Flagstaff railway station
|Commuter rail station|
|Location||La Trobe Street, Melbourne|
|Line(s)||Alamein (weekday pre-peak and post-peak only)
Frankston (weekday peaks and weekends only)
Sandringham (weekends only)
Werribee (weekends only)
|Platforms||4 (2 island)|
|Website||Public Transport Victoria|
|Opened||27 May 1985|
Flagstaff railway station is an underground station on the metro network in Melbourne, Australia. It is one of five stations (and one of three underground) on the City Loop, which encircles the Melbourne CBD. The station takes its name from the nearby Flagstaff Hill, a significant site in Melbourne's early history, and services Melbourne's legal district. It runs under La Trobe and William Streets, near the north western corner of the CBD.
In 2013/14 it was the fifth busiest station on Melbourne's metropolitan network, with 4.5 million passenger movements. Flagstaff station commenced opening on weekends and public holidays from 1 January 2016 – it was previously the only station in Melbourne to be closed on weekends and public holidays due to its proximity to business-related buildings such as the Commonwealth Law Complex, banks and major office buildings.
The station was constructed by mining methods, and has four levels to a maximum depth of 32 metres. The site was a geological "sandwich" of basalt in the arch area, Silurian mudstone bedrock in the lower half, and silt in the middle, which precluded the construction of lower and upper platforms as separately driven tunnels.
Instead, the station platforms consist of two chambers linked by cross tunnels, each having two platforms on top of each other. The side of each chamber was made up of two drift tunnels, one at the top and one at the bottom. These were then linked together by 228 vertically raise bored shafts, 1 metre in diameter and 3 metres apart. The shafts and drifts were then filled with concrete, and formed the side skeleton of the station chambers. The arch of each chamber was then constructed underground across the top of the two side walls, the material below the arch excavated down to the bottom of the side walls, and temporary cross struts added between the raise bored columns until the permanent elements were added. This innovative method resulted in a $1 million saving in construction costs (in 1975 dollars).
Flagstaff was the last station on the loop to open. Although trains had run through the station site since 24 January 1981 when the City Loop began operating, Flagstaff only opened to passengers on 27 May 1985. Initially, the City Loop did not operate at all on Sundays. That was changed with the introduction of Sunday trading, but at the same time that the other two underground loop stations opened on Sundays, Flagstaff station had its Saturday services cancelled.
The station is located under the intersection of La Trobe Street and William Streets and has two entrances - via lift or escalator south of La Trobe Street, and by stairs on the north. Flagstaff has three underground levels. The concourse level has a ticket office, ticket operated gates, toilets, a news stand and a hot snack shop. Flagstaff's four platforms are on the two levels below, with each level having an island platform. The levels are linked by elevators, 14 escalators and stairs. The four platforms serve a separate group of rail lines that leave the loop and radiate out into the city's suburbs.
Weekend opening campaign
In October 2012 it was revealed that traders and residents in the north-west area of the Melbourne CBD had begun a campaign to have Flagstaff station opened on weekends, arguing that its closure had a deadening effect on the life of the area. A petition calling for the station's weekend opening, only collected about 150 signatures in the first week.
With a number of residential developments having been built, the station was scheduled to open on weekends from June 2015, with both political parties having committed to this in the 2014 State Government Election. This was however deferred until January 2016.
Platforms & services
Platform 1 - Clifton Hill Group:
Platform 2 - Caulfield Group:
- Pakenham line: all services to Pakenham
- Cranbourne line: all services to Cranbourne
- Frankston line: weekday peak and weekend services to Frankston
- Sandringham line: weekend services to Sandringham
Platform 3 - Northern Group:
- Craigieburn line: all services to Craigieburn
- Upfield line: all services to Upfield
- Sunbury line: all services to Sunbury
- Werribee line: weekend services to Werribee
- Williamstown line: all stations and limited stops services to Williamstown
Platform 4 - Burnley Group:
- Lilydale line: all services to Lilydale
- Belgrave line: all services to Belgrave
- Glen Waverley line: all services to Glen Waverley except weekday mornings
- Alamein line: weekday pre-peak services to Alamein
-  Public Transport Victoria
- Gough, Deborah; Dmytryshchak, Goya (2015-11-28). "Countdown to Flagstaff Station opening on weekends". Fairfax Media. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "Flagstaff Station to open on weekends in under a month". Public Transport Development Authority (Public Transport Victoria). 2015-12-08. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
- "The Melbourne Underground Railway Loop". Technology in Australia 1788-1988. www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au. p. 383. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- History of Melbourne's Underground Rail System Metropolitan Transport Authority
- Department of Infrastructure. "Public transport - City Loop history". www.doi.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- Carey, Adam (2012-10-23). "Push for Flagstaff to open 7 days". The Age. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
- "Flagstaff station to open on weekends" Railway Digest November 2014 page 24