Newcastle train station and part of the former rail corridor will house race teams during the Newcastle 500 Supercars weekend in late November.
Revitalising Newcastle has started filling in the platform at the former railway terminus to create a public plaza and will restore the station’s heritage-listed buildings, which date back to 1858, after the race weekend from November 24 to 26.
The buildings have not been used since the last train left the station on Christmas day in 2014, but it will start its new life by accommodating teams in the Supercars support categories.
A Supercars spokesman said the station and rail corridor to Harry’s Cafe de Wheels would be used as a garaging area for teams in the support categories, which have not been announced but could include the second-tier Super2 Series, Australian V8 Ute Racing Series and Touring Car Masters.
Only teams in the main Supercars category will be garaged in the three-storey pit building on the main straight in Wharf Rd.
Cars in the support categories will exit and enter the track at turn one in Wharf Rd to the garaging area along the disused rail line.
The rail corridor is part of an area gazetted by NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall, last week as a “declared racing area under the Motor Racing (Sydney and Newcastle) Act 2008” from November 23 to 27.
Revitalising Newcastle, a state government program, plans to call for expressions of interest next year to develop permanent uses for the station buildings and has said eateries and an “active art space” and cinema are among community suggestions for the station.
“We are on schedule to finish platform infill works before the Coates Hire Newcastle 500 starts, and we have agreed to make this space available to support the event,” Revitalising Newcastle program director Michael Cassel said in a statement.
The restoration work will include removing bricked-up sections of the station along Scott St.
“Following the event, building restoration works will commence to restore and repurpose the ground floor areas, reinstate the verandah along Scott Street and reopen the station to Scott Street, as it was in the past,” Mr Cassel said.
“We are setting up the station for temporary uses to start early next year, subject to DA approval, and an expression of interest process will look at future long-term uses for the entire precinct.”