Station codes: yes, FKN is the code for Frankston

From time to time I’ll refer to the Frankston line on Twitter with the abbreviation FKN.

I’m not just trying to get a cheap laugh. Well okay, perhaps I am, but what people might not realise is that’s actually the official station code for Frankston.

Every station (and a good many other places, such as passing loops and sidings) in the state has a three letter code, used in railway circles. Occasionally you’ll see them creep into the public arena:

"Fkn" - the official abbreviation for Frankston

Here’s a complete list of Melbourne codes:

Station Station code
Aircraft ACF
Alamein ALM
Albion ALB
Alphington ALP
Altona ALT
Anstey ASY
Armadale ARM
Ascot Vale ASV
Ashburton ASH
Aspendale ASP
Auburn AUB
Balaclava BCV
Batman BAT
Bayswater BAY
Beaconsfield BFD
Belgrave BEG
Bell BEL
Bentleigh BEN
Berwick BEW
Blackburn BBN
Bonbeach BON
Boronia BOR
Box Hill BOX
Brighton Beach BBH
Broadmeadows BMS
Brunswick BWK
Burnley BLY
Burwood BWD
Camberwell CAM
Canterbury CBY
Cardinia Road CDA
Carnegie CNE
Carrum CAR
Caulfield CFD
Chatham CHM
Chelsea CSA
Cheltenham CTM
Clayton CLA
Clifton Hill CHL
Coburg COB
Collingwood CWD
Coolaroo CLO
Craigieburn CGB
Cranbourne CBE
Croxton CXT
Croydon CDN
Dandenong DNG
Darebin DBN
Darling DLG
Dennis DEN
Diamond Creek DCK
Diggers Rest DIT
Eaglemont EAG
East Camberwell ECM
East Malvern EMV
East Richmond ERM
Edithvale EDI
Elsternwick ELS
Eltham ELT
Epping EPP
Essendon ESD
Fairfield FFD
Fawkner FAK
Ferntree Gully FTG
Flagstaff FGS
Flemington Bridge FBD
Flemington Racecourse RCE
Flinders Street FSS
Footscray FSY
Frankston FKN
Gardenvale GVE
Gardiner GAR
Ginifer GIN
Glen Iris GIR
Glen Waverley GWY
Glenbervie GBV
Glenferrie GFE
Glenhuntly GHY
Glenroy GRY
Gowrie GOW
Greensborough GRN
Hallam HLM
Hampton HAM
Hartwell HWL
Hawksburn HKN
Hawthorn HAW
Heatherdale HTD
Heathmont HMT
Heidelberg HDB
Heyington HEY
Highett HIG
Holmesglen HOL
Hoppers Crossing HCG
Hughesdale HUG
Huntingdale HUN
Hurstbridge HBE
Ivanhoe IVA
Jacana JAC
Jewell JWL
Jolimont JLI
Jordanville JOR
Kananook KAN
Keilor Plains KPL
Kensington KEN
Keon Park KPK
Kooyong KYG
Laburnum LAB
Lalor LAL
Laverton LAV
Lilydale LIL
Lynbrook LBK
Macaulay MAC
Macleod MCD
Malvern MAL
Mckinnon MCK
Melbourne Central MCE
Mentone MEN
Merinda Park MPK
Merlynston MYN
Merri MER
Middle Brighton MBN
Middle Footscray MFY
Mitcham MCH
Mont Albert MAB
Montmorency MMY
Moonee Ponds MPD
Moorabbin MRN
Mooroolbark MLK
Mordialloc MOR
Moreland MLD
Mount Waverley MWY
Murrumbeena MRB
Narre Warren NWA
Newmarket NKT
Newport NPT
Noble Park NPK
North Brighton NBN
North Melbourne NME
North Richmond NRM
North Williamstown NWN
Northcote NCE
Nunawading NWG
Oak Park OKP
Oakleigh OAK
Officer OFC
Ormond OMD
Pakenham PKM
Parkdale PKD
Parliament PAR
Pascoe Vale PVL
Patterson PAT
Prahran PRA
Preston PRE
Regent REG
Reservoir RES
Richmond RMD
Ringwood RWD
Ringwood East RWE
Ripponlea RIP
Riversdale RIV
Rosanna ROS
Roxburgh Park RXP
Royal Park RPK
Rushall RUS
Ruthven RUT
Sandown Park SNP
Sandringham SHM
Seaford SEA
Seaholme SHE
Seddon SEN
Showgrounds SGS
South Kensington SKN
South Morang SMG
South Yarra SYR
Southern Cross SSS
Spotswood SPT
Springvale SPG
St Albans SAB
Strathmore SME
Sunbury SUY
Sunshine SUN
Surrey Hills SHL
Syndal SYN
Tecoma TCM
Thomastown TSN
Thornbury TBY
Toorak TOR
Tooronga TGA
Tottenham TOT
Upfield UFD
Upper Ferntree Gully UFG
Upwey UPW
Victoria Park VPK
Watergardens WGS
Watsonia WAT
Wattleglen WTT
Werribee WER
West Footscray WFY
West Richmond WRM
Westall WTL
Westgarth WTG
Westona WTO
Williams Landing WLD
Williamstown WIL
Williamstown Beach WBH
Willison WSN
Windsor WIN
Yarraman YMN
Yarraville YVE

Source: Wikipedia: List of Melbourne railway stations, which lets you sort the list by code, name, line name etc… though an error or two has been spotted and corrected. In fact I’ve double-checked them against the Vicsig list and the Working Time Table.

See also: VicSig: Station codes for a list of all stations throughout the state, with (for maximum confusion) the Australian codes as well, which apply to more locations, and are intriguingly different to the Victorian codes for some locations. In this case, Frankston has FKN as the Victorian code, but FSN as the Australian code.

Quirks:

  • Southern Cross is still known by the SSS (Spencer Street Station) code
  • Wattleglen’s code is WTT, which in railway terms also stands for Working Time Table, which could be confusing depending on the context
  • At some stage Sydenham (SDM) got changed to Watergardens (WGS)
  • The Vicsig list includes a code for Caroline Springs (CNS) which hasn’t opened yet, but it may have picked up that code for operational/signalling purposes
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21 Replies to “Station codes: yes, FKN is the code for Frankston”

  1. I was distracted by an outbound express service stopping at Malvern – then I realised the photo was taken 5 years ago ;)

  2. Telstra exchanges have a similar system for their exchanges – they give each one a 4 letter code. For instance, Footscray exchange is FSRY. When they got to the Diamond Creek exchange they went the most logical route, calling it DICK.

  3. Have only been living in Bentleigh a couple of years… did they seriously have express service like the one in the screenshot? I do remember before the last timetable change, there was an 8:30-ish express service to the city which went in that pattern, but opposite. I wish they had more like it, but suspect that due to the 3 line config, that they aren’t really any faster than all stops anyway. What a FKN line :(

  4. Main problem is when you get overlaps, for example CAM is Camberwell in suburban Melbourne, but Camperdown in V/Line parlance and Campbelltown in NSW.

    I’ve often thought that, just like with wagons allowed to run around the country, the stations could have a prefix for state or controlling operator, i.e. in 1979 the VOBX and AOBX types were roughly the same bogie-exchangeable open wagon, the former owned by Victorian Railways and the latter by Australian National Railways. Applying that to station codes, Camberwell would be VCWL (using the Australian code); Camperdown VCAM and Campbelltown NCAM.

  5. @Darren, if it’s any consolation, Diamond Creek is DCK, similar to the phone exchange code that Patrick mentioned!

    @wasabi, the pic is from April 2011. I think the timetable changed the following month to (almost) standardise express patterns (but it introduced some other issues, since fixed)

  6. Ballarat is always a good one to confuse people too… “BXT”. There are also other good examples in IATA airport codes, such as Toronto Pearson Airport which is “YYZ”.

  7. Does the station code change when a station gets renamed? I know it’s a rare thing, but it makes me wonder if Melbourne Central had a different one when it was called Museum. Or was station codes not a thing then?

    Noticed the comment above on Southern Cross.

  8. Watergardens officially changed from SDM to WGS in conjunction with the November 2012 timetable, which extended suburban trains to Sunbury, which also had its abbreviation changed from SBY to SUY at the same time.

    Another abbreviation that has changed in recent years is Newport Workshops, which officially changed from NWS to NPW in conjunction with the May 2011 timetable, but both still seem to be used interchangeably.

    Re: Wattle Glen – An unofficial abbreviation WGN is often used to avoid confusion with the working timetable abbreviation. This is one that really should become permanent, because, let’s face it, nobody is ever going to think of Wattle Glen when faced with the letters WTT.

    And on the topic of unofficial abbreviations, my favourite is FFS for Flinders St ;)

  9. I do not mind the use of three letter codes in the public area providing information about those codes are well known.

    For that, I would expect every stop in the network map to have its code as a prefix or suffix or something.

    Otherwise, it needs to be avoided.

  10. Straying slightly from station/exchange codes, but staying firmly in the geek arena. We have a Linux utility called fsck (File System ChecK).

  11. I lean towards publishing the 3-letter codes.

    In-fact, I support having an Information Panel in a prominent position(s) at every station, listing the station name, zone, 3-letter code (Victorian code), its official street address, an 8-figure telephone number for staffed stations, and the line (eg “Belgrave line”).

    As well as making it easier using Twitter, the 3-letter codes are (were?) used for services like the SMS timetable where you can send a message containing the first five characters of the station name. But some 5-char prefixes are ambiguous, so as an alternative, one could use the Victorian 3-char code.
    I’m not sure if it’s still operational, but the full instructions are compose a message with
    Origin Destination h:mm{AM|PM} dd
    send to 19726669. h:mm{AM|PM} dd are only used if travelling later.

  12. | with (for maximum confusion) the Australian codes as well
    Therein lies a thorny problem with Australians: they will pick the hardest, most expensive way to do anything.

    That’s why it costs $55m to deal with five refugees (to Cambodia), and $50,000 per month per refugee to deal with the rest of them. Time to adapt that software engineering joke cartoon to the refugee situation, I think.

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