Work to restore the Whangārei train station to its original state - on the outside at least - has steamed ahead.

The train station was bought by the Whangārei Men's Shed in 2013 from the Whangārei District Council for $1.

Member Mike Mansell said the building was a "wreck" when they first moved in.

"Whenever it rained, we got deluged. It poured in through various spots."

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The building was rotting and the platform roof was falling apart.

"We were working in very crude conditions and we still did all those projects," Mansell said.

After years of getting the plans and paperwork together and acquiring the funding, construction has been under way for around two years.

Committee secretary Duncan Sutherland said so far they had spent $1 million, almost all in grants and at least another $250,000 worth of their own labour on restoring the building.

There has been a new roof and piles, as well as repairs to plumbing, electrical wiring, windows, doors, walls and plenty more.

They have taken away rooms which were added on, built tables and furniture and painted extensively inside and out.

"Apart from the large structural work, all the internal work ... has all been done by members."

Whangārei Men's Shed members Mike Mansell, Jack Freeman and Duncan Sutherland inside the newly renovated Whangārei train station. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Whangārei Men's Shed members Mike Mansell, Jack Freeman and Duncan Sutherland inside the newly renovated Whangārei train station. Photo / Michael Cunningham

The building is a Heritage New Zealand grade two building. The external building is being restored to the original plan of the station built in 1925, while the inside is being moulded to suit the Men's Shed.

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Work hasn't finished but the inside has been split up - there's the engineering workshop for all metalworks, including a fireproof room for welding, the woodworking machinery workshop, the hobby workshop, a kitchen and cafeteria room, as well as a space which they will look to rent out, preferably to a not-for-profit organisation.

Sutherland said the group was "in recess" for a bit over a year while the internal renovations were done, but they were picking back up again now with projects.

"We've got a bit of finishing off to do outside, about $50,000 worth of work."

The Men's Shed, which has around 80 members, do a lot of projects for charities and not-for-profit organisations, but members can also bring in their own work.

Member and project manager Jack Freeman said on Monday that the Men's Shed is celebrating the contributions made to the project by members aged 80 and over.

Sutherland hopes to have the project finished and an official opening later in the year.

The shed is open three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. To join contact 09 4383925 or email info@mensshed.co.nz