The station was originally part of the Melbourne & Hobson's Bay United Railway Company's network. The company and network was taken over by the Government of Victoria in 1878 to become part of Victorian Railways. As with the suburb Ripponlea, which had been named after the adjacent "Rippon Lea Estate" of Frederick Sargood, Elsternwick had been named after the largest property in the district, Charles Ebden's "Elster".
In the 1880s, Elsternwick station also functioned as the eastern end of the cross-suburban Rosstown Railway, which was built by entrepreneur William Murray Ross, mainly to serve the sugar beet processing mill that he had established, with an adjoining residential estate, in the locality he called Rosstown, now known as Carnegie. The railway was seldom used and it was officially closed in 1916.
An electric tramline between Elsternwick and Point Ormond opened in 1915 and closed on 22 October 1960, after which the tram route became part of an extended 246 bus route. In February 1959 a project commenced to eliminate the Glen Huntly Road tramway / railway level crossing was being carried out, a temporary two-track station was provided in a side street adjoining the station to allow rail services to continue uninterrupted. The work was completed in October 1960, which was when the present railway buildings were provided.
Elsternwick was upgraded to a premium station on 13 November 1995. The ground-level station car park was closed in 2002 and 2003 and a residential/retail development was built on it, as part of a deal under which a developer was given the land with the condition that a multi-storey car park, including a lift, was provided for passengers. The station itself was refurbished in 2004.
Platforms & services
Yarra Trams operates one route via Elsternwick Station
- "Train Station Patronage FY2008-2014". Public Transport Victoria. 14 May 2015. Archived from the original (XLS) on 30 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016. (access from  Archived 3 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine)
- Elsternwick Vicsig
- Elster was German for "magpie". The creek nearby became known as the Elster Creek and, when a village grew up on the creek, the Anglo-Saxon suffix ‘wick’, meaning village, was added. Archived 1 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
- "Grade Separation Scheme" Railway Gazette 19 February 1960 page 216
- "Grade Separation Scheme" Railway Gazette 11 November 1960 page 560
- SE Dornan & RG Henderson (1979). Electric Railways of Victoria. Australian Electric Traction Society. p. 50. ISBN 0-909459-06-1.
- "Upgrading Eltham to a Premium Station". Newsrail. Australian Railway Heritage Society. October 1997. p. 310.
- "Sandringham Line". Public Transport Victoria.
- "606 Elsternwick Station - Fishermans Bend". Public Transport Victoria.
- "625 Elsternwick - Chadstone via Ormond & Oakleigh". Public Transport Victoria.
- "246 Elsternwick - Clifton Hill via St Kilda". Public Transport Victoria.
- "67 Melbourne University - Carnegie". Public Transport Victoria.