'Suspicious' fire damages historic Huntly railway station

Part of the historic Raahui Pookeka-Huntly Railway Station after it was set alight.

Part of the newly-renovated historic Raahui Pookeka-Huntly Railway Station has been left "severely damaged" after it was set ablaze in a "suspicious" fire last night.

The second half of the train station was due to be moved from the Lake Puketirini reserve to its original site when the first half was found alight, the Waikato District Council said on social media this morning.

"This project has been years in the making and we are extremely saddened to lose such an important part of Huntly's history."

Fire and Emergency services were called to the scene about 11.10pm last night, but roughly 25% of the building was "severely damaged" in the process, the council's acting general manager service delivery Megan May told 1News.

"When I heard the news at 3am this morning, I was devastated."

A fire investigator was called to the scene this morning and police are treating the fire as "suspicious", she said.

"There is huge disappointment from the community about this. Just gutting."

Smoke billows from the historic Raahui Pookeka-Huntly Railway Station.

The train station, originally built in 1939, plays an integral role in the Te Huia rail service connecting Waikato and Auckland.

It was set to boast a museum, cafe, shelter and meeting rooms, as well as housing the Huntly Museum upon its completion late next month.

This morning, the Huntly Museum said on social media: "It's gonna take us a minute — we are pretty upset but we will see what we can salvage here.

"We will need your support more than ever."

While there has been significant damage to the station, those involved in the project are "optimistic we'll be able to repair it", May said.

"We're still committed to getting it sorted."