The Macquarie Point Development Corporation has begun testing the soil and surrounding areas around the former roundhouse site, in preparation for further remediation work to begin.
The Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Mary Massina, said the testing work will help to classify the degree of contamination in the soil as well as indicate the depth and scale of the roundhouse.
“The testing will assist in identifying contaminants buried within the soil that surrounds the former roundhouse, as well as establish the exact location of it. This will help when we move into the next stages of remediation.
“The fully completed roundhouse dates back to 1915 and was a locomotive maintenance facility featuring a large turntable in the centre used to service trains in what was once a thriving rail and road freight distribution hub.” Ms Massina said.
Initial heritage investigations by the Corporation has revealed much of the timber structure of the roadhouse has deteriorated, but the metal turning mechanism is hoped to be salvaged in part.
“The remediation and removal of the roundhouse will be undertaken in a staged process; firstly testing the site, removing the soil with an excavator then transitioning to hand excavation to carefully expose and reveal any discovered archaeology.
“We will then preserve, process and record any archaeological materials found - this is an exciting step in revealing a piece of history that has laid buried for so long.” Ms Massina said.
Macquarie Point was put forward as the proposed site for the roundhouse back in 1910 when the Tasmanian Government Railway was looking to expand.
From 1914–15 major works took place onsite, including the construction of the roundhouse and turntable, a goods shed, coal yards and approximately 7.2 kilometres of rail line.
By 1950, a new larger railway workshop was constructed but by 1980 most station buildings, housing and sheds were removed as railway operations ceased.