SWANAGE railway station is undergoing a £150,000 “once-in-a-lifetime” makeover.

Workers have already started on the project to renovate the station’s 1930s platform canopy. Eventually all of its 350 glass panes will be replaced and the metal and wood structure repainted.

It is hoped the canopy renovation, taking place during the railway’s winter maintenance shutdown, will be completed mid April. Swanage Railway Trust chairman Liz Sellen said: “This ambitious project represents a once-in-a-lifetime makeover with the station canopy celebrating its 75th birthday this year.”

The 254ft canopy, covering 5,000 square ft, will be stripped down and repainted using a hi-tec paint used to weather proof North Sea oil rigs. The 350 glass panes will be replaced with tougher, safer, laminated glass.

Mrs Sellen said: “The station canopy restoration project is being managed by Swanage Railway trainee fireman Nick Coram and we have been fortunate that local contractors have offered excellent values for money and service which has enabled us to support the local Purbeck economy.

“We are investing in an important piece of Swanage Railway infrastructure and the future of an architecturally important building in the centre of Swanage. The specialist work is being carried out by a team of sub-contractors.”

Other work includes the shot-blasting of the steel structure back to bare metal. The station building will also be repainted. The canopy was rebuilt and extended in 1938, a year before the outbreak of the Second World War. Thousands of servicemen would eventually pass underneath as they arrived to be billeted in Swanage ahead of the D-Day invasion.