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NSW TrainLink

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NSW TrainLink is an Australian brand for the medium and long distance passenger rail and coach services of the New South Wales Government's transport authority, Transport for NSW. Services operate throughout New South Wales and into the neighbouring states and territories of Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. Train services are operated by the government's NSW Trains. Coach services are contracted to private operators.


In May 2012, the New South Wales Minister for Transport announced a restructure of RailCorp. Operation of Sydney suburban train services was split from medium and long distance train services. Two new companies - Sydney Trains and NSW Trains - were created to operate the passenger rail network.[1][2] The NSW TrainLink brand was introduced on 1 July 2013 to coincide with NSW Trains taking over the operation of regional rail services previously branded as CountryLink and non-metropolitan Sydney services previously branded as CityRail. NSW Trains also took responsibility for granting access to and maintaining the Main Northern line from Berowra to Newcastle, the Main Western line from Emu Plains to Bowenfels and the Illawarra line from Waterfall to Bomaderry.[3][4][5]


The NSW TrainLink network is divided into two tiers, branded as Intercity and Regional. Intercity services operate commuter style services, mainly to and from Sydney with limited stops within the metropolitan area. The Intercity network is part of Transport for NSW's Opal ticketing system. Seats on Intercity services are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Regional services operate in areas of lower population density, providing passenger transport mainly between regional NSW and Sydney. Regional services use a separate, reserved seat, ticketing system.

Intercity services

Intercity services operate to a distance approximately 200 kilometres from Sydney Central, bounded by Dungog in the north, Scone in the north-west, Bathurst to the west, Goulburn in the south-west and Bomaderry to the south.

Electric services extend from Sydney north to Newcastle Interchange, west to Lithgow and south to Port Kembla and Kiama. Most electric services originate from or terminate at Central.

Diesel trains serve the more distant or less populated parts of the Intercity network. Hunter Line services operate from Newcastle to Telarah with some extending to Dungog and Scone. Southern Highlands Line services operate between Campbelltown and Moss Vale with a limited number extending to Sydney and Goulburn. Diesel services also operate on the South Coast Line between Kiama and Bomaderry. A daily, limited stop service between Sydney and Bathurst also runs.

Train services

Line colour and name Between Electric services
Central and Lithgow, with limited services to Bathurst to Lithgow
Central and Newcastle Interchange Yes
CentralTemplate:Ref and Bomaderry or Port Kembla to Kiama and Port Kembla
CampbelltownTemplate:Ref and Moss Vale, with limited services to Goulburn No
Newcastle Interchange and Telarah with limited services to Dungog or Scone No


Template:Note Some peak services and most weekend services on the South Coast Line run to/from Bondi Junction
Template:Note Some peak services on the Southern Highlands Line run to/from Central. At other times, a change of train is required at Campbelltown


Intercity train fares

The Opal fare system for Intercity services is fully integrated with the Sydney Trains and Sydney Metro networks - trips involving both Intercity and Sydney suburban train/metro services are calculated as a single fare and there is no interchange penalty. Opal is also valid on bus, ferry and light rail services in the Greater Sydney region (except for the Southern Highlands) but separate fares apply for these modes. The following table lists Opal fares for reusable smartcards and single trip tickets as of 24 June 2019:[6]

Metro & train 0–10 km 10–20 km 20–35 km 35–65 km 65 km+
Adult cards & contactless (peak) $3.61 $4.48 $5.15 $6.89 $8.86
Adult cards & contactless (off-peak) $2.52 $3.13 $3.60 $4.82 $6.20
Other cards (peak) $1.80 $2.24 $2.57^ $3.44^ $4.43^
Other cards (off-peak) $1.26 $1.56 $1.79 $2.40 $3.10^
Adult single trip $4.50 $5.60 $6.40 $8.40 $10.80
Child/Youth single trip $2.20 $2.80 $3.20 $4.20 $5.40

^ = $2.50 for Senior/Pensioner cardholders

Quiet carriages

Quiet carriages are designated carriages on Intercity services where noise made by passengers is requested to be kept to a minimum.[7] Four carriages on 8 car sets, two carriages on 4 car sets and one carriage on two car sets are designated as quiet carriages.[8] Quiet carriages were first introduced on the Central Coast & Newcastle Line in early 2012 as a three-month trial. On 1 September 2012 quiet carriages were permanently introduced and expanded to services operating on the Blue Mountains and South Coast lines.[7]

Bus and coach services

NSW TrainLink operates several bus routes along corridors where the railway line has been closed to passengers or as a supplement to rail services. These bus services are operated by private sector bus companies contracted by NSW TrainLink.

  • Wollongong to Moss Vale/BundanoonTemplate:Ref
  • Moss Vale to Goulburn
  • Picton to Bowral via the Picton-Mittagong loop line on weekdays only


Template:Note Seat reservations required


Regional services

NSW TrainLink operates passenger services throughout New South Wales and interstate to Brisbane (Queensland), Canberra (Australian Capital Territory) and Melbourne (Victoria). All rail services feature diesel rolling stock.

North Coast

The North Coast services operate through the Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers and South East Queensland regions. Train services operate on the Main North and North Coast lines from Sydney Central station to Roma Street station in Brisbane.[9]

North Western

The North Western region services operate through the Hunter, New England and North West Slopes & Plains regions. Train services operate on the Main North line from Sydney Central station to Werris Creek, where the service divides for Armidale and Moree.[10]


The Western region services operate through the Central Tablelands, Orana, and Far West regions. Train services operate on the Main Western line from Sydney Central station to Dubbo and the Broken Hill line to Broken Hill.[11]


The Southern region services operate through the Illawarra, South Coast, Monaro, South West Slopes, Southern Tablelands, Riverina, and Sunraysia regions, plus the Australian Capital Territory and parts of Victoria.

Train services operate on the:

Coach services

NSW TrainLink continued with the existing contracts entered into by CityRail and CountryLink for the provision of coach services.

On 1 July 2014, the Lithgow to Gulgong, Coonabarabran, Baradine services passed from Greyhound Australia to Ogden's Coaches.[13]

In July 2014, Transport for NSW commenced the re-tendering process for most of the routes with the previous 24 contracts reorganised into 18 contracts. The new contracts commenced on 1 January 2015 for a five-year period, with an option to extend for three years if performance criteria is met.[13][14] The services operated by Forest Coach Lines and Sunstate Coaches commenced new five-year contracts on 1 July 2016.[15][16]


The NSW TrainLink fleet consists of both diesel and electric traction, with the oldest of the fleet being the V sets and the youngest being the H sets, the latter is shared with Sydney Trains. The entire NSW TrainLink fleet is maintained by Sydney Trains either directly or via a Sydney Trains contract with UGL Rail.

Class Type Top speed No. carriages Routes operated Built
km/h mph
Endeavour Railcar Diesel Multiple Unit 145 90 28
  • Hunter
  • South Coast (Kiama to Bomaderry)
  • Blue Mountains (to Bathurst)
  • Southern Highlands
H Set Oscar Electric Multiple Unit 130 81 221 (Shared with Sydney Trains)
  • Central Coast & Newcastle
  • South Coast
Hunter Railcar Diesel Multiple Unit 145 90 14
  • Hunter
T Set Tangara Electric Multiple Unit 115 72 447 (Shared with Sydney Trains)
  • South Coast (Sydney to Wollongong)
V Set Electric Multiple Unit 115 72 196
  • Central Coast & Newcastle
  • Blue Mountains
Xplorer Diesel Multiple Unit 145 90 23
  • North Western
  • Southern (to Canberra and Griffith)
  • Western (to Broken Hill)
XPT Push-pull 160 100 19 power cars

60 passenger carriages

  • Southern (to Melbourne)
  • North Coast (to Grafton, Casino and Brisbane)
  • Western (to Dubbo)

Future rolling stock

A fleet of 554 new carriages will be introduced to the NSW TrainLink intercity network. The first train is scheduled for delivery in 2019.[17] These electric trains will replace the V sets and allow at least some H sets to be transferred to Sydney Trains services.[18][19]

A fleet of 117 diesel railcars manufactured by CAF are scheduled to replace the XPT, Xplorer and Endeavour fleets from 2023.[20][21][22][23]


In the year ended 30 June 2018, 44.7 million journeys were made on intercity services. There were 1.7 million journeys on regional services. Patronage on intercity services increased by 9 percent over the previous financial year but fell by 1.4 percent for regional services.[24]

Intercity services are considered on-time if they operate within six minutes of their scheduled time.[25] For regional services the benchmark is ten minutes.[26] The target is for 92 percent of intercity services and 78 percent of regional services to operate on-time. In 2017-18 NSW Trains met both the Intercity target and the regional target. However, it failed to meet the Intercity target during peak hours.[27] These results partially reverse a trend of failing to meet punctuality targets. Since the organisation commenced operations in 2013-14, NSW Trains has never met the intercity peak punctuality target.[28][27] Regional train services have achieved their punctuality target twice, in 2015-16 and 2017-18. The 2015-16 result was the first time NSW Trains or its predecessor, RailCorp, had achieved the target in 13 years.[29][27]

The following table lists patronage figures for the network during the corresponding financial year. Australia's financial years start on 1 July and end on 30 June. Major events that affected the number of journeys made or how patronage is measured are included as notes.

NSW TrainLink patronage by financial year
Year 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Intercity 32.9 million[lower-alpha 1] 34.5 million[lower-alpha 2] 38.5 million[lower-alpha 3] 40.8 million[lower-alpha 4] 44.7 million[lower-alpha 5]
Regional trains 1.23 million 1.22 million 1.24 million 1.69 million <1.7 million[lower-alpha 6]
Regional coaches 572,000 537,000 510,000
References [30] [31] [32] [24]
  1. Opal rollout completed in April 2014
  2. Services in central Newcastle replaced by buses in December 2014
  3. Increase largely due to a change in the calculation of journeys for Opal vs magnetic stripe tickets
  4. Non-Opal tickets discontinued in August 2016
  5. Newcastle Interchange extension opened in October 2017
  6. Patronage reported as 1.7 million journeys but was down by 1.4 percent compared to the previous year
2018-19 NSW TrainLink Intercity patronage by line[n.b. 1] [33]
Line Figure

NSW TrainLink patronage by line last financial year.png


  1. "RailCorp job cuts first of many: unions" The Sydney Morning Herald 15 May 2012
  2. "Ruthless RailCorp reforms planned as middle management axed" The Daily Telegraph 15 May 2012
  3. Annual Report 30 June 2012 RailCorp
  4. Corporate Plan 2012/13 RailCorp
  5. "700 jobs to go as RailCorp gets the axe" The Daily Telegraph 16 November 2012
  6. "Opal fares". Transport for NSW. Retrieved 24 June 2019. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Quiet carriages now permanent on the Blue Mountains and South Coast intercity services Sydney Trains
  8. Quiet carriages to expand on South Coast line Illawarra Mercury 3 July 2013
  9. Template:Cite New South Wales transport timetables
  10. Template:Cite New South Wales transport timetables
  11. Template:Cite New South Wales transport timetables
  12. Template:Cite New South Wales transport timetables
  13. 13.0 13.1 "New NSW TrainLink Rural Coach Service Contracts". Australian Bus (68): 20. March 2015. 
  14. Provision of NSW Rural Coach Services NSW eTendering 11 July 2014
  15. Contract Award Notice Detail NSW eTendering 19 July 2016
  16. Contract Award Notice Detail NSW eTendering 19 July 2016
  17. "Comfort comes first with New Intercity Trains". Transport for NSW. 18 August 2016. 
  18. NSW Government to invest $2.8 billion in new intercity trains, making all trains air-conditioned Transport for NSW 8 May 2014
  19. Intercity Fleet Program Transport for NSW
  20. NSW Regional train fleet on track Transport for NSW 14 August 2017
  21. NSW regional train fleet to be replaced Railway Gazette International 15 August 2017
  22. Regional Rail Transport for NSW 8 August 2018
  23. CAF to replace New South Wales regional train fleet Railway Gazette International 14 February 2019
  24. 24.0 24.1 "NSW Trains Annual Report 2017-18". NSW Trains. pp. 8, 24. Retrieved 2 December 2018. 
  25. "Our performance". Sydney Trains. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  26. "Punctuality 2015". NSW Trains. Retrieved 21 October 2016. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 "NSW Trains Annual Report 2017-18". NSW Trains. pp. 26, 27. Retrieved 2 December 2018. 
  28. "NSW Trains 2016-17 Annual Report". NSW Trains. 18 June 2017. p. 15. Retrieved 23 May 2018. 
  29. "NSW Trains 2015-16 Annual Report Volume 1". NSW Trains. pp. 17, 22–23. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  30. "Transport for NSW Annual Report 2014-15". Transport for NSW. p. 131. Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  31. "NSW Trains 2015-16 Annual Report". NSW Trains. 18 June 2017. p. 17. 
  32. "NSW Trains 2016-17 Annual Report". NSW Trains. 18 June 2017. pp. 8,15. Retrieved 23 May 2018. 
  33. "Train Patronage - Monthly Figures". Transport for NSW. Retrieved 23 August 2019. 


This article incorporates text from the following revision of the English Wikipedia article "NSW TrainLink":

External links

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