Extra Inner West Light Rail Services

Due to the continued chronic overcrowding of Inner West Light Rail services, more frequent services will be introduced from August 6 2018.

Inner West Light Rail – Josh Quail

Between 10am to 2pm, extra services will improve frequency from 13 to 12 minutes, in line with the schedule already in place on the popular Wednesday services. The change will mean a 12 minute frequency on all weekdays between 10am and 3pm.

The afternoon peak will be extended to offer services every 8 minutes from 3pm to 7pm.

Sydney’s Transport History – Electrification

This time in Sydney’s Transport History we are taking a deeper look into the electrification of Sydney’s Railways.

Sydney’s Railways use an overhead electrification system at 1,500 volts direct current. The system is considered to be inferior than modern single phase alternating current equipment. This has caused problems with newer trains such as the M and A sets.

As part of Bradfield’s Railway Scheme built in the 1920s and 1930s, there were plans to electrify Sydney’s Suburban railways. These plans were designed to allow for safe running of the propsed City Circle loop that could not have steam trains using it.

The Remains of Royal National Park Station, the far southern extent of the original electrocution in 1926


The first railway in Sydney to be electrified was the Illawarra Line between Central and Loftus in the Royal National Park. The first service operated from Central to Oatley on 9 December 1926. Less than two weeks later, the first new build electric line, a new city underground from Central to St James opened on 20 December 1926, with services from the electrified Illawarra line using it.

Soon after, a number of other lines were electrified including the Bankstown Line in 1926, North Shore Line in 1927, Western Line to Parramatta and Northern Line to Hornsby in 1929 as well as the Carlingford Line to Rosehill in 1936.

Some other new build electric railways were also complete around this time with the East Hills line completed in 1931 and the Sydney Harbour Bridge lines and underground lines connecting it to Central in 1932 and later the Cronulla line branching off the Illawarra line in the late 1930s.

After Bradfield retired, it wasn’t until the 1950s that  further railways got electrified. A new station at Circular Quay complete the City Circle line which for the first time operated an underground electric loop through the Sydney CBD. Electric trains reached outside of Sydney to Lithgow via Penrith by 1957 and as far north as Gosford by 1960.

Additional suburban electrification reached Campbelltown in 1968, Riverstone in 1975, Waterfall in 1980, Macarthur in 1985 and Richmond in 1991.

On the Intercity Network, electrification reached Wyong in 1982 and later Newcastle in 1984. Trains to Port Kembla were electrified in 1985, whilst trains further south to Dapto weren’t electrified until 1996 and Kiama later still in 2002.

New build electric railways have slowly built across Sydney, with the Eastern Suburbs line to Bondi Junction opening in 1979, the East Hills to Glenfield link opening in 1987, the Olympic Park line in 1998, Airport Link in 2000, Epping Chatswood Rail Line in 2009 and the South West Rail Link in 2015.

Today all of the Suburban Sydney Trains network and a majority of the Intercity NSWTrains is electrified, with all new railways being built to electric standards. Despite this, there is still a long way to go, with thousands of kilometres of Intercity and Regional railways still reliant on diesel trains. There have been various proposals recently to extend electrification further south to Moss Vale and Nowra, west to Bathurst and North to Maitland. Whether these proposals go ahead is yet to be seen.

Major construction to start at Central in August

As part of the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project, major construction work will be carried out at Central station. This work will begin in August 2018 and is expected to be completed in late 2022 ahed of the planned 2024 opening for the new line.

Transport for NSW has contracted Laing O’Rourke to deliver the new Sydney Metro platforms under Central Station and the landmark Central Walk – a new underground pedestrian concourse helping customers get around Sydney’s busiest station. The contract involves;
  • Excavation and construction of the new underground Sydney Metro platforms at Central beneath platforms 13, 14 and 15
  • Central Walk – a 19-metre wide underground concourse from a new entrance on Chalmers Street, connecting customers to suburban rail platforms, Sydney Metro platforms, the new light rail and buses
  • An upgraded north concourse with transformed pedestrian thoroughfares and feature roof.
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Diagram of the works being carried out at Central Station – Transport for NSW

The key features and benefits of this work include;

  • New underground Sydney Metro platforms, with platform screen doors to keep people and objects away from the tracks and allow trains to arrive and depart from the station faster
  • Easy interchange with suburban and intercity trains, buses and light rail
  • New underground pedestrian connections
  • Customers can use escalators to get to platforms 12 to 23 for the first time
  • New signs throughout the station to make it easier to get around.
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Artist Impression of the new Sydney Metro Platform – Transport for NSW
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Artist Impression of the new Central Walk concourse – Transport for NSW

Central Station Metro work will result in temporary changes to customer access around the station at different times. The project team will work closely with Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink to minimise disruption, and provide advanced notice and information about how to get around to customers throughout construction.

To safely complete construction activities in and near the rail corridor, work will be undertaken on the track during scheduled Sydney Trains rail closures. This ensures worker and customer safety, and allows for work on the track and platforms without disrupting trains.

Newcastle Bus Changes from July 29 2018

Keolis Downer, the embattled company that has been operating Newcastle Transport since mid last year has finally caved into large numbers of complaints regarding its new bus network introduced in January. Some major changes will be made to the network and all timetables will be refined from July 29.


The major changes include;

  • Extending the route 14 to connect Swansea Heads to Belmont, Charlestown, Kotara and the CBD.
  • Extending the route 41 to connect Valentine and Eleebana to Charlestown.
  • Extending the route 43 to connect Floraville and Windale to Charlestown.
  • The route 44 will now travel from Warners Bay to Glendale, Cardiff, Macquarie Hills and Kotara.
  • Routes 23, 26 and 28 will now service Marketown.

These changes will better reflect actual traffic conditions and travel patterns.

Featured Bus Route – July 2018

This month our featured bus route is route 492 from Drummoyne to Rockdale via Five Dock, Burwood Campsie and Kingsgrove. This route is operated by Transit Systems Australia as part of its Region 6 contract.

A Scania K280UB with Bustech VST bodywork operating a 492 to Rockdale in Drummoyne on the last day of State Transit operation 30/6/18
A Scania K280UB with Custom Coaches CB80 bodywork operating a 492 to Drummoyne in Burwood on the first day of Transit Systems operation – 1/7/18

The corridor between Drummoyne and Rockdale has been serviced by direct bus service along a route similar to the current corridor since March 1937, when DGT route 92 from Campsie to Drummoyne was merged with United Motors route 44 from Campsie to Rockdale. The route retained the 92 designation, running through from Lyons Road, Drummoyne to Rockdale Station. It was later renumbered 992 in September 1940 and again to 492 in March 1944. Since then the route hasn’t seen much change other than small route changes, including an extension to Birkenhead point in the late 70s. On July 1st 2018, the route was handed over to Transit Systems Australia from State Transit as part of the Region 6 privatisation. Prior to this, the route had been government operated for its entire 81 year history.

Today Route 492 is operated out of Transit Systems Kingsgrove depot, using a variety of buses with Scania chassis and a mixture of different bodyworks. The service runs every 30 minutes between 5am and 11pm daily, with extra services between Kingsgrove and Rockdale providing a service every 15 minutes on weekday peak hours. The service takes around an hour to operate end to end.