When was Flinders Street Station built?

When was Flinders Street Station built?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/15/2024

Reading time: 2 mins

In the center of Melbourne City, Flinders Street Station is an icon and a popular meeting point.

Flinders Street Station is over 100 years old and is an iconic landmark of Melbourne.  The train station has been operating since 1854, becoming Australia’s very first railway station. But the building of Flinders Street Station we see today is the result of a complete rebuild in the early 1900s.

What was the station like in the 1800s?

Before major renovations in the early 1900s, Flinders Street Station was called Melbourne Terminus. The station was only a weatherboard building and a small platform. At the time there was only one train line that went to Sandridge, now known as Port Melbourne. Later in 1857, the new St Kilda line was added, followed by extra platforms.

In 1889, a competition was held for the new design of the station, and the following year, the design was selected.

Around the time the station opened in 1910, it was said to be the world’s busiest passenger station.

How the station looks today

After renovation took place and the station officially opened in 1910, it soon became a Melbourne icon. The main archway entrance on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Street consists of the green copper dome and the clocks. This entrance is now a popular meeting point. It has red brick across the building with the yellow facade, and windows that sit under the arches. The other entrance on Elizabeth Street has a large clock tower.

The station is lined with shops and cafes that have changed throughout the years since opening.

What else the station is used for

The building wasn’t only built for the trains – there are also upper floors. The second floor was the administrative offices, and the third floor was a library, gym, and lecture and concert hall. Later in 1934, the third floor became a ballroom, when after WWI, there were dance nights for the returned soldiers. These nights became popular throughout the 1920s, with dances held up to six times a week!

Today, the ballroom is now used as an exhibition space.

When you’re planning to meet somebody in the city, just tell them you’ll meet them “under the clocks” or “on the steps”. This is the main entrance on the corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street, where you’ll find people waiting for somebody to arrive.


Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.