Melbourne Central
PTV commuter rail station
Eastbound view from Platform 3, June 2024
General information
LocationLa Trobe Street,
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
City of Melbourne
Coordinates37°48′36″S 144°57′46″E / 37.81000°S 144.96278°E / -37.81000; 144.96278
Owned byVicTrack
Operated byMetro Trains
Platforms4 (2 island)
Structure typeUnderground
Depth29 metres (95 ft)[1]
Platform levels2
AccessibleYes—step free access
Other information
StatusOperational, premium station
Station codeMCE
Fare zoneMyki Zone 1
WebsitePublic Transport Victoria
Opened24 January 1981; 43 years ago (1981-01-24)
ElectrifiedJanuary 1981
(1500 V DC overhead)
Previous namesMuseum (1981–1997)
2008–200914.916 million[2]
2009–201014.511 million[2]Decrease 2.71%
2010–201115.384 million[2]Increase 6.01%
2011–201214.333 million[2]Decrease 6.83%
2012–2013Not measured[2]
2013–201415.925 million[2]Increase 11.11%
2014–2015Not measured[3]
2015–201615.498 million[3]Decrease 2.68%
2016–201715.724 million[3]Increase 1.46%
2017–201815.859 million[3]Increase 0.86%
2019-202010.866 million[4]Decrease 28.75%
2020-20214.207 million[4]Decrease 61.28%
2021–20225.491 million[4]Increase 30.54%
2022–20238.626 million[4]Increase 57.09%
Preceding station Railways in Melbourne Metro Trains Following station
One-way operation
Mernda line Parliament
towards Mernda
Hurstbridge line Parliament
towards Hurstbridge
Flagstaff Pakenham line Parliament
One-way operation
Cranbourne line
Direction of travel on metropolitan lines below between stations on the City Loop changes to either Flagstaff or Parliament depending on the line and time of day.
Flagstaff Lilydale line Parliament
towards Lilydale or Belgrave
Belgrave line
Alamein line
Select weekday peak services only
towards Alamein
Glen Waverley line Parliament
towards Upfield
Upfield line Parliament
towards Craigieburn
Craigieburn line
towards Sunbury
Sunbury line
Future services (2025)
Flagstaff Frankston line Parliament
towards Frankston
Track layout
L1 (upper)
L2 (lower)

Melbourne Central railway station is a commuter railway station on the Burnley, Caulfield, Clifton Hill, Cross City and Northern group lines, serving the Melbourne CBD in Victoria, Australia. Melbourne Central is an underground premium station on the City Loop, featuring four platforms, two island platforms on two floors connected to street level by a shopping and commercial precinct. It opened on 24 January 1981, with station refurbishments underway as of June 2024.[citation needed]

Initially opened as Museum, the station was given its current name of Melbourne Central on 16 February 1996, after the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, which it is beneath.

The station is located under La Trobe Street, between Swanston and Elizabeth Streets, on the northern edge of the central business district (CBD). It feeds into Melbourne's main metro network station, Flinders Street, and also Southern Cross, Melbourne's main regional terminus. In 2017/2018, it was the third-busiest station on the Melbourne metropolitan rail network, with 15.859 million passenger movements.[3]


The station was built using cut and cover construction. In December 1973, to permit excavation of the station, La Trobe Street and its tram tracks were temporarily relocated to the south, onto the site of what is now the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, and moved back on completion of the work in 1978.[5] The pit was 168 metres (551 ft) long and 22.5 metres (74 ft) wide, 29 metres (95 ft) deep at the Swanston Street end and 22 metres (72 ft) deep at the Elizabeth Street end. Seven layers of struts were used to support the excavation, with 2,600 tonnes of steel temporary supports required.[6]

The station was designed by architectural firm Perrott Lyon Mathieson, with initial layout by associate David Simpson, followed by detailed design by Graeme Butler.[7] The design included the two pairs of platforms, a spacious concourse directly under La Trobe Street, with entries facing the Elizabeth Street and Swanston Street corners. The Swanston Street corner included a set of raised circular platforms above the entry; during a Royal Visit, Queen Elizabeth was shown around the not yet operational station on 28 May 1980, and unveiled a plaque naming it the Queen Elizabeth Plaza.[8]

The station was finally opened on 24 January 1981, and opened as Museum, after the adjacent National Museum of Victoria and Science Museum of Victoria, in the State Library of Victoria complex on the opposite side of Swanston Street. It was the first station to open on the City Loop.[9] Initially, the station was only used by trains on the Burnley and Caulfield groups, using platforms 2 and 4, with services from the Clifton Hill group beginning to use platform 1 on 31 October 1982, and trains from the Northern group beginning to use platform 3 on 1 May 1984. The Elizabeth Street entrance to the station opened on 5 April 1982.

The adjoining Melbourne Central Shopping Centre opened in 1991,[10] being built around the existing escalators to street level, with only minor integration between the station concourse and shopping centre. The station was renamed after the shopping centre on 16 February 1997,[11][12] and a few months later on 13 July, the National Museum of Victoria closed at the State Library site,[13] in preparation for its relocation to Carlton, where it reopened as the Melbourne Museum in 2000.

The station concourse was extensively redeveloped in 2002/2003, as part of a redevelopment of the shopping centre, integrating it into the complex. The direct escalators from the concourse to Swanston Street closed in November 2003, and were replaced by escalators rising into the atrium under the cone in the centre of the shopping centre, making the path for rail passengers more convoluted.[14] The concourse under La Trobe Street was integrated into the shopping centre with the installation of numerous shops.

In 2025, as part of the Metro Tunnel project, the Pakenham, Cranbourne and Sunbury lines will cease to stop at Melbourne Central. However, they will use the connected State Library station when it opens with the Metro Tunnel.


Melbourne Central has an underground concourse and two levels of platforms below it (2 island platforms with four faces and tracks). Each platform serves a separate group of rail lines that leave the Loop and radiate out into the city's suburbs. At peak times, with a train arriving every 2.5 minutes, the station has a passenger flow of 30,000 per hour. Three elevators were initially provided, as well as 21 escalators.[6] Melbourne Central is a premium station, meaning that it is staffed from first to last train and provides extra customer services.

The concourse has two sections separated by the shopping centre food court:

Station layout

G/O Ground Elizabeth Street entrance
Office Staff only
C/LG Concourse Customer service, Melbourne Central Shopping Centre
Platform 1
Island platform, doors will open on the left
Platform 2
Platform 3
Island platform, doors will open on the left or right
Platform 4

Transport links

Yarra Trams operates thirteen services via Melbourne Central station, on Swanston, Elizabeth, and La Trobe Streets.

Swanston Street

Elizabeth Street

La Trobe Street

Kinetic Melbourne operates four bus routes from Lonsdale Street (Melbourne Central side), under contract to Public Transport Victoria:

Kinetic Melbourne operates thirteen bus routes from Lonsdale Street (Myer side), under contract to Public Transport Victoria:

Kinetic Melbourne operates eleven bus routes from Swanston/Lonsdale Streets (QV), under contract to Public Transport Victoria:



  1. ^ Weekday pre-peak and post-peak only


  1. ^ History of Melbourne's Metropolitan Rail System and the adoption of the Underground Rail Loop concept Metropolitan Transit Authority
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Train Station Patronage FY2008-2014". Public Transport Victoria. 14 May 2015. Archived from the original (XLS) on 30 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016. (access from [1])
  3. ^ a b c d e "Station Patronage Data 2013–2018". Philip Mallis. Transport for Victoria. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Annual metropolitan train station patronage (station entries) Data Vic
  5. ^ SE Dornan & RG Henderson (1979). Electric Railways of Victoria. Australian Electric Traction Society. p. 93. ISBN 0-909459-06-1.
  6. ^ a b History of Melbourne's Underground Rail System Metropolitan Transport Authority
  7. ^ Telephone interview with David Simpson by Rohan Storey, 9 January 2020
  8. ^ "Queen Elizabeth II visits Melbourne City Loop, May, 1980". youtube. 24 October 2011. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021.
  9. ^ Department of Infrastructure. "Public transport – City Loop history". Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2008.
  10. ^ "Melbourne Central Tower – Building Profile". Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Museum Becomes Central" Railway Digest February 1997 page 15
  12. ^ "Upgrading Eltham to a Premium Station". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society. October 1997. p. 310.
  13. ^ Hogan, Tim. "Research Guides: The history of the State Library of Victoria: Timelines". Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Melbourne Central set to prey on captive commuters". The Age. 4 November 2003. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Mernda Line". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  16. ^ "Hurstbridge Line". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  17. ^ "Pakenham Line". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  18. ^ "Cranbourne Line". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  19. ^ "Craigieburn Line". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  20. ^ "Upfield Line". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  21. ^ "Sunbury line". Public Transport Victoria.
  22. ^ "Lilydale Line". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  23. ^ "Belgrave Line". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  24. ^ "Glen Waverley Line". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  25. ^ "Alamein Line". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  26. ^ "1 East Coburg - South Melbourne Beach". Public Transport Victoria.
  27. ^ "3-3a Melbourne University - East Malvern". Public Transport Victoria.
  28. ^ "5 Melbourne University - Malvern". Public Transport Victoria.
  29. ^ "6 Moreland - Glen Iris". Public Transport Victoria.
  30. ^ "16 Melbourne University - Kew via St Kilda Beach". Public Transport Victoria.
  31. ^ "64 Melbourne University - East Brighton". Public Transport Victoria.
  32. ^ "67 Melbourne University - Carnegie". Public Transport Victoria.
  33. ^ "72 Melbourne University - Camberwell". Public Transport Victoria.
  34. ^ "19 North Coburg - Flinders Street Station & City". Public Transport Victoria.
  35. ^ "57 West Maribyrnong - Flinders Street Station & City". Public Transport Victoria.
  36. ^ "59 Airport West - Flinders Street Station & City". Public Transport Victoria.
  37. ^ "30 St Vincents Plaza - Docklands via La Trobe St". Public Transport Victoria.
  38. ^ "35 City Circle (Free Tourist Tram)". Public Transport Victoria.
  39. ^ "200 City (Queen St) - Bulleen". Public Transport Victoria.
  40. ^ "207 City - Doncaster SC via Kew Junction". Public Transport Victoria.
  41. ^ a b "250 City (Queen St) - La Trobe University". Public Transport Victoria.
  42. ^ a b "251 City (Queen St) - Northland SC". Public Transport Victoria.
  43. ^ a b "302 City - Box Hill via Belmore Rd and Eastern Fwy". Public Transport Victoria.
  44. ^ a b "303 City - Ringwood North via Park Rd". Public Transport Victoria.
  45. ^ a b "304 City - Doncaster SC via Belmore Rd and Eastern Fwy". Public Transport Victoria.
  46. ^ a b "305 City - The Pines SC via Eastern Fwy". Public Transport Victoria.
  47. ^ a b "309 City - Donvale via Reynolds Rd". Public Transport Victoria.
  48. ^ a b "318 City - Deep Creek". Public Transport Victoria.
  49. ^ a b "350 City - La Trobe University via Eastern Fwy". Public Transport Victoria.
  50. ^ a b "905 City - The Pines SC via Eastern Fwy & Templestowe (SMARTBUS Service)". Public Transport Victoria.
  51. ^ a b "906 City - Warrandyte via The Pines SC (SMARTBUS service)". Public Transport Victoria.
  52. ^ a b "907 City - Mitcham via Doncaster Rd (SMARTBUS service)". Public Transport Victoria.
  53. ^ a b "908 City - The Pines SC via Eastern Fwy (SMARTBUS Service)". Public Transport Victoria.

Media related to Melbourne Central railway station at Wikimedia Commons