Next Thursday marks 25 years since the completion of the City Loop. Flagstaff Station was the last loop station to open — on the 27th of May 1985.
It’s the only station in Melbourne that is closed on weekends — being in the middle of the legal precinct, it’s a bit quiet around there on Saturdays and Sundays, though there are increasing numbers of residential buildings in the area.
It’s probably the least used of the CBD stations. That said, with a lot of office buildings nearby, it gets pretty busy during peak hour, but is quieter in the middle of the day and in the evening.
I hadn’t seen much of it until recently when I started using it regularly. Maybe you haven’t seen much of it either.
It’s named after the gardens above, of course. The gardens in turn are named after the flagstaff, erected on the hill in 1840 to signal ships in the bay. This entrance is in the corner of the gardens, and saves you crossing Latrobe Street if you’re headed for the north side of the street. This picture was taken a few months ago, after the Connex logo had been covered up, but before the Metro logo had taken its place.
In the morning peak, as each train arrives, swarms head up the escalators, through the fare gates on the concourse and then up more escalators to William Street. Chuggers, when present, are just outside the fare gates, and it’s also where you’ll find the not-very-busy Myki Mates, and Authorised Officers (inspectors). I quite like the main concourse; it feels very spacious, very airy for somewhere underground.
Most people head out onto William Street, coming out in the shadow of the huge adjacent Commonwealth Law Courts Building, and flooding William Street’s southbound footpath. In the evening peak the tide comes back the other way. The building includes the Family Court, and metal poles in the footpath around this area are to protect from attacks with cars.
Thankfully the Connex logo didn’t get onto everything. This signage didn’t need to be changed when Metro took over. It’s amazing how many people should probably use the lifts but don’t look for the signs, and can be found trying to get their bicycle or pram up the escalator.
I don’t mind the design of Flagstaff. It doesn’t have to cope with the influx of people that Melbourne Central does, so it gets away with not having the open platform design.
And for a station designed in the 70s and opened in 1985, the interior design hasn’t aged too badly.