15 October 2011

Eumungerie's station

W H Hudson was contracted to build the original station at Coalbaggie.  As noted above, the original building sat in its first location for only nine years before railway authorities realised it was in the way of progress.

The October 1912 contract for the construction of a second crossing loop necessitated the removal and re-erection of the platform and the station building.

While it is clear what was standing following the completion of the 1912/13 redevelopment, it cannot be assumed that the original building was simply relocated.  As noted earlier, this writer has been to date unable to ascertain just what was built in 1902 and there appears to be no photograph or description of the original building extant.

The difficulty is that what became known as the Eumungerie railway station after 1912/13 is what is known in the trade as a typical NSW Government Railways A3 skillion roof building. 
This type of building only came into vogue around 1909.  So, it may be that the original building was not re-erected at all, but replaced or transferred elsewhere – or Mr Hudson was just a builder a decade ahead of his time.

While this uncertainty is problematic, it is known from the official records that ₤128 was expended during the 1912/13 redevelopment to add an out-of shed adjacent to the southern end of the main station building.

And thus, by 1913, Eumungerie’s residents had the station that would serve them until the end of passenger rail services.

As with many things, the demise of an era is sometimes just as interesting as its rise.  And this is the case with Eumungerie’s station building.  It was a hiccupping ride to inevitable oblivion. 

While in its 50th year at its second and final location, the building still cut a fine figure.

While there is much to admire in this photograph, certainly the red fire buckets at the tank stand and the platform bench suggest both a preparedness for action and a readiness to relax.

While the last station officer was withdrawn on 26 April 1970, an agent was designated as the person-in-charge for the final years of passenger service until 1975.  At some stage during its last decade of operation the buildings received a new paint scheme – light green with cream trim. 

After the cessation of passenger services, the wrecking ball arrived for the main building.  The out-of-shed was retained to keep the necessary safe-working materials from the elements.

By 1979, the dilapidation of the out-of-shed did not augur well for its future.  The peeling paint in the following photograph almost draws one’s attention away from the exotic combination which was caught in the yard.

 The embarrassment did not last long.  However, instead of wreckers, the painters arrived!

Several years later the signwriters also visited!

But it was not to last.  By the 1990s, rationalization had brought a new hut to replace the out-of shed and the frame.

So, into the 21st century the smallest room in Eumungerie was could be found down in the railway yard.

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