The Maymorn operational base is important in a number of ways. It is the current focus of volunteer activity, which the Trust is entirely reliant upon for its future. Tranz Metro Wairarapa Line passenger services service Maymorn, which provides connection to and from Wellington, the Hutt Valley and the Wairarapa — and strategically, a future life-line for tourist visitation to the railway.
The facilities under construction at Maymorn will protect the Trust’s current rail vehicle fleet, and facilitate their future restoration, operation and maintenance. Plans have also been prepared and resource consent approved for a large station building incorporating a visitor centre, historic and interpretative displays, and a cafe. These facilities will play a central role in the Trust’s future operations, being the departure point for a journey back in time over the historic Rimutaka Incline.
Heritage station precinct
The proposed Maymorn station will be the first heritage station encountered on a passenger's journey northbound from Upper Hutt, and has been designed to perform as an interchange and junction between the mainline and heritage railways.
Safety is a primary requirement of all operating railways, and the proposed layout of the Maymorn station yard has been drafted with this in mind. There is clear demarkation of public and operational areas, and it is possible for an intending passenger to board their train without having to cross a single railway track. Proposed public access to the station is via Parkes Line Road, which includes carparking and a tour-bus turnaround area.
It is initially proposed to provide facilities for trains up to six carriages long, which will have sufficient capacity for 200 passengers. Station buildings, platforms, crossing loops and storage sheds will be designed to suit this traffic. Provision will be made for future expansion to serve trains up to twelve carriages in length, which would have the capacity for 400 passengers. Provision for future capacity is critically important - in order to avoid the time-consuming and expensive task of dismantling and relocating initial structures and infrastructure.
A crossing loop and access to the storage shed are initially proposed, located to accomodate future expansion. A ladder road diverts from the RIR mainline immediately south of the platform, leading to the storage shed and storage sidings. The crossing loop is able to be used to run around rolling stock or train stopped at the platform, or to shunt the ladder road. Additional storage roads may be added at a later date.
Storage sufficient to house locomotives and carriage stock will be essential, to provide protection from the elements, security and maintenance and restoration facilities. With careful planning much of the interior of these buildings could be open for public viewing, (excepting machine shop).
An authentic heritage station building is planned for Maymorn. A full set of drawings have been prepared by conservation architects, based off a George Troup design dating from 1907.
A 70' (21.3m) turntable is proposed, capable of turning the largest of former NZR steam and diesel-electric locomotives. Initially it is planned to operate the railway with locomotives that can operate safely in either forward or reverse directions, to postpone the expense and trouble of installing turntables at both Summit and Maymorn. The turntable at Maymorn could well be the first to be installed, so that locomotives hauling trains from Wellington to Maymorn can be turned in readiness for return journey.