Four railway station designs have been released for public comment as the Shire of Brookton takes the next step towards redeveloping its historic station precinct. The Brookton town site was gazetted the 1890s and railway transport was essential to much of Brookton’s early growth. Taking a prominent place in the heart of town, the railway station is closely tied with tourism and the community character of Brookton. At this month’s council meeting, councillors agreed to advertise the station designs over eight weeks. Shire president Katrina Crute said the project was “extremely important” to the community. “The railway station is ... the centrepiece of our main street and the landscaping and everything around it has been developed with the railway station in the background,” Cr Crute said. “We have many people, when you say ‘I'm from the Shire of Brookton’, they say, ‘I love your main street with your railway station’. “It’s been fenced off now for two years, I think, so it’s been an inactive space.” Each of the four designs has a vision for the station complex. The first option aims to restore the railway station without demolishing it and involves removing some of the internal walls to improve its usability. Under option two, the railway station would be demolished and a replica would be built keeping the same façade but remodelling the building from the inside. Option three would also involve demolition with the redesign including a large open gazebo structure and open floor area. Option four would replace the building with a multi-purpose structure featuring a contemporary addition. While options one, two and three would cost about $1.5 million, $2m and $2.4m respectively, option four would result in costs ballooning to about $3.6m. Cr Crute said while the council would factor in community feedback, the final say would rest with councillors. “Options one and two are a restoration or rebuild which will see us have pretty much exactly what we’ve got which is a couple of rooms that might be used by not-for-profits or for small meetings,” she said. “In option four we’ve got what is described as a community hub which is a completely different use and could have some real tourism and economic benefits by bringing in businesses. “I think it’s an exciting time for the Shire of Brookton.” To view the four options, visit narroginobserver.com.au.