Following the opening of the railway to Ballarat in 1862, proposals were put forward for the extension of the service to other localities, with the discovery of gold in the area this brought about increased population and the need for a greater transport system.
During debate in the Legislative Assembly in October 1871 on the Railway Extension Bill, which includued an extension from Ballarat to Ararat, an unsuccessful attempt was made to have the line extended to Stawell.
The Ararat to Stawell railway was authorised by Act No 475, it was passed on 25th November 1873. The track reached Ararat in 1874 .
The contract for the line was let on 2nd April 1875, Contract No 592 to the firm of Chapman and Leslie.
The line reached Stawell in 1876 where a temporary siding was in use for some months. Called "Wild Cat Station" it was situated just south of the town, and it was here that the curious onlookers gathered to see the first train arrive.
The Railway Station was built about 1877, a beautiful red brick, two story building which includes the Station Masters residence, a large tea room, waiting room and toilets, a parcels office and booking office. The station is situated opposite Stawell's Central Park, the home of the Stawell Easter Gift..
The Railway Station Building is on the Historic Register G 356.
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