How many people use each railway station?

All righty gunzel stats nerds, prepare to go crazy.

These figures are not an official release, and they can’t be guaranteed to be entirely accurate. In fact the original included the specific disclaimer:

This document is supplied “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, without limitation, fitness for a particular purpose. So there. You have been warned.

That said, they are from a good source (and are probably the sort of thing that should be routinely released officially).

Each number is the estimated boardings per weekday, from the 2008-2009 financial year, so boardings are likely to have gone up since then — figures elsewhere indicate 2.7% growth in 2009-10, and an expected 8.5% in 2010-11, so about 11.4% over these figures.

The third column indicates whether the station is staffed: F=Fulltime, P=Parttime (usually “Host” peak-hour staffing for Metro stations, but staffed most days until about 8:30pm for V/Line), N=No. Any errors in this third column are mine.

Top of the list, as you’d expect, are the CBD stations.

Station Weekday boardings Staff
Flinders Street 76,689 F
Melbourne Central 44,283 F
Parliament 35,621 F
Southern Cross (Spencer St.) 32,827 F
Flagstaff 16,092 F

Richmond station

Following those are the stations serving major suburban traffic generators such as shopping centres and universities, as well as major interchanges to bus and tram.

Station Weekday boardings Staff
Footscray 11,417 F
Glenferrie 10,356 F
South Yarra 10,251 F
Box Hill 9,865 F
Caulfield 9,791 F
Ringwood 7,660 F
Oakleigh 6,820 F
Camberwell 6,727 F
Richmond 6,694 F
Dandenong 6,687 F
Frankston 6,067 F
Glen Waverley 5,973 F
Sunshine 5,814 F

As we get through the list, we get to the suburban stations. Some have other connecting public transport services and traffic generators nearby, some don’t.

I was quite surprised to see how low Huntingdale is on this list, given the large numbers of students using it (who would board in the evening when coming back from Monash Uni). Perhaps the counting methodology isn’t perfect. It’s also the highest ranked station not to have fulltime staff.

Station Weekday boardings Staff
Springvale 5,572 F
Essendon 5,336 F
Newport 5,243 F
Mentone 4,855 F
St Albans 4,646 F
Noble Park 4,554 F
Reservoir 4,424 F
Laverton 4,365 F
Clayton 4,323 F
Blackburn 4,304 F
Huntingdale 4,267 P
Watergardens (Sydenham) 4,245 F
Mitcham 4,201 F
Heidelberg 4,136 F
Malvern 4,021 P
Prahran 3,880 P
Glenroy 3,721 F
Werribee 3,711 F
Broadmeadows 3,606 F
Hoppers Crossing 3,503 P
Elsternwick 3,501 F
Ivanhoe 3,469 F
Clifton Hill 3,443 F
Cheltenham 3,391 F
Glenhuntly 3,374 P
Nunawading 3,267 F
Balaclava 3,217 P
Mordialloc 3,199 F
Croydon 3,174 F
Windsor 3,151 P
Epping 3,115 F
Ormond 3,073 P
Narre Warren 3,021 F
Bentleigh 3,016 F
Burnley 2,987 F
Thomastown 2,956 F
Boronia 2,945 F
Greensborough 2,941 F
Preston 2,903 F
Eltham 2,856 F
Newmarket 2,855 P
Mount Waverley 2,843 F
Lilydale 2,796 F

Another thing that distinguishes stations is whether or not they have staff. All of the above have part-time or fulltime staff.

Some of the fulltime staffed stations have always been that way because they are needed for operational purposes. Others have been added over the years to fill the gaps between staffed stations, though some significant gaps remain. Most of the part-time (“host”) staff were allocated to stations in order of patronage in 2004.

At this point in the list we hit the first unstaffed station: East Richmond.

Station Weekday boardings Staff
East Richmond 2,744 N
Carnegie 2,668 P
Holmesglen 2,581 P
Albion 2,495 P
Surrey Hills 2,487 F
Berwick 2,482 F
Hallam 2,422 N
Murrumbeena 2,421 P
Craigieburn 2,410 F
Watsonia 2,401 F
Yarraville 2,383 P
Auburn 2,361 F
Moonee Ponds 2,340 P
Laburnum 2,317 N
Ginifer 2,227 N
Syndal 2,208 P
Mooroolbark 2,208 F
Middle Brighton 2,180 P
Moorabbin 2,180 F
Sandringham 2,177 F
North Brighton 2,162 P
Hawthorn 2,137 N
Ripponlea 2,129 P
Pakenham 2,113 F
Fairfield 2,081 P
Jolimont 2,080 P
Oak Park 2,043 N
Rosanna 2,027 N
Bayswater 2,027 F
Coburg 2,020 F
Chelsea 2,002 N
Seaford 1,967 N
Macleod 1,960 F
North Melbourne 1,959 F
Heathmont 1,874 N
Heyington 1,862 N
Hughesdale 1,823 N
Toorak 1,822 N
Carrum 1,819 F
Hampton 1,812 N
Cranbourne 1,794 F
Westall 1,782 F
Keilor Plains 1,759 N
Armadale 1,754 P
Pascoe Vale 1,746 P
North Williamstown 1,731 N
Gardenvale 1,730 N
Heatherdale 1,691 P
Regent 1,682 N
Bell 1,668 F
Ascot Vale 1,647 P
Mckinnon 1,638 N
Parkdale 1,637 N
Sandown Park 1,592 N
Belgrave 1,582 F
Highett 1,569 N
Tooronga 1,561 P
East Malvern 1,556 F
Merinda Park 1,537 N
Williamstown Beach 1,524 N
Tottenham 1,499 N
Ferntree Gully 1,492 F
Kensington 1,477 N
Strathmore 1,457 N
Gardiner 1,439 N
Hawksburn 1,433 N
Lalor 1,419 N
Ringwood East 1,409 N
Burwood 1,403 N
Westona 1,399 N
Brighton Beach 1,387 F
Jewell 1,386 N
Altona 1,371 N
North Richmond 1,354 N
Edithvale 1,344 N
Victoria Park 1,339 N
Kananook 1,336 N
Canterbury 1,331 N
Roxburgh Park 1,294 N
Kooyong 1,273 N
Thornbury 1,270 N
Montmorency 1,255 N
Northcote 1,252 N
West Footscray 1,234 N
Riversdale 1,227 N
Glen Iris 1,221 N
Darling 1,211 F
Upper Ferntree Gully 1,208 F
Mont Albert 1,206 N
Anstey 1,196 N
Upfield 1,190 F
Ashburton 1,186 F
East Camberwell 1,178 N
Yarraman 1,176 N
Merlynston 1,171 N
Upwey 1,160 N
Jordanville 1,134 N
Seddon 1,134 N
Moreland 1,123 N
Collingwood 1,086 N

At around the 1000 per day mark see the first two V/Line stations listed: Sunbury and Melton. They’re on this list because they’re part of the Metcard zone system. Sunbury will become a Metro station in the next couple of years, along with Diggers Rest. Melton is proposed to go the same way, but there is no funding for it yet.

It’s perhaps notable that Aircraft, a fair way from the bottom with almost 1000 boardings per day, is proposed by some to be closed once Williams Landing station opens, though it will be over 1km away.

Station Weekday boardings Staff
Sunbury 1,082 P
Melton 1,065 P
Royal Park 1,064 N
Glenbervie 1,061 N
Alphington 1,051 N
Batman 1,005 N
Aircraft 957 N
Dennis 939 N
Aspendale 928 N
Spotswood 925 N
Bonbeach 897 N
Patterson 890 N
Keon Park 881 N
Diamond Creek 875 N
Chatham 859 N
Brunswick 851 N
Westgarth 849 N
Ruthven 835 N
Hartwell 782 N
South Kensington 753 N
Croxton 748 N
Macaulay 738 N
Merri 730 N
Gowrie 729 F
West Richmond 722 N
Fawkner 648 N
Beaconsfield 642 N
Eaglemont 625 N
Alamein 612 N
Middle Footscray 606 N
Hurstbridge 603 N P
Williamstown 538 F
Darebin 530 N
Seaholme 515 N
Flemington Bridge 503 N
Rushall 478 N
Jacana 466 N
Willison 317 N
Tecoma 288 N
Wattle Glen 284 N
Officer 82 N
Deer Park 79 N
Diggers Rest 77 N
Ardeer 40 N
Rockbank 13 N

Officer is likely to grow in usage as housing is going in around there at present.

The bottom four are worth noting because they all get only V/Line services. The figures may seem low, but that’s because they get very few trains compared to the others, despite some being in rapidly growing suburbs.

General Motors was also on the original table, but I’ve removed it as no trains serve it and it’s been officially closed since 2002. The Stony Point stations seem to be missing off the list.

A separate figure was given for transfers (presumably between trains): 33,405.

Use your browser’s Find function (usually “Ctrl-F”) to find a particular station on the list.

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.

16 replies on “How many people use each railway station?”

Stats like this really grind my gears. You look at stations from Fawkner down and they continue to service these stations despite registering less than 100 boardings per day. Yet they are against extending rail lines to boom areas such as Mernda and built up areas such as Doncaster and Rowville which would easily record more than an average of 100 boardings per day!

Wow! What a list. The ranking in many cases surprises me.

PS Did you see the Auditor-General’s report on Road Projects that shows VicRoads does not take into account “induced” traffic in their modelling. i.e. if you build a new road, cars quickly fill them. The AG found: “The traffic forecasts were significant underestimates. Over most of Pakenham Bypass’s length, daily traffic in 2010 exceeded the 2011 forecasts by over 50 per cent and was close to the volumes expected in 2031”.

Apologies I misread “weekday” as “weekly”… suggesting that, stations from Aircraft down are recording less than 1,000 boardings per day. These stations are generally serviced at least from approx 6am till 11pm, that’s 17 hours, means these stations are averaging less than 58 boardings per hour. Some of these stations are located around dense populations such as Patterson (53ppl/hr), West Richmond (42ppl/hr), Alamein (36ppl/hr), Darebin (31ppl/hr) etc.

As I said before, continuance to service these stations is frustrating yet they are against extending rail lines to boom areas such as Mernda and built up areas such as Doncaster and Rowville.

Just need someone to plot the station usage as dot sizes on a map now for the ultimate nerd chart.

@Matthew, a couple of things here… firstly the incremental cost of continuing to serve a station on an existing line is miniscule. What would you save by closing Aircraft, and what would you lose? Potentially a tiny amount of money saved and 1000 more cars on the roads instead. (And in the case of Aircraft, it would not be unexpected for more of the RAAF base land to be developed into housing in the coming years.)

Secondly, it shouldn’t be an either/or situation. Yes, growing areas like Mernda desperately need better PT, including trains.

@Roger, yes I saw the Age AG report. Will blog about that and another point made this week in the next few days.

Interesting to note that Craigieburn is around the 2400 odd mark, comapred to Melton and Sunbury with less than half of that. With all the anti-electrification/losing V/Line arguments going around at the time for Sunbury – what was the pre-electrification figure for Craigieburn? Seems the service frequency outweighs the stopping-at-more-stations effect easily.

Re Huntingdale – I’d imagine the Monash effect may be watered down by it only being highly ‘active’ so to say for the two semesters (2 × 13 weeks, plus O-week if you’re optimistic); plus exams (the near-uni locals mostly going the other way to Caulfield). For that reason I’ve never been keen on having an interim line only to Monash as some suggestions have informally floated around over the years. Rowville/Mulgrave would give a steady commuter demand in what is otherwise a PT black hole.

Having said all that I still thought Huntingdale would be higher for the end-of-Zone 1 effect it also has!!

@Andrew S, yeah Craigieburn’s patronage leapt markedly almost as soon as the electrification arrived – 250% in the first year. says:

“Our most recent electrification project, the extension of the Broadmeadows line to Craigieburn and Roxburgh Park in September 2007, has proven extremely successful, resulting in patronage growth of around 250 per cent,” Ms Kosky said.

By the way, of course Coolaroo isn’t in these figures because it only opened in 2010.

It was odd to see a Nth Melbourne so far down the list as well. Although many people travel through it, very few board there. I wonder how this might have changed since the bus for Nth Melb to Melb Uni went in.

I second dfv’s call for a graph nerd to plot this over a map. A layer over a google map, perhaps?

Sounds like you are volunteering, mjd ;) …….

Daniel – you talk about the source a bit but don’t say what it was….. was that deliberate? I was wondering if they were supplier, government or another source.

heh, yeah anybody who wants to do a map version, please do!

@shell, sorry wasn’t deliberate, just clumsy. It was from a contact in the Department of Transport.

Hurstbridge should be ‘P’. It’s not marked as staffed on the network maps, but it’s manned until 8:30pm Mon-Sat and about 1:30pm on Sundays for ticket sales etc.

I think some of the station staffing is politically motivated. Why else is there no less than 4 full-time manned stations in a row on the Belgrave line?

(For a typical AM express train from Upper Ft Gully to Flinders Street, it would only stop at 1 unstaffed station along the whole run, and 1 part-time staffed one on top of that!)

This just show how stupid the new train time table is. Glenferrie is 7th busiest and Camberwell is 13th busiest, and now about half of the morning peak trains run express past them.

Royal Park actually has someone there, at least in the morning, presumably to point the way to the zoo. Oddly they’re on platform 1, whereas people coming from the city, which one would assume would be the majority of zoo-goers, stop off at platform 2…

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