By ALEX ARNOLD
Trains will no longer stop at the Dunmore (Shellharbour) station at the end of the year when the new Shellharbour Junction station is opened. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN
What do you do with a historic railway station where trains no longer stop?
Questions have been asked about what will happen to the Dunmore (Shellharbour) railway station when it is replaced by the new $39 million Shellharbour Junction station later this year.
According to the Office of Environment and Heritage, the Dunmore (Shellharbour) railway station is of state historical significance for its rare awningless platform building (1887), milk shed (1891) and the central section of Platform 2, which is among the earliest surviving structures on the South Coast line. The residence (1887) is also of historical significance as it is an example "of late 19th century railway operational requirements to accommodate railway station staff on site".
"The 1925 signal box is a good example of a simple signal box of this period [and is] of added significance as it contains the original signal levers," the heritage assessment said.
Shellharbour MP Anna Watson said Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian had written to her saying the future uses of the existing Dunmore station buildings was yet to be determined.
Ms Watson said the Shellharbour City community should be involved in any decisions on the future use of the site.
"I will be encouraging the minister not to proceed down a path of ignoring the community's views, or only taking opinions from a select group of individuals as she did on the proposal to name the new station as Shell Cove, only for it to be rejected by the Geographical Names Board," Ms Watson said.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward said if the station structures could be put to use by a museum or rail society it would be a good reuse.
"I don't think state taxpayers would be happy to be paying for the maintenance of assets that are sitting idle," Mr Ward said.
A Transport for NSW spokeswoman said the agency would will secure the site around Dunmore station when Shellharbour Junction is opened.
"Transport for NSW will be consulting with various groups to determine the future use of Dunmore station," the spokeswoman said.
"Our focus at this point is completing the new train station for customers at Shellharbour Junction."