The ebb and flow of Melbourne trains

This is cool: it’s a representation of Melbourne’s trains across the day, and from a cursory look, appears to be pretty accurate to the timetable (possibly more so than the actual trains!).

Ebb and Flow of Melbourne Trains by Flink Labs from Flink Labs on Vimeo.

From a mob called Flink Labs, who explain how they did it on their web site.

One niggle: It stops at midnight. The trains don’t. Even on weeknights the last of them reaches its destination at about 1am.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

10 replies on “The ebb and flow of Melbourne trains”

I have seen something similiar that shows the daily flights within American airspace as well as transatlantic flights coming to and leaving from the US.

Thanks for the wonderful comments. This is an initial piece with this data and we’d ideally like to take this to the next level and show realtime data or maybe the previous days data with cancellations and late trains indicated so everyone can get an idea of how the system is operating.

Again thanks and if you have any suggestions please email us at

Ben Hosken
Flink Labs

One question: What’s the deal with the line just above the middle on the right that appears to yo-yo the last three stops?

Very nice, I’m not sure what use it is without usage numbers from embark to disembark.

Also, when will you be applying this technology to Atlanta non-PT traffic?

Yes you’re right, it looks like a bug on the Belgrave line. It’s as if the train to Belgrave gets there too fast, then jumps back and arrives again at the correct time (most hours x:26 and x:56).

Sorry, but what’s Atlanta got to do with anything?? (Anyway that’d be a question for the makers.)

The problem was that we had located Upper Ferntree Gully station in the wrong place. So the system through the train line went out then back on itself. We’ve fixed the station location and we’ll republish the visualisation.

Thanks again for spotting it.

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