B-Line & Northern Beaches Network Changes

The state government has announced that the Northern Beaches B-Line bus rapid transit line will be extended to Newport, and has also released an indicative network for the region once the B-Line begins operation later this year. It has been confirmed that L90 will remain as an off-peak only service with hourly buses running between 9am-3pm on Weekdays and 10am-7pm on weekends, with new route 199 between Manly and Palm Beach running every 30 minutes on weekdays and 15 minutes on weekends to provide connections from the Upper Beaches to the B-Line. In addition new routes 146, E54 and E75 will also begin as new routes with the network change. See the new network here

Train Talk Tuesday 8 

Welcome to another Train Talk Tuesday! This week we will be looking at the Eastern Suburns Rail line (ESR). The line runs between Redfern and Bondi Junction and has 5 immediate stops locatedat Central, Town Hall, Martin Place, Kings Cross and Edgecliff.

Various plans were made throughout the early 1900s for a line to the Eastern Suburbs including as part of the Bradfield Plan in 1926 which had the line run around the City Cirlce and then under Oxford Strret to Bondi Junction and also a 1947 post war plan which included two lines, one via Kings Cross to Bondi Beach and one via Taylor Square to Kingsford with the potential for an extention to Coogee.

A 1967 plan was devisied following the basis of the 1947 plan via Kings Cross but included  extending the line to Kingsford via Randwick instaed of it being a separate line. A 1976 review suggested truncating the line to Bondi Junction, reducing the station amenities and finish qualities, removing Woollahra Station and integrating the line with the Illawarra Line.

The line was opened by Neville Wran in 1979, 53 years after being first proposed and after 31 years of construction work. At the time it was the only Sydney Railway line that used solely Double-Decker trains. It iniatally ran as a shuttle between Bondi Junction and Central before being integrated with the Illawarra Line in 1980. In 2006 the capacity of the line was upgraded from 14 to 20 trains per hour as part of the Rail Clearways.

Today the line operates as part of the T4 Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line and also the South Coast Line with services running form Bondi Junction to Redfern and onwards to Cronulla, Hurstville, Kiama, Port Kembla, Waterfall and Wollongong. Services run at least every 5 minutes at peak times and a least every 10 minutes off peak and on weekends.

All services are operated using either T Set (Tangara) or H set (Oscar) trains operating out of Mortdale depot, with the line operating seperate to the rest of the network.

Sydney Buses Route of the Week 8

This week, another requested route has made our route of the week. thanks to Eloise K. for requesting route 353.

The 353 runs from Bondi Junction to Eastgardens via Waverley, Coogee, Maroubra Beach and Maroubra Junction. The 353 leaves from Stand E in Bondi Junction and the lower level at Eastgardens.

The services runs between 7am and 8pm and has a frequency of every 20 minutes in peak times and 30 minutes off peak and on weekends, with extra services running increasing the frequency to every 10 minutes between Coogee and Bondi junction in the AM peak and Bondi Junction and Coogee in the PM peak. The service takes between 30-40 minutes to run end to end.

It is operated by a large variety of buses from Port Botany, Randwick and Waverley depots that have Custom Coaches and Bustech bodywork and Mercedes Benz, Volvo and Scania chassis.

Guest Questions – May

Do you have any information on the Sydney Bus Muesem or any other transport museums in Sydney? – HILDE

The Sydney Bus Museum is located at the historic Leichhardt Tramshed and is open every Sunday from 10am-4pm excluding long weekends. Tickets are $15 for an individual and $35 for a family of 4. They offer a World War II exhibition and Vintage bus rides to the QVB via the ANZAC Bridge in addition to their extensive collection of vintage buses. 

The Sydney Tramway Mueseum is in Loftus and opens 10am-3pm Wednesdays and 10am-5pm Sundays. Tickets are $18 for individuals, $46 for families. This includes a tram ride through the Royal National Park.

Who operates bus services in Parramatta? There seem to be loads of differnet one, is this correct? -ANONYMOUS

As Parramatta is a very large regional hub, there are a number of differnt bus operators who run services to Parramatta which I have listed for you below.

  • Hillsbus – Services to the Hills District and North-West T-Way.
  • State Transit – Services to the Inner West and Victoria Road.
  • Transdev NSW – Services to the Southern Suburbs and Parramatta Free Shuttle.
  • Transit Systems Sydney – Services on the Liverpool-Parramatta T-Way.

The 353. In the morning it is so full of students, doing the right thing catching public transport to school, that it more often than not drives straight past the stops at Coogee and Clovelly without even slowing down. How about putting more of these buses on in peak morning times Transport NSW??? One bus route can’t effectively service all the coast from Pagewood to Bondi Junction. – ALIZA PLUNKETT
The main issue here is the lack of any dedicated school services in the Coogee basin. It is certainly the case that one route with can’t service all customers efficiently or effectively. Whilst the government has made some attempts to rectify the issue with some limited services starting from Coogee, a dedicated school service would instead help clear the 353 for other commuters who otherwise miss out.

As a regular commuter on the 373, it can take me up to 15-20 minutes to get from Coogee Public school (where I get on at Carr st) to Belmore Rd in Randwick. Going through The Spot is a nightmare with so many buses trying to get around the round-about, then turn left onto Cuthill St, then right onto Avoca St. It’s so annoyingly slow! What does Conor think is the best solution? Should I just suck it up and walk up to Randwick and get on there? Or walk over to the 374…which I sometimes do…my destination is Surry Hills. I need some public transport wisdom! 🙂 – JILLIAN LEWIS

Unfortunately your options here are limited. I would suggest that the 374 could be better, however it can also suffer from traffic issues along Alison Road. If you think your can walk to Randwick quicker than the bus, then do the walk, not only will your journey be quicker, you get the benefits of the exercise

Has anyone else noticed that since the introduction of Opal cards bus drivers now don’t care if you pay. They used to check how many zones you were going, and the age of your kids etc. Now they don’t care, they let you on with no questions, even if your card does not work. – CAMILLE GEE

This is certainly a big issue. Drivers are required to ensure that all passenger have a valid Opal Card. The issue is that STA drivers receive no penalty if they fail to check all passengers, unlike some other operators, who get in trouble when an inspector finds a driver who haven’t been enforcing the rules. In addition, since the start of Opal, drivers now check tickets less as computers now deal with ensuring correct fares are payed, when previously it was based on honesty.

Another point. Why is there no shuttle bus from mascot train station to unsw and Randwick? This train station is much closer to those destinations than central station is.

From both Randwick and UNSW, you can catch the 400 or 418 to Mascot Station. It would take about 30 minutes on either due to the indirect route. I agree that it would be useful to have a shuttle between either Mascot or Green Square stations as it would be much quicker and reduce the number of passengers on the overcrowded 370 and 400 routes.

Is it possible to solve the Belmore/Alison Road bottleneck? – HELEN PITT

Randwick Junction is undoubtedly the biggest bottleneck in the area. The sheer volume of traffic is larger than the capacity on the roads in the area. The best way to solve this is by increasing the use and availability of Public Transport. This would hopefully decrease the number of cars on the roads, reducing the bottleneck. Better Traffic light phasing can also help as traffic lights often cause much of the bottleneck.

Any thoughts or predictions as to whether the 343 route will continue post introduction of light railway. In particular I’m interested in why it goes as far as Chatswood? – IAN GRAY

I have no doubts that the 343 will continue to operate once the light rail is introduced as it services a different area to the light rail. On the issue of the Chatswood extention, the reason for it is the lack of layover space in the CBD which prompted STA to merge some routes which is what happened with the 343.

Don’t forget to submit your questions for next months edition!

Some Questions have been modified for clarity.

Ferry Friday 8

Today is Friday and therefore we will be looking at another type of ferry that graces Sydney Harbour, the First Fleet Ferries.

Nine vessels were constructed by Carrington Slipways and delivered between 1984 and 1986. They were all named after ships in the First Fleet. First to be delivered in 1984 was Supply followed by Sirius. In 1985 Alexander, Borrowdale, Charlotteand Fishburn were delivered and in 1986 Friendship, Golden Grove and Scarborough 

They are 25m long and have a displacement of 83 tonnes. In 2009, they had their propellers replaced with MTU Series 60 proper lord with a speed of 11 knots. They have a passenger capacity of 400.

Today the First Fleet Ferries operate on the F4 Darling Harbour, F5 Neutral Bay and F6 Mosman Bay routes.

Vivid Sydney – Transport Arrangements 26 May – 17 June 2017

Vivid Sydney is a major festival of light, music and ideas running in the Sydney CBD, Chatswood and Taronga Zoo precincts over 23 nights.  There are many changes to transport arrangments for this event.


  • Over 3000 extra services will operate throughout the event, especially on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights
  • Services at least every 5 minutes on the City Circle from 5pm-11pm Friday through Sunday.
  • Services at least every 8 minutes on the T1 North Shore line between 5pm-11pm Friday through Sunday.
  • Circular Quay Station will be closed on Weekends from 6pm-10pm.
  • Extra Trains and carriages to on the BMT line, CCN line and the SCO line Friday through Sunday.
  • Use Central or Town Hall stations for Darling Harbour, Wynyard for Barangaroo and Martin Place or Wynyard for Circular Quay.


  • Extra ferries on the F2 Taronga Zoo Line, every 30 minutes until 10pm.
  • Circular Quay ferries are expected to fill quickly, have a backup plan.


  • Circular Quay bound Services will terminate at Martin Place and Bridge Street Servives will terminate at Wynyard 5pm-11pm Friday through Sunday.
  • Extra State Transit services will run on all major routes between 4pm-12am Friday through Sunday.
  • Extra HillsBus services on routes 607X, 610X, 620X and M61 between 4pm-12am Saturday and Sunday.
  • Extra Forest Coachlines services on route 271 from 5pm-11pm Sundays.
  • Extra Buses to Taronga Zoo and between the Zoo and the Wharf.
  • Routes 136, 257, 343 and M40 will divert in Chatswood to Archer Street

Light Rail

  • Extra Services Friday through Sunday every 10 minutes from 4pm-12am

Timetable Changes – Inner West/Lane Cove/Lower North Shore/Ryde

From Sunday 4 June 2017, State Transit is introducing additional services as part of the Transport for NSW Growth Services Program. However some timetables will also change to accommodate these new trips.

Major Changes

  • Route 252 extended to Gladesville via Linley Point and Hunters Hill
  • Route 265 truncated to North Sydney
  • Route 295 re-routed as Epping Station to North Epping Loop
  • Route 430, Route 459 and Route 495 will no longer operate
  • Route 458 truncated to Ryde
  • New Route 530 from Burwood to Chatswood via Five Dock, Drummoyne, Hunters Hill and Lane Cove
  • Route 536 reduced to weekday peak only

In addition the following services will recieve timetable changes, a number of these include extra services.

254, 269, 291, 285, 292, 500, 504, 506, 507, 515 and 518.

Train Talk Tuesday 7

Hello and welcome to another round of Train Talk Tuesday. This week we will be looking at the Epping-Chatswood Rail Link (ECRL). It includes stations at Epping, Macquarie University, Macquarie Park, North Ryde and Chatswood and is 13km in length.

The ECRL opened in 2009 and was oringinally the first stage in the Parramatta Rail Link between Chatswood and Parramatta that was never completed. Construction began in 2002 however was postponed in definitely in 2003. Construction recommenced in 2005, however it used a differnet route, leading to the entire line being in a tunnel instead of part tunnel, part viaduct and also eliminated the UTS Kuring-gai station due to the depth of the tunnels.

Construction of North Ryde Station 

Upon opening, the line was operated free of charge for 6 months as a shuttle between Epping and Chatswood only using 4 car H set trains running very 15 minutes between 6am and 10pm. From Octocbver 2009, it was integrated into the Northern Line with services operated using 8 car K set trains with trains running every 15 minutes. Since 2013, the ECRL has been part of the T1 line with services operating from Hornsby to Richmond or Emu Plains using the line. These operate every 15 minutes using either 8 car T set trains or 8 car A set trains. All of the services were and are operated by Sydney Trains or its predessor, CityRail.

H set trains operating the shuttle service at Chatswood Station

In 2018 for a period of 7 months, the line is set to be closed for conversion to metro as part of Sydney Metro NorthWest. It is expected that it will reopen in early 2019 with new metro services running from Rouse Hill to Chatswood, with an extension to Sydneham via the CBD opening in 2023.

Map of Sydney Trains network, with Sydney Metro NorthWest highlighted in green.

Sydney Buses Route of the Week 7

We have recieved many request for your favourite bus routes to be route of the week. From this week onwards we willbe moving through the requested routes. This week our route of the week is the 506 as requested by Finn C. and Charlotte O. 

The 506 operates from The Domain to East Ryde via the Sydney CBD, Rozelle, Drummoyne and Hunters Hill. Selected weekday daytime services extend from East Ryde to Macquarie Univeristy via North Ryde and Macquarie Park.

Previously the route operated to Circular Quay not The Domain but it was re-routed in October 2015 due to light rail construction. 

The service runs every 30 minutes to Macquarie Univeristy between 7am-5pm Monday to Saturday with the journey taking between 55-75 minutes. It runs every between 6am-Midnight daily to East Ryde, with services every 10 minutes during peak, 30 minutes off peak and on-weekends and hourly at night.

The 506 operates out of Ryde Depot using a variety of buses with Mercedes-Benz or Volvo Chassis and Custom Coaches and Volgren bodywork.

Private Buses Route of the Month 2

This month, our private route that we will be focusing on is the T80.

The T80 operates along the entirety of the Parramatta to Liverpool T-Way. The T-way operates between Parramatta and Liverpool Railway Station via South Wentworthville, Weatherill Park, Prairiewood and Bonnyrigg.

Services began in February 2003 and were initally operated by Western Sydney Buses using Mercedes-Benz O405NHCNG Buses with Custom Coaches Citaro bodywork. These were later replected by Volvo B12BLEs with Volgren bodywork. Since October 2013, the services have been operated by Transit Systmes Sydney.

Services run between 5am-Midnight daily. They have a frequnecy of 5 minutes in peak hour, 10 minutes off peak and 20 minutes at night and on weekends. The route is 30km long with 35 stations. It takes between 50-65 minutes to run the service.