Featured Bus Route – February 2019

Route 309 operated by State Transit is the featured bus route for February 2019. It operates between Railway Square and Banksmeadow via Redfern, Green Square, Mascot and Botany.


Route 309 was introduced on the the 22nd of June 1952, supplementing trams on the Botany – Matraville Tramline, with peak hour services between the City and Matraville via Botany Road, whilst off peak services only operated between Matraville and Botany Shops. On the 23rd of October 1960, Route 309 took over tram operations full time after the closure of the tram line. At this time it was also extended to La Perouse via Prince Henry Hospital, replacing parts of old routes 334 and 338. As with many routes introduced to replace the tramways, Route 309 fully duplicated the route of the old tramway.

By 2002, the route had been modified to operate between Circular Quay and Port Botany Terminus. Due to works on the CBD and South East Light rail, the city terminus of the service changes from Circular Quay to Railway Square on 4th of October 2015. Recently as part of a review of South-Eastern bus services, Route 309 was truncated to Banksmeadow from 2nd of December 2019. An express 309x variant was also introduced at this time.

Route 309 is considered to be a turn up and go service, meaning it operates on a frequency headway basis rather than a fixed timetable. Despite this, there is still an approximated timetable provided for the service. It operates on average every 12 minutes or more often during the day 7 days a week.

Buses for this service are provided out of State Transit’s Port Botany Depot. A mixture of high capacity articulated Buses and standard 12.5 m Buses are used on the route.

Lack of Planning in Sydney Transport

Recently our editor was invited to present a speech to the Sydney Branch of the Lions Club on a topical issue as part of the annual Lions Club International “Youth of the Year competition. The speech presented was titled “Lack of Planning in Sydney Transport” It won first place in its division, being the best presented on the night.

Here at Transport NSW Blog we believe that Transport is one of the most topical issues that can be discussed within our communities as it affects almost everyone. Everyone needs to be able to get from point A to point B, between their homes and their jobs or other important parts of their community.  The speech takes a look at the issues that Sydney faces from a transport planning perspective and talks about the lack of long term planning that is entrenched within our transport bureaucracy and the ways that this issue affects our community. It also makes a case for why we need to develop a long term bi-partisan transport masterplan for Sydney and New South Wales.

Please see below for a transcript of the speech.

Continue reading “Lack of Planning in Sydney Transport”

New Map for Sydney Trains

Sydney Trains is getting a new network map to coincide with the opening of Sydney Metro Northwest on May 5. This map includes the new Metro line in its signature aqua blue running from Chatswood to Tallawong. A new T9 designation has been introduced for Northern Line Hornsby to Gordon via Strathfield services, in the red colour that the line used under the old CityRail branding.

A excerpt of the new Sydney Trains map to be used after the opening of Sydney Metro Northwest – Copyright 2019 © Transport for NSW

We are yet to receive a full copy of the new map but it is our understanding that the map will remain the same outside the area of change seen in the image above.

New Regional Rail Fleet Contracts Signed

The NSW Government has announced they have signed a $2.8 Billion contract with Momentum Trains, led by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) for the construction and maintenance of a new Regional Rail Fleet.

Artists Impression of the New Trains

There will be 29 new trains delivered, based on the successful Civity design used throughout Europe. This will include 117 new carriages to replace the existing 111 carriages. There will be;

• 10 regional intercity trains (30 carriages in 3 car sets), replacing Endeavour trains,
• 9 short regional trains (27 carriages in 3 car sets), replacing Xplorer trains,
• 10 long regional trains (60 carriages in 6 car sets), replacing XPT trains.

The new short and long regional trains will include both an economy (2-2) and a premium (2-1) class as well as a buffet car and airline style overhead lockers for luggage. The intercity trains will have solely economy seating. There will be USB charging ports, sturdy tray tables, individual overhead reading lights, filtered water and accessible toilets with baby changing facilities in every carriage. Real-time, internal and external visual displays and announcements will help customers keep track of their journey, whilst disabled passengers will benefit from wider doors, single deck carriages and retractable platforms to bridge the gap between the train and the actual platform.

These trains are Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) built by Momentum Trains in Europe, with maintenance to be conducted in Dubbo. Existing government operator NSW TrainLink will continue to operate all services.

NSW Election 2019

It’s an election year in NSW and now less than two months out, we are starting to see robust policy announcements, discussions and debates from all sides of politics. Both of the major parties have a platform for transport that they are running on for this state election, ranging from changes to ticketing to new train lines. This post will serve as an outline to the already announced policies from both parties, whilst future posts will provide commentary surrounding policies leading up to the election.

Liberal Policies


  • Continue with construction of Sydney Metro City and Southwest
  • Deliver 17 new Waratah Series 2 trains
  • Continue with planning for Sydney Metro West
  • A new North South Rail linking communities to the new Western Sydney airport and new jobs
  • Expansion of Transport Access Program
  • New Opalpay carparks at major stations

Labor Policies

  • Free public transport for all school students
  • A new train timetable, with reduced travel times for Western Sydney
  • Reduce station access fee to $5 at both Domestic and International stations, with $0 fee for registered airport workers
  • $8 billion to fast track the construction of Sydney Metro West from the CBD to Westmead
  • Continue with construction of Sydney Metro City (and Southwest if contracts can’t be broken)
  • $3 billion for improvements to the rail network
  • Feasibility studies for extension of South West Rail Link to Western Sydney Airport.
  • Expanded bus services including Sutherland to Airport
  • Refund for train services that are excessively delayed for avoidable reasons
  • No more privatisation of transport services and buy back of selected privatised transport services
  • Expansion of Transport Access Program
  • New Opalpay carparks at major stations

Both parties have promised billions of dollars worth of new infrastructure all well as investment in other programs. Labor has more promises on paper, but this is because a large part of the Liberal transport platform is based on continuing their pre-existing programs which they claim are sufficient and they aren’t included in this list of policy announcements. On the other hand Labor is presenting a fresh new platform with a large number of small but significant policies.

There will also be a federal election this year. Whilst the content we normally post surrounds issues that are state based, sometimes federal governments intervene in transport policy particularly with funding for policies announced by the state branch of that is party. We will do a detailed post after the end of the NSW state campaign.

More New Waratahs

The government has announced that they have ordered an additional 17 8-Car Waratah Series 2 trains, to be delivered in 2020. This new order is in addition to the order of 24 of the trains which is currently being delivered and will take the number of Waratah Series 2 trains in the Sydney Trains fleet to 41.

A Waratah Series 2 Train at Sydenham – Transport NSW Blog Collection

“This investment in new trains is needed because we have seen rapid growth across the rail system,” Mr Constance said. “By bolstering our order by another 17 trains, we will make the network more reliable and more comfortable for customers.”

These new trains will be used for growth in the network, instead of the retirement of older trains. This will allow for additional services to be added outside of peak and on weekends, as well as reducing cancellations during peak by allowing for backup sets.

It is understood that all 20 remaining S-Sets will be retired by the end of this year, replaced by the first batch of Waratah Series 2 trains. Other older trains such as the K-Sets and C-Sets currently do not have a retirement plan but are coming to the end of their safe working life. Previously it had been hinted that these could be replaced by further Waratah Series 2 trains.

Waratah Series 2 are double deckers, air conditioned trains. They feature high definition customer information screens, internal and external CCTV and customer help points, priority seating, wheelchair spaces and hearing aid loops and have distinctive orange driver cabins.


Newcastle Light Rail Opening

Newcastle Light Rail will officially open on Monday February 18, 2019 after a free community day on Sunday February 17. Services are provided by Newcastle Transport (Keolis Downer)

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 1.57.29 pm.png
Promotional Imaging for Newcastle Light Rail – © Transport for NSW

This will provide a new frequent and reliable link between Newcastle Interchange and Newcastle Beach via Civic and Queens Wharf. The fleet is made up of six CAF Urbos 100 light rail vehicles, which are air-conditioned, fully accessible and high capacity.

Newcastle Light Rail will operate between 5am and 1am daily. Services run every 10 minutes through most of the day, early and late night service operating every half hour.

Customers changing from train or bus services will pay at most 20 cents for the tram journey using Opal. Other customers will pay at most $2.20.

The construction of the line has been marred in controversy. It has been constructed as a replacement for the old heavy rail line that travelled along a similar route through the Newcastle CBD. Many residents are unhappy given the cost and disruption to replace the old train line with the new light rail, which forces them to interchange at Wickham, just outside of the CBD. There has also been the loss of one of the main east-west traffic thoroughfares through Newcastle, which has caused major traffic issues during construction.