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Flinders Street Station

By News Team Posted Under Flinders Street Station
Flinders Street Station from St Pauls Cathedral
Looking down on Flinders Street Station from St Pauls Cathedral, with Southbank in the background. Image from Major Projects Victoria - Flinders Street Station Design Competition website.


Welcome to the Flinders Street Station blog written by me, Jane Routley, my collegue, researcher and historian, Elizabeth Downes, and the occassional guest blogger.


The current Flinders Street Station building has been part of the lives of Melbournians for over 100 years. Inspired by the launch of the latest competition to put forward proposals for its restoration and reinvigoration, and to highlight some of the amazing Flinders Street-related material in Victoria's cultural collections, I will be celebrating the past, present and future of my favorite station.


Over the next few months, I will be recording impressions and stories found whilst exploring the station as it exists today, trawling the internet for related sounds and images (such as this timelapse) and featuring some of the wonderful images of the station that are held in Victoria's cultural collections. As a taster for my future posts, here's a selection of images that I've found.

There's been a station on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Street since 1857. Posters covering the facade in 1864 advertise an eclectic variety of amusements - from opera to cricket and boxing.



The old station 1864
How it once was! Image from the Public Record Office Victoria.


The current station, a previous competition-winning design by J. Fawcett and H. P. C. Ashworth, was finished in 1910. Here, two young women in fabulous Edwardian hats, sashay towards the finished station. What's happening in the background - a Red Cross festival,  a recruiting drive, or something else completely?



Flinders Street Station 1910.
These hats are almost as fabulous as the dome! Image from the State Library of Victoria.


The facade stays the same whilst Melbourne changes around it. Compare the differences in cars and clothes between the 1920s and the 1940s - and no sign of Federation Square yet.



"EVERYDAY - IN EVERY WAY RAISINS" proclaims the banner across the facade c1927. Image from the Public Record Office Victoria.


The station in the late 1940s
The station in the late 1940s. Image from Museum Victoria.


From its position over looking one of the busiest intersections in the city, Flinders Street Station has seen many special events. What caused this mother of all traffic jams in the 1920s? - or is it a parade?



Traffic jam c1925
Horse drawn cabs, carts and drays clog the intersection with only the odd car to be seen. - Princes Bridge Station appears in the background. Image from Museum Victoria.


Speaking of parades, the Station has witnessed the passing of an amazing assortment of Moomba floats. For example, this was part of the first Moomba parade in 1955. Culture Victoria has more on Moomba here.



Victorian Railway float Moomba 1955.
Victorian Railway float Moomba 1955. Image from the Public Record Office Victoria collection.


The many faces of the Station over time complement my stories, but the blog itself is a collection of impressions rather than a history of the station or a detailed analysis of the pictures. If you're interested in the images, these and many more can be found in, amongst others: the Public Records Office of Victoria, Museum Victoria and the State Library of Victoria. More detail of the history of the station can be found in Jenny Davies's Beyond the Facade: Flinders Street, more than just a railway station, and in Tom Yates's What a Journey, published by the Australian Railways Historical Society. Jenny Davies also has a wonderful virtual tour of the station at


Happy 102 years Flinders Street Station. What a journey its been!


Ever seen anything interesting at Flinders Street or met someone exciting? We'd love to hear your stories. Comment here or contact us on the Culture Victoria Facebook page or email us at



Flinders Street Station in art

Over the years Flinders Street Station has acted as an inspiration for all kinds of artists.  It's my plan to highlight one work of art in every blog post, starting with this wonderful rendering of the station's opulent facade in teapot form by the popular artist and writer,  Leigh Hobbs.





Leigh Hobbs teapot
Leigh Hobbs teapot in the State Library of Victoria collection



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