Railway station kiosks of Melbourne

Kiosks and news stands have been part of the fabric of Melbourne railway stations for decades. But how many still exist today?


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The obvious

The tacky ‘Red Engine’ kiosks on each platform at Flinders Street Station first come to mind.

Red Engine kiosk on platform 4/5 at Flinders Street still cluttering up the place

But they were demolished in 2018.

Red Engine kiosk at platform 6 and 7 about to be demolished

As part of the Flinders Street Station upgrade project.

Red Engine kiosk at platform 4 and 5 has been demolished

To make room for more seats and waiting area on the narrow platforms.

Red Engine kiosk at platform 2 and 3 has been demolished

The exception is the kiosk at platform 1, built into what looks to be an original timber kiosk.

Red Engine kiosk still in place at Flinders Street platform 1

Interchange stations

Busy interchange stations are a popular location for kiosks, like this one hiding down in the Caulfield station subway.

'Red Engine' kiosk in the Caulfield station subway

And this one on the main concourse at Richmond station.

Red Engine kiosk on the concourse at Richmond station

Others are located inside the paid area of the station, like this one at Box Hill platform 2 and 3.

Red Engine Cafe at Box Hill platform 2 and 3

This Red Engine kiosk at Ringwood platform 1 and 2.

Red Engine kiosk at Ringwood platform 1 and 2

Or on the overhead concourse, like at Sunshine.

Kiosk inside the paid area at Sunshine station

While Dandenong has an interesting arrangement, with one window facing platform 3 and the the other facing the bus interchange.

Kiosk at Dandenong station

In the City Loop

The City Loop might be surrounded by cafes, but the underground stations still have cafes down on the concourse, like this one at the Collins Street end of Parliament .

'Spontaneous Express Cafe' at the Collins Street end of Parliament station

While Flagstaff station has two.

Eastern wall of the Flagstaff Station concourse

A newsstand when I photographed it, but now a doughnut stall.

News stand on the western wall of the Flagstaff station concourse

Melbourne Central also used to have a WHSmith newsagent kiosk way down on platforms 3 and 4.

WHSmith newsagent kiosk opened on platforms 3 and 4 at Melbourne Central

But business must have been poor – it was soon turned over to a row of vending machines.

Kiosk at Melbourne Central platform 3 and 4 has now been converted to a row of vending machines

Converted trains

There is a Red Engine kiosk in the subway at Werribee station.

'Red Engine' kiosk in the subway at Werribee station

Built from the remains of scrapped Comeng train 388M.

Remains of Comeng 388M used as a kiosk in the station subway at Werribee

In the way of passengers

There was once a kiosk on the concourse at South Yarra station.

South Yarra station kiosk sticking out into the concourse opposite the ticket gates

The kitchen area hung out over the tracks.

Kitchen for the South Yarra station kiosk hanging out over the tracks

But it still blocked the ever increasing number of passengers using the station, so it was removed to make room for more ticket gates.

Glass booth at South Yarra station to shelter Metro Trains barrier staff from the bitterly cold winds

New build stations

Recent years have seen railway stations rebuilt across Melbourne, and kiosks seem to be popular inclusion to new buildings. Here we see a new kiosk facing the Epping station forecourt.

Kiosk in the forecourt of the new Epping station

This one at Ginifer.

Red Engine Cafe at Ginifer station

And St Albans.

'Red Engine' kiosk on the concourse at St Albans station

New kiosks are also built on a speculative basis, like this empty one at Rosanna station.

Future kiosk at concourse level at Rosanna station

And on the small side

At suburban stations kiosks are much smaller and only open part time, located at the entrance to the citybound platform to catch morning commuters, like this one at Clifton Hill platform 1.

Coffee stall at Clifton Hill platform 1

Or outside the old Murrumbeena station.

Coffee kiosk still in place on the southern side of Murrumbeena station

And a similar one at neighbouring Carnegie station.

Kiosk outside the entrance to Carnegie station

But they are outnumbered by their abandoned mates, like this pebblecrete clad box outside St Albans platform 2.

Pebblecrete clad kiosk outside platform 2 at St Albans

At Burwood station platform 1.

Disused kiosk at Burwood station platform 1

And Yarraman station.

Unused kiosk at the entrance to Yarraman station

And the way of the future?

Why rent a kiosk, when you can just park a coffee cart on the platform, like this one at Hoppers Crossing?

Coffee stall at Hoppers Crossing in morning peak

Or this one in the underpass at Auburn station.

Coffee cart in the subway at Auburn station

But even easier – park your coffee van in the station car park, like this vendor at Albion.

Coffee van in the railway station car park at Albion

Or skip Public Transport Victoria altogether and park on public land near the station, such as this vendor at Tottenham.

Take away coffee vendor setup in the Tottenham station car park

Footnote

Not quite a kiosk is the classic Olympic Doughnut caravan of Footscray.

Olympic Doughnut caravan still open

Established back in 1979, the van outlasted the rebuilding of the station footbridge in 2010, but relocated to a new home in 2014 following the rebuilding of the station itself.

Convenience store occupying the shop next door to Olympic Doughnuts at Footscray station

But sadly it closed in 2017 due to the advancing age of owner Nick Tsiligiris.

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18 Responses to “Railway station kiosks of Melbourne”

  1. Andrew says:

    The little (disused) kiosks were not quite the same as modern day ones.

    In the ’70s and ’80s every station had one; invariably on the Up side. For stations built post WWII (and possibly since the ’20s) they’d be built into the station structure. The primary focus was as a sub-newsagency (they were usually run by the local newsagent). They were only open during the morning peak and sold reading matter to commuters: newspapers and popular magazines (Women’s Day etc). They’d also sell confectionary and soft drinks. I can’t remember any that sold hot food, but I have a vague memory that some would have an urn and sell tea and instant coffee.

    The one on Flinders St Platform 1 is, indeed, the original.

  2. Graham says:

    There used to be a boot and shoe repairer kiosk on Belair St at Kensington, I guess the theory was that you dropped you repairs off on you way to work then picked them up on the way home … and more than kiosks but the two big city subways, Degraves St and Spencer St …

  3. Alex says:

    The kiosk at Rosanna is no longer empty.

  4. Michael Angelico says:

    I love how the ad agencies who look after the kiosks have obviously used public transport fairly extensively. You couldn’t come up with a slogan like “second lap of the City Loop” without having done it.

  5. Andrew says:

    I had not even noticed the one at South Yarra has been removed. It was very useful to buy a good and cheaply priced sandwich.

  6. Nicole says:

    The little one outside Hawthorn station was for a few years, a great little coffee shop where people gathered and chatted in the morning. Metro decided to double the rent to force a to their own provider and then nothing happened with it. So sad.

  7. Tom the first and best says:

    The community consultation process for Murrumbeena station identified a lot of community support for the kiosk at Murrumbeena station and measures were taken to keep it open during the building process and a new kiosk location was provided in the finished station precinct. However a combination of factors led to its demise:

    Its new location was not as prominent.

    Changed passenger flows from having two entrances made it impossible to have the concentration of passenger flows near or past a single retail point.

    Not being near the station car park-station passenger flow.

    Increased cross line pedestrian permeability gave better for citybound passengers resident on the south side of the line access to competition in Neerim Rd.

    A new café opening in Railway Parade last year.

  8. Ben says:

    You mentioned Rosanna, in the years leading up to grade separation there was a kiosk operating out of the repurposed ticket office in the mornings. Its a few years ago now so my memory isn’t great, but I’m pretty sure they also sold Myki cards and top ups. Interesting…

  9. gxh says:

    At Armadale, the kiosk on the Cheel St side of the station has been closed, apparently for safety reasons. There are ugly supports beneath it, blocking part of the platform. Ratepayers have been told that the structure is heritage-listed, so can’t be demolished (as VicTrack or Metro, not sure which) would like, but of course neither they nor Stonnington Council want to pay for it to be properly restored (probably very expensive). So there’s a stand-off and the structure is now a bit of an eye-sore.
    In the meantime, the former lessee now operates from the small newspaper kiosk at the top of the ramp to the island platform.

  10. Moya White says:

    We had a delightful kiosk on Craigieburn station when it was a VLine station, staffed by Annie, known and loved by all regular commuters.
    The station redevelopment as part of the extension of the Broadmeadows line to Craigieburn omitted a kiosk, which would have been well patronised. A shame.

  11. Kieran says:

    Camberwell station had/has a kiosk on platforms 1/2.

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