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Neglect leads to demolition

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Photo – Helen Tatchell
Photo – Helen Tatchell

By Jessica Howard

Bacchus Marsh residents will soon say goodbye to the town’s century-old signal box.

 The traditional box, located at the Bacchus Marsh train station, dates back to 1890 and has been deemed unsound by a public transport engineer.

 V/Line spokesperson Ebony Jordan said the engineer report was completed last year, with a follow up report conducted a couple of weeks ago.

 “Both reports deemed the signal box structurally unsound and recommended it be removed,” she said.

 “The engineer’s report state white ants as the main cause of damage to the box. We have been working closely with the Moorabool Shire about the report findings and are now in the process of completing a council permit for its removal”.

 Ms Jordan said Heritage Victoria had also been contacted in regards to the removal plans.

 “The signal box is not heritage listed, but there is a council overlay across the site, which is why we have been working closely with Moorabool Shire as part of the process.

 “V/Line recognises the importance of the signal box to the community, but safety is our number one priority and we will continue to monitor the building and site. We are also working with VicTrack and Telecom around the removal of the signal box equipment and where possible, will look to salvage parts of the signal box, such as the points levers”.

 The signal box is a two-storey timber building that operates with hard signals on the train line.  The main line stopping at Bacchus Marsh station was originially between Melbourne and Adelaide.

Ms Jordan said V/Line would inform the Bacchus Marsh community of its plans over the next few months, with the removal scheduled for later this year.