Railways require an enormous and varied infrastructure to operate. For many passengers, the stations were often the most familiar elements of that infrastructure. From the many platforms of Flinders Street Station to the humble corrugated iron waiting shed of a Mallee branchline and the enigmatic timber signal box, all were essential parts of Victoria's comprehensive rail network.
Station designs varied according to architectural styles of the era, their location and government priorities. Some included elaborate tearooms, a grand clock-tower or adjoining stationmaster's residence. Others were little more than a rain shelter devoid of staff or comfort. Most stations featured at least one siding or a small goods shed, and some included loco depots, signal boxes and extensive rail yards.