City Loop Line

What is today known as the City Loop was originally two separate terminus stations called Flinders Street and Spencer Street with the underground stations a later addition.

Flinders Street was originally the city terminus for a number of private railways while Spencer Street was the terminus for government railways. Later all railways would be run by the government and Flinders Street would become the terminus for suburban services and Spencer Street the terminus for services to the country. A link was built between the two stations originally on a level grade and then was replaced with a viaduct.

While a grand station building was built at Flinders Street, a less substantial building was constructed at Spencer Street. Only in 2004 are the facilities at Spencer Street being improved with a modern building including associated retail space and other uses to replace the previous station constructed in the 1960s.

At Flinder Street the station was expanded in the 1980s to incorporate the former Princes Bridge Station which was located on the opposite side of Swanston Street and served as the terminus for the lines to Whittlesea and Hurstbridge. All but one platform of the former Princes Bridge Station have now been removed as part of the recent Federation Square project.

The underground City Loop stations were completed in the 1980s with Melbourne Central Station the first to open originally named Museum followed by Parliament and then Flagstaff. The loop was formed by the underground section which allowed services to be through routed rather than having services reverse direction at Flinders Street.

A unique feature of the City Loop operation is that each of the four tunnels which make up the City Loop through the underground section have trains which reverse operation during the middle of the day. The idea is that morning train services will travel through the loop stations before arriving at Flinders Street Station and the opposite in the afternoon. This can create some confusion for passengers.

One little known fact is that when the TV monitors were originally installed within the underground stations each had a different background colour relflecting which of the four tunnels the train service would operate on. While the coloured backgrounds still exist today, very few passengers would understand their intended meaning.


Flinders Street Station

Spencer Street Station

Flagstaff Station

Melbourne Central Station

Parliament Station




Global View of street and concerning station
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