Residents have called it quits on a three-year campaign to have Malmsbury railway station restored and maintained.

The 1862 station continues to be an active stop on the Bendigo line, but the historic buildings have remained empty and deteriorating since the 1980s.

Malmsbury Historical Society former secretary Mike Todd said the most recent efforts to save the buildings had folded as local interest fell away from the campaign.

He was among a group of locals who came together three years ago to try to have the station chosen for a state government-funded VicTrack program that restored regional stations.

A business plan was developed for the application, suggesting the station could house community activities, such as arts and history, and some commercial business to generate funding.

More than 600 people signed a petition to the local minister and the campaign was backed by Macedon Ranges council and local community groups, but the station project failed to attract funding.

Mr Todd said he believed Malmsbury was “wilfully overlooked”, and that the campaign has folded because “active support was hard to raise and impossible to sustain”.

Mr Todd said the condition of the station had been a problem since it was closed in 1978.

In the years since it had been privately leased but remained empty. He believes it has not been leased “for many months”.

The Malmsbury local said he would be willing to help other efforts to save the station.

“This has not been the first campaign to save Malmsbury station and I hope it will not be the last.”