Regular passengers using Flinders Street Station will have noticed that while the platforms are numbered from 1 to 14, there’s no platform 11.
It’s not a Harry Potter scenario with a hidden platform. There used to be a platform 11, the twin of 10, facing the river, and commonly used by St Kilda and Port Melbourne trains until 1987 when they were converted to tram lines. But its track was removed — I assume when the pedestrian subway was extended to the river to meet the pedestrian bridge to Southgate, which opened in 1992.
Today, trains to Newport (Werribee and Williamstown and Altona Loop/Laverton, to be precise) depart from platform 10 on weekdays.
Problem with this is that one platform isn’t enough during peak hours, and the trains depart from either 10, 12, 9 or 8, which are mostly quite some distance apart. Passengers tell stories of rushing from one to the other in chaos. If only there were another platform adjacent platform 10…
So could they re-instate 11? It would require some changes to the river-side subway entrance, part of which is where the track would be, but most of the rest of the old track alignment appears to be intact.
But don’t all trains to Newport come through from the east?
Mostly, but not all, at least not during peak hour — a quick skim through the Working Timetable found the the 17:11 and 17:55 Flinders Street to Werribee services both come from Werribee (each followed by a Laverton service a few minutes later from platform 12 or 8/9), and this might increase when Regional Rail Link starts to allow yet more Newport trains. Any trains terminating from the west could easily run into 11 and reverse.
Even so, some trains from the east heading west would be able to run via 13 through to 11, if an effort was made to put Sandringham trains on 12 (which indeed would have more capacity for them if not used by any Newport trains).
Imagine that, Newport train users — all your peak hour trains from adjacent platforms 10 and 11! That would make life a lot easier for peak-hour passengers.
Alas, it seems someone has decided to build a bar or a cafe or something on the site instead.
Other missing platforms
Flinders Street used to have platforms 15 and 16, part of the old Princes Bridge station for Clifton Hill trains, now replaced by Federation Square. But of course that didn’t cause a gap in the numbering.
Box Hill has no platform 1. There’s a placeholder that was used during works, then put aside for future use when the station was moved underground in the 1980s.
Any other stations that are missing platforms?
Edit 15/11/2013: Added pic of the river entrance.