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Public Transport in Melbourne - How to travel in Melbourne Trains

Updated on September 10, 2011

Melbourne has been blessed (or that’s what we like to think!) with a solid public transport system. Trains are the fastest mode of public transport in Melbourne. The entire train system in Melbourne revolves around the ‘City Loop’ and different lines which span out to the various directions of the city. These tips will arm you with knowledge that you will not find on brochures, magazines or websites. Know these insider tips and learn how to travel efficiently and safely on the trains of Melbourne.

City Loop - Train arriving at Parliament Station

1) Get to know the ‘City Loop’ stations – they are the answers to all your prayers. The train system in Melbourne revolves around certain few stations that are in the City Loop. Flinders Street Station, Southern Cross Station, Melbourne Central, Parliament and Flagstaff stations form the city loop. Find out how to get to any of these stations if you are in Melbourne CBD because all the trains run via this loop.

2) Avoid travelling in the last two carriages of the train. School kids, and junkies seem to prefer the last carriages. So avoid them to increase your chances of a safe and quite ride!

HMX Newspaper - Here's Looking At You

3) Pick up the MX while you travel in Melbourne trains. MX is a daily afternoon or a mid-day newspaper that is distributed free of cost at the city loop stations and other major intersections of the Melbourne CBD. Most commuters are addicted to reading this paper on their way back home from work. MX has sections which will cover Entertainment, News, Sports, Gossip, Celebrities and many more interactive forums.

4) The trains in Melbourne are a great way to explore and visit the tourist hot-spots of the city – Plan a ‘day-out’ on each Melbourne train line. Most of the train lines in Melbourne are loaded with stations and suburbs that are tourist hubs and have a lot to offer if you are visiting Melbourne. A great way is to look up the stations on each line of Melbourne and plan a ‘day out’. Every line will have 2-3 must-visit places that you can cover in a single day. Typical examples are

  • Sandringham Line - Brighton beach and St Kilda
  • Frankston Line - Frankston beach
  • Williamstown Line - Williamstown beach
  • Werribee Line - Werribee Zoo and a short drive to the beach

5) If you’re alone, always stand near the ticketing machine or the main entrance of the station. All train stations in Melbourne are armed with CCTV cameras. However, the stations that are in the outer suburbs may only have a CCTV camera near the entrance or near ticketing machines and benches.

6) Look around to meet interesting people when you travel in Melbourne trains. Because Melbourne is a multi-cultural hub and has a thriving arts scene, you will bump into many interesting people on the trains in Melbourne. You may find a great conversation partner on the train.

7) You don’t always need to go to City Loop stations when you are travelling on the trains in Melbourne. The following stations on the outskirts of the Melbourne CBD service multiple train lines. Take advantages of these hubs and make your train travel easier and quicker.

  • Richmond – Lilydale, Belgrave, Alamein, Glen Waverly, Pakenham, Cranbourne, Frankston and Sandringham lines
  • Clifton Hill – Hurstbridge and Epping lines
  • North Melbourne – Upfield, Craigieburn, Sydenham, Werribee and Williamstown lines
  • Footscray – Sydenham, Werribee and Williamstown lines

8) Make sure you double check the weekend timetable before you travel on the trains in Melbourne on weekends. I stress on this point because trains have a different timetable on Saturday and Sunday. On Sundays, Melbourne trains start operating later than weekdays and Saturdays, and operate on low frequencies until about 10am.

9) Many suburbs are better covered by bus or tram. Although the trains in Melbourne are spread in all directions of the city, you may find that even suburbs that are close to the city are better connected by tram or bus even though they boast of a train station. Typical examples are Carlton, St Kilda and Bundoora.

10) Even if your house/hotel is a short walking distance from the train station, I suggest that you carry an umbrella if the forecast shows rain. Melbourne weather is known to be unpredictable and the rain can get you dripping wet, even if it lashes down for a few minutes. Don’t let your favorite dress or suit get dirty – carry an umbrella when showers are expected.

The trains in Melbourne are a great way to get around and explore the beautiful city. Use these top tips about travelling in Melbourne trains to make your stay better.

More travel tips about public transport commuting in Melbourne

How to travel in Melbourne trams – Get insider travel tips about travelling in the iconic Melbourne Trams - The locals love them and so will you! Enhance your Melbourne experience by hopping on to a tram.

For exciting travel tips on Melbourne, check out my other hubs at Princesswithapen on HubPages.

Melbourne train accident - Child survives train hit


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