preservation Society, which has been running steam trains on a tourist line from Moorooduc to Mornington since 1999, has taken possession of the building to stand on its main platform at Moorooduc, providing much-needed shelter and facilities for its passengers and 130 volunteers. 

Cheltenham Station’s buildings were dismantled, flat packed and stored under the supervision of qualified consultants to make way for a modern station and forecourt in 2020. It was part of work to remove two dangerous and congested level crossings on the Frankston line at Park Road and Charman Road. 

Victoria’s Level Crossing Removal Project team worked closely with the building’s owner, VicTrack, and the Kingston City Council to successfully manage the delicate operation. 

These original buildings were constructed in 1882, with additions made in 1899 — making them almost 140 years old. Modern fire safety standards at the Cheltenham Station site meant it was not possible to incorporate the wooden buildings into the station redevelopment without extensive alterations that would have harmed their heritage value. 

Donating the city-bound building to Mornington Railway ensures this important piece of Victorian history will be lovingly restored to its former glory and looked after for generations to come. The move also sees the structure continue to be used for its original purpose as a train platform building. 

The components of the dismantled building were trucked to Moorooduc in August. The group’s president Andrew Swaine said the building will be reassembled by Mornington Railway volunteers, with the offer coming at the perfect time. 

‘Most of the people in our organisation know of the Cheltenham building, they have either been through it or caught the train there at some point—so everybody was very excited,” he said. 

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