Farewell Region 6 – Tempe Depot

Tempe Bus Depot is one of the four bus depots currently operated by STA in Region 6 that will be handed over to TSA on July 1st.

The site opened as a tram depot on 15 September 1912 . In 1954, the site was converted into a bus depot to service government bus services in the Southern Suburbs of Sydney. The new depot was needed to take pressure off Kingsgrove depot which was struggling with the large amount tram replacement work during the closure of the Sydney Tram Network.

After 38 years of service, the original Tempe bus depot closed in 1992 and services were reallocated to Kingsgrove and Port Botany Depots.  The site then became the Sydney Bus Museum until 2010, when the museum relocated to Leichhardt Tramsheds.

The bus depot reopened in late 2010 as a depot dedicated to operating articulated buses for the new Metrobus network. The use of Tempe depot as a dedicated Metrobus depot was later deemed to be inefficiency. This was because most of the Metrobus routes (with the expection of the southern terminus of routes M20 and M30) had their terminus tens of kilometres away from Tempe depot These inefficiencies led to the relocation of some Metrobus services to other depots including Leichhardt, North Sydney and Randwick in 2013. As part of this optimisation of services, some regular STA services commenced out of Tempe depot for the first time in over 20 years late in 2013.

The depot currently is home to 85 buses, a mixture between 18 metre articulated buses for Metrobus services and 12.5 rigid buses for regular STA services. They service the southern most routes in the STA network, with a major hub in Rockdale.

Where Can You Fly? – South East Asia

Today we are looking at Where You Can Fly in South East Asia.

There are 10 different destinations across 7 different countries that you can fly to in South East Asia from Sydney. 15 different airlines service flights including AirAsia X, Air Niugini, British Airways, Cebu Pacific, Emirates, Garuda Indonesia, Jetstar, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Scoot, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Vietnam Airlines and Virgin Australia.

The airlines all use a variety of planes on the routes. Narrowbody 737 aircraft make a showing on selected flights to Denpasar, however mostly all flights are on widebody aircraft. Notable models include Emirates A380s to Bangkok, Malaysia Airlines A380s to Kuala Lumpur, Qantas A380s to Singapore, Singapore Airlines A380s to Singapore and Thai Airways 747s to Bangkok. Other flights are typically operated by either a 777, 787 or A330.


Destinations include;

  • Bangkok – Emirates, Qantas, Thai Airways
  • Denpasar – Garuda Indonesia, Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia
  • Hanoi – Vietnam Airlines
  • Ho Chi Minh City – Jetstar, Vietnam Airlines
  • Jakarta – Garuda Indonesia, Qantas
  • Kuala Lumpur – AirAsia X, Malaysia Airlines
  • Manila – Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Qantas
  • Phuket – Jetstar
  • Port Moresby – Air Niugini
  • Singapore – British Airways,  Qantas, Scoot, Singapore Airlines

Sydney Metro Northwest – On Time and Under Budget

Gladys Berejiklian today announced that the Sydney Metro Northwest project was on track for a mid 2019 opening, $500 million dollars under budget. These comments came as the final pieces of track on the $8 billion dollar project were laid in Bella Vista on Sunday.

Gladys Berejiklian watches as the last of the track for Sydney Metro Northwest is laid in Bella Vista –  Brook Mitchell (SMH)

“This was project was promised for decades and decades and now today the final bit of track has been laid,” Ms Berejiklian said after watching site manager Ben Miller lock down the last sleepers on the section between Bella Vista and Epping.

“Every major project including this one goes through challenges,” she said. “We know the Skytrain part of the project was particularly challenging. Some things during the course of the project took a bit longer but then we’ve been able to reign it back in.”

Sydney Metro Northwest is one part of the new $20 Billion Sydney Metro Network. It will provide a direct train between Rouse Hill and Chatswood every four minutes after it opens next year. Other parts of the network include Sydney Metro City and Sydney Metro Southwest which are due to open in 2024 and Sydney Metro West which is due to open in 2029.

March 2020 Completion Date for Light Rail

Acciona, the Spanish company contracted to build the CBD and South East light rail project have today derailed the governments hopes for a March 2019 opening.

The government has been advised to expect an opening date of March 2020 in the best case scenario. This is a full year behind schedule and pushes the opening of the project well the beyond the next state election. Despite this, Transport Minister Andrew Constance is insisting that ALTRAC, of which Acciona is the construction partner, delivers the light rail project in 2019 as per its contract.

It is understood that Transport for NSW initially was skeptical of such a long delay, telling the ALTRAC that it needed to do more to help shorten the delay to being the projects completion within 2019. Transport for NSW eventually conceded to the timeline, despite protests from a furious Constance.

This news comes as both the government and workers on the project accused Acciona of proceeding with a “go slow” on construction.  “We were constantly asked to slow down our works,” one has told the government, and there was a claim of “constant delays on mat­erial and equipment deliberately done by our supervisors”.

Where Can You Fly? – Boeing 747

In this edition of Where Can You Fly, we take a look at all the places you can fly on the 747 from Sydney.


Once the Queen of the Skies, today the 747 is becoming a rarity at airports around the world, with more A380s in service than 747s. Despite this, 3 operators still operate 747s out of Sydney, providing service to 9 destinations.

PanAm’s Clipper Flying Cloud (N734PA) was the first 747 to arrive in Sydney on 4 October 1970, marking the start of a new era for Sydney’s aviation market. The first Qantas 747 to be based in Sydney arrived soon after in September 1971. The longest ever 747 flight arrived in Sydney from London 17 August 1989, operated by Qantas’s new 747-400 VH-OJA. At the peak of operation, more than 10 airlines operated 747s into Sydney, serving dozens of destinations.

Today, only Qantas, Thai Airways and Korean Air operate 747s into Sydney. Qantas and Thai Airways both operate the popular but ageing 747-400, whilst Korean Air operates the newer but extremely rare 747-800. Qantas has a base for 8 of its 747s in Sydney.

The routes served are;

  • Bangkok – Thai Airways
  • Hong Kong – Qantas
  • Johannesberg – Qantas
  • Los Angeles – Qantas
  • New York – Qantas
  • Santiago – Qantas
  • San Francisco – Qantas
  • Seoul – Korean Air
  • Tokyo Haneda – Qantas
  • Vancouver – Qantas

North Shore and North West Buses Moving to Opal Only Services

From Monday 16 April a trial of Opal card only services will begin for bus routes around the North Shore and North West areas, which operate out of the State Transit Ryde Depot.

This means that single tickets will no longer be sold on the bus and that you will need to have a topped up opal card to travel. All routes serviced by Ryde depot will become Opal Only, even if a specific service is not operated by Ryde to avoid confusion.

Ryde depot was chosen for the trail as it has the lowest number of cash fare sales per day despite being the largest depot by trips operated. Changing to Opal card only services will allow for faster boarding times resulting in fewer delays, more reliable on-time running and increased safety for bus drivers.

Routes moving to Opal Only on 16 April 2018image.png
202 – Northbridge to City Bridge St via North Sydney
251 – Lane Cove West to City Wynyard via Freeway
252 – Gladesville to City King Street Wharf via North Sydney
253 – Riverview to City Wynyard via Freeway
254 – Riverview to McMahons Point
255 – Colwell Cres to Chatswood
256 – Chatswood to Fullers Rd (Loop Service)
258 – Chatswood to Lane Cove West
261 – Lane Cove to City King St Wharf via Longueville
265 – Lane Cove to North Sydney via Greenwich
269 – McMahons Point to Milsons Point via North Sydney & Kirribilli
285 – Lane Cove West to City Wynyard via Freeway
286 – Denistone East to Milsons Point via St Leonards & North Sydney
287 – Ryde to Milsons Point via St Leonards & North Sydney
288 – Epping to City Erskine St
290 – Epping to City Erskine St via Macquarie University & North Sydney
291 – Epping Station to McMahons Point
292 – Marsfield to City Erskine St via Macquarie Park
294 – Macquarie University to City Wynyard
295 – North Epping to Epping (Loop Service)
458 – Ryde to Burwood
500 – Ryde to City Circular Quay
501 – West Ryde to Central Pitt St via Pyrmont & Ultimo
502 – Five Dock to City Town Hall
504 – Chiswick to City Domain
505 – Woolwich to City Town Hall
506 – Macquarie University to City Domain via East Ryde
507 – Macquarie University to City Circular Quay via Putney
510 – Ryde to City Town Hall
513 – Carlingford to Meadowbank Wharf via West Ryde
515 – Eastwood to City Circular Quay
518 – Macquarie University to City Circular Quay
520 – Parramatta to City Circular Quay via West Ryde
521 – Parramatta to Eastwood
523 – West Ryde to Parramatta
524 – Ryde to Parramatta via West Ryde
525 – Parramatta to Burwood via Sydney Olympic Park
530 – Burwood to Chatswood
533 – Sydney Olympic Park to Chatswood via Rhodes & North Ryde
534 – Ryde to Chatswood via North Ryde
536 – Gladesville to Chatswood via Hunters Hill
538 – Gladesville to Woolwich
540 – Silverwater Remand Centre to Auburn
541 – Epping to Eastwood
543 – Eastwood to West Ryde
544 – Macquarie Centre to Auburn via Eastwood
545 – Parramatta to Chatswood via Eastwood & Macquarie Centre
546 – Parramatta to Epping via Oatlands & North Rocks
547 – Parramatta to Macarthur St (Loop Service)
549 – Parramatta to Epping via North Rocks
550 – Parramatta to Chatswood via Macquarie Park
551 – Busaco Rd to Eastwood
552 – Oatlands to Parramatta
553 – North Rocks to Beecroft
M52 – Parramatta to City Circular Quay (Limited Stops)
M54 – Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Epping
X15 – City Town Hall to Eastwood (Express Service)

Court Case Threatens to Derail Tram Project

Once again the CBD and South East light rail project is in disarray as Transport for NSW and the Spanish company Acciona who is building the line gear up for a Supreme Court showdown over a series of disagreements next Friday.

Acciona has made demands for an extra $1.2 billion in government funding for the line, beyond the $500 million cost blowout already allowed for by the state government. This demand, made through the companies lawyers threaten to double the original $1.6 billion cost of the project.

Acciona’s lawyers have made claims that the government misled the contractor on the complexity of the work including how many utility lines would have to be moved during construction.

The government is also furious that Acciona has been taking ago-slow approach to construction, with less than 100 workers on the project each day, significantly less then the 500 needed for the project to open near on-time.

For the week ending March 22, a progress report showed the project moved only 0.4 per cent forward. This compared with periods last year when 3 to 5 per cent of the project was being built each week. As of this week only half the civil construction has been finished, despite the fact that it was due for completion late last year.

Acciona, which reports to a private-sector consortium known as ALTRAC, sent a letter to Transport for NSW on February 22, warning of Supreme Court action over their demand.

The letter states “In addition to the sum claimed in the commercial list statement by way of loss and damage, our client also maintains it is entitled to interest on the sum of $101m, bringing the total sum sought by our client to $1.206bn. We await your prompt response. Please note that if we have not received your client’s reply within 21 days of the date of this letter, we are instructed to finalise and file the Commercial List Statement and commence proceedings against TfNSW without further notice.”

Mr Constance responded on March 22 with “As I have previously advised you in our face-to-face meetings, the NSW government is very unhappy with your performance in relation to the construction of the Sydney Light Rail project.

“I have no doubt that Sydney’s residents and businesses are also incredibly frustrated. I recently described NSW as an unhappy customer — let me make it clear we’re now an angry customer.

“As you know, the Sydney Light Rail Project is being delivered under a public-private partnership model where Transport for NSW has contracted the ALTRAC Light Rail Partnership to build and operate the project.

“ALTRAC has in turn engaged Acciona to design and build the civil construction aspects of the project. Therefore there is no contract between Transport for NSW and Acciona, nor indeed between it and the state of NSW.”

Mr Constance said any issues Acciona had should be raised with ALTRAC. “You will also be aware that the contract between Transport for NSW and ALTRAC, and in turn the contract between ALTRAC and Acciona, spells out how the risks of dealing with utilities for the construction of the light rail are to be managed.

“Acciona negotiated and accepted these provisions and has since made use of them. I was therefore shocked and dismayed to be informed that Acciona … has threatened legal proceedings against Transport for NSW, based on allegations that Transport for NSW made misrepresentations to Acciona about the utilities in the lead-up to the signing of the contracts in December 2014. We have always said this is a complex project and both Acciona and ALTRAC knew this when they signed up.”

These devolpmelnst threaten to further the delay the project that as we have earlier reported is already running over year behind schedule.

Station Link – ECRL Closure

The NSW State Government has confirmed that from 30 September for approximately 7 moths the Epping Chatswood Rail Link will close for conversion to Sydney Metro standards. A part of this closure, a new bus service, “Station Link,” will be introduced.

station-link-bus.jpgStation Link is a $49 million investment in more than 120 new, fully accessible, air-conditioned buses providing thousands of extra services from 30 September 2018. High frequency Station Link services will keep customers moving while the rail line between Epping and Chatswood is upgraded for around seven months, ahead of Sydney Metro opening in 2019.

Key features of Station Link include:

  • High frequency, turn-up-and-go services to stations between Epping and Chatswood at least every six minutes during the peak.
  • More than 110 services per hour in the busiest parts of the day.
  • A dedicated high frequency service to Macquarie University Campus from Epping Station.
  • A loop service running at least every 10 minutes 7 days a week to all stations between Epping to Chatswood.


These services will be operated by a joint venture between Transdev NSW and ComfortDelGro Corportation’s Hillsbus out of a new depot in Cameilla.

Labor Announces Transport Policies – Sydney Metro West Top Priority

Today the NSW Labor party announced the transport policies that they will take to the next election. Metro West will be the number one transport project for Labor.

A Foley Labor government will accelerate the construction of a new metro rail line between Western Sydney and the CBD, rather than proceed with the conversion of the Sydenham to Bankstown rail line to a metro line. Infrastructure NSW considers that the Sydney Metro West project should be the priority for rail network extension and Labor will deliver on this.

fefb03bba6a6821f7eeaeb63110bbd1928bf1cedA Labor government would also abandon the Northern Beaches Tunnel it has been confirmed. Labor’s vision is shared by the Government’s own infrastructure experts who have concluded that a Northern Beaches tunnel is not a priority and its construction would delay the delivery of other more urgent projects.

“I am being honest about Labor’s priorities. We will deliver Metro West years earlier than the Liberals because we won’t build a Northern Beaches mega tunnel nor will we proceed with pointless conversion of the Bankstown line..” – Luke Foley, Labor Leader

“A Metro West will cut travel between the region and Sydney. Cutting the journey from one CBD to the other to less than half an hour will transform people’s lives and relieve pressure on the main western rail line. Metro West will add a new route. That has to be the goal of any future transport network. The conversion of an existing line from one sort of train to another is not going to do that.” – Jodi McKay, Shadow Transport Minister

“This Government is now in its eighth year in office and it has yet to cut the ribbon on any of its major transport infrastructure projects. To date their record on infrastructure has been characterised by delays and blowouts. Labor will re-allocate the money freed up by the cancellation of the Sydenham to Bankstown conversion to ensure the early completion of the Metro West.” – Michael Daley, Shadow Infrastructure Minister

One Year of Transport NSW Blog

One year ago, I set up this little blog called Transport NSW Blog to share my love of Transport with my family and friends. Since then there have been 145 posts, 3655 individual page views and 1570 unique visitors. On the 23rd of May last year, thanks to an anonymous share on reddit, we had our most successful day, with 196 unique visitors and 308 page views. We continue to have very loyal readerships, with nearly 20 daily views on average during the start of 2018.

I can’t thank enough all of my followers and supporters who have been loyal the past year. Here’s to another good year ahead! We have the continuation of reader favourite “Featured Bus Route” as well as many other special series including “Farewell Region 6,” “Where Can You Fly?” and the upcoming “Sydney’s Transport History”.

To celebrate, enjoy some of my favourite pictures from the blog over the past year.