Australian Rail Map
      Metropolitan rail maps
          Sydney rail map
          Hunter & Blue Mtns
          Illawarra & Sth Hlds
          Melbourne rail map
          Central Victoria
          Bendigo area
          Brisbane rail map
          Adelaide rail map
          Perth rail map
      Long Distance Trains
      Taking your car
      Fares & Bookings
      Index to Stations
      Holiday Itineraries
      Other Countries
      Legend & Help
      About this site
      Contact Us
      Buy rail maps

ZEN and the City Loop

or what to do when you're told "You can't get there from here".
Secrets of navigating Melbourne's downtown railway system that not even the locals know!

Almost all metropolitan trains in Melbourne run to and from downtown. The downtown area is ringed by an underground railway system called the "City Loop". The operating schedule of the city loop is unfathomably complex - with routes from different suburbs running around the city loop in only one direction at any one time, changing direction depending on the time of day and day of week, and sometimes not running via the loop at all. Also, some stations are open only on some days of the week and at some times of the day. How can you understand all this? YOU CAN NEVER UNDERSTAND IT. But, here are a series of maps which show how the city loop operates at different times of the week. Simply click on the calendar grid below to see the operating schematic for that time of day and day of week.

Monday to Friday 5am-10am 10am-1pm 1pm-3pm 3pm-6pm 6pm-12mn
Saturday 7am-12mn

Note that on most Public holidays the Saturday timetable will apply, however on the more restictive holidays such as Christmas day and Good Friday the Sunday timetable will normally operate. Check official timetables for exact advice.

Monday to Friday early and peak hours (to 10am).

Monday to Friday afternoon peak hours:

Monday to Friday mid-mornings:

Monday to Friday mid-afternoons and late evenings:

Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: