Metro Trains plans to partially demolish one of Melbourne's classic inner-suburban red brick railway stations.
Metro has applied to the City of Moonee Valley for a demolition permit for half of the crumbling, city-bound Newmarket station building, on the Craigieburn line, because it is structurally unstable.
Public Transport Victoria will fund the works, costing $935,000.
The council says Metro has advised it that the portion not demolished may have to continue to be propped up ''to help ensure the ongoing retention of the station''.
In his blog Waking Up In Geelong, train enthusiast Marcus Wong, who lives near Newmarket, documented how a long steel prop is ''reinforcing the entire south-eastern corner of the building''.
He showed cracks in concrete pillars holding up the building, steel beams bolted on to reinforce brickwork on the eastern facade, and props and a steel beam supporting a deteriorating wall.
A Metro spokeswoman said the demolition would start in May, in non-peak periods, and no train services would be affected. The demolished section will not be replaced.
The spokeswoman said there were no fears for the safety of commuters. The building was being monitored regularly.
But Moonee Valley councillor and deputy mayor Nicole Marshall said ''obviously public safety is an issue''. She said there had been ''cracking and constant movement'' of the building and ''constant repair works'' including bracing and strutting underneath the station.
Cr Marshall said there wasn't a heritage overlay on the station but it had been identified in a recent council ''gap analysis'' of buildings ''worthy of future investigation to see if it should have an overlay''. ''It's a beautiful building,'' she said. ''To my mind it's one of those real heart and soul type buildings of Flemington.''
Dr Tony Morton, president of the Public Transport Users' Association, said: ''The station should never have been allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair. The poor upkeep of station buildings is part of the sad saga of neglect that has played out on our public transport system over half a century.''
According to residents' group the Flemington Association, the building was erected in 1925, replacing wooden buildings and platforms.
City of Moonee Valley chief executive Neville Smith said an application for demolition was lodged on May 13. He said council had ''requested a copy of the structural engineering report so as we can better determine the condition of the building''.