Featured Bus Route – April 2019

For this month our featured bus route is Route 740 operated by Busways Western Sydney. It operates between Plumpton Marketplace and Macqaurie Park via Quakers Hill, Stanhope Gardens and the M2 Hills Motorway.


Originally operated as Route 750, this route was one of many new routes introduced upon the opening of the new Hills Motorway on 27 May 1997. Predominately these were new express direct CBD trips from the Hills District, taking advantage of the new bus lanes provided to allow for a quicker trip from the North West into the CBD. In addition to these services, Busways began a service to connect Western Sydney to the new employment hub in Macquarie Park. Route 750 began as a service between Mt Druitt and Macquarie Centre via Blacktown, the M2 and Epping Station in 1997. By February of 1999 most trips had been altered to operate between Emerton and Macquarie Centre via Quakers Hill, the M2 and Epping Station, whilst some trips retained the destination of Mt Druitt via Blacktown. Also at this time, selected weekday services began operating as far as the University of Western Sydney Penrith Campus during semester.

On 27 July 2002, Route 750 was spilt into two different routes both showing the same route number. The existing Emerton to Macquarie Centre via Quakers Hill service was retained but had all non peak hour services cut. There was also an end to Mt Druitt via Blacktown and University of Western Sydney diversion services. A duplicate route 750 began at this time and operated between St Marys and Hebersham, with semester time extensions to the University of Western Sydney in lieu of the other route 750. This duplicate arrangement latest until January 2004, and caused some slight confusion in the shared section between Emerton and Hebersham.

From 28 January 2004, the current operating scenario of route 740 was set up. Still opertaing as route 750, the service was curtailed to operate along the current Plumpton to Macqaurie Park via Quakers Hill, Stanhope Gardens and the M2 Hills Motorway. This decision was made due to the poor patronage of the route west of Plumpton. Additionally the duplicate service was ceased at this time without the provision of a replacement.

In 2009, the Ministry of Transport review of Region 1 bus services came into effect. It suggested wide ranging changes to bus services across Sydney, but the only change suggested for this route was a change in number from 750 to 740, a change which was adopted and Route 740 replaced Route 750 in its entirety form 11 October 2009.

Since then, there have been two changes to Route 740. From 17 January 2011, the service was rerouted to skip Epping station and run express along the M2 all the way to Macquarie Park. Later, on 29 October 2011, the service was extended from Macquarie Centre to Macquarie Park.

Currently, Route 740 is operates a weekday peak hour only service, with service between 6am and 10am towards Macquarie Park, and service between 4pm and 8pm towards Plumpton Marketplace. Services during these times operate every half and hour in direction of peak. There are also two anti peak services, operating between 5pm and 6pm towards Macquarie Park and between 7:30am and 8:30am towards Plumpton Marketplace. The service is operated by Busways Western Sydney from their Blacktown depot. It is primarily operated by standard 12m buses, however double decker services are provided on select services.

After 22 years in service, route 740 will be withdrawn after the last service on May 24 2019, as part of changes to bus services for Sydney Metro Northwest.



Photos – Out with the old and in with the new

There are currently a number of generational changes occurring in NSW transport. Things that have seemingly been around for ever are suddenly there no more, whilst brand new things now appear in their places. Today we bring you some pictures of these changes.


The old Scania L113TRBs with Ansair Orana 14.5 bodywork are finally reaching the end of their working life, with a number now starting to be retired from both the State Transit and Transit Systems fleet. These tri-axle buses have a higher capacity than standard buses and are 2.5m longer at 14.5m long, compared to 12m for a standard bus.


These buses have been most commonly seen on State Transit routes 288, 292, 392, 400 and L94 as well as Transit Systems route 420. You can still find them on those routes until the last of the type is retired later this year, after 26 years of service.

These buses are being replaced by a batch of buses from the revived Custom Bus. After going into receivership last year and closing down their production line, Custom Bus (previous Custom Coaches) was purchased by the Dunn Group (owners of Telfords) and set up a new production line to produce their popular CB80 series 2 model. The CB80 series 2 on a Scania K310UB chassis are currently entering service with State Transit to replace the old buses.


Some have criticised this choice for the replacement of the older Scania as they are only 12m long standard buses, reflecting a reduction of capacity when compared to the 14.5m long buses they are replacing.


Friday saw the last regularly scheduled run of a S set on the Sydney rail network. This will be a second retirement for the 40 year old trains, which were originally removed from all lines except the Olympic Park shuttle back in 2014. They were forced back into service as part of the controversial November 2017 timetable, which led the government to order 41 new Waratah trains.


Despite the end of timetabled running, 8 sets have been retained for emergency operation, and due to the Tangara Upgrade Program which is currently taking place, it is expected that these sets may be used on the T6 Carlingford and T7 Olympic Park lines in the coming weeks and months.

Deliveries of the first batch of 24 new Waratah Series 2 trains have now been completed, with all 24 trains now in service. These trains can now be found across the network, with all 24 sets being included in the latest run changes that started today.


The remaining 17 Waratah Series 2 trains were ordered as part of a seperate order and will begin deliveries later this year. The trains are distinctive due to their orange fronts and minor interior modifications.

Perhaps most excitingly, Sydney Metro is now one step closer to opening. The brand new line between Chatswood and Tallawong has been undergoing full timetable testing and its approval is in final stages at the regulator. Today also marks the start of a number of changes designed to make the transition of Metro into the network seamless, with more trains on the North Shore and changes to connecting bus services.


Sydney Metro will be the first driverless train system in Australia, with 22 driverless six car Alstom Metropolis trains operating along the new line once it opens, with services every 4 minutes in peak hour. All the stations along the route have been fitted with platform screen doors and allow for level boarding.

So out with the old and in with the new appears to be all the rage at the moment. Despite all the change, most of transport will stay the same. We have also confirmed that at this stage, it is the intention that both the Scania L113TRBs with Ansair Orana 14.5 and S sets will have an example preserved as part of the heritage transport fleet.

Service Changes from 28 April 2019

From Sunday 28 April 2019 there will be some changes to train and bus services to allow for the integration of Sydney Metro into the wider transport network as well as to match service levels to customer demand.

Key adjustments being made include additional services along the T1 North Shore Line, and renaming the T1 Northern Line to the T9 Northern Line. Some bus routes in the Upper North Shore area will be adjusted to better connect with train services, additional services will be added in other areas and some bus routes across Sydney will be renumbered.

Continue reading “Service Changes from 28 April 2019”

Federal Budget and Budget Reply deliver for NSW Transport

This week we saw both the Federal Budget and offical budget reply handed down in Canberra, with both documents acting as pre-campaign launches for the federal election that is coming up in May. Both the Coalition and Labor are promising billions of funding for new transport projects here in NSW, as well as around the country.

Josh Frydenburg and Bill Shorten are both promising big for Transport in NSW – ABC

The incumbent Coalition government has promised that the state’s infrastructure boom will be further boosted with $7.3 billion for new rail and road projects. This includes a major investment of $3.5 billion for stage 1 of the the new North-South Metro line between St Marys and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis via the new Western Sydney Airport. $50 million will be spent from the Urban Congestion Fund for new commuter carparks in Gosford, Panania, Hurstville and Woy Woy. A further $40 million has been set aside for detailed assessments of potential fast rail corridors in NSW, including from Sydney to Wollongong and Sydney to Parkes. $950 million has been earmarked for road upgrades. Most of the funding promised comes from forward estimates and will be delivered over four years.

In their budget reply, Labor criticised the government for only including the money for projects in forward estimates, where it claims they will not actually have to deliver on their promises. As part of the reply, Labor has committed to funding all of its major infrastructure projects in its first budget to be handed down later this year if it wins office. This will include $3 Billion for Sydney Metro West between the CBD and Westmead via the Bays Precinct, Sydney Olympic Park and Parramatta and at least $500 million for an extension of the South West rail link from Leppington to Western Sydney Airport via Bringelly. This will come alongside an investigation into funding for stage 1 of the the new North-South Metro line and promises for funding for a high speed rail planning authority.

It is a very good sign that both parties are providing funding for parts of the state governments major railway infrastructure plan. Both parties are promising funding for a rail line to the new Western Sydney Airport and the Coalition is spending big on reducing congestion. One criticism to come out of the budget on the transport front was the lack of funding for the Sydney Metro West project by the Coalition. This is a project that will likely need federal funding to get off the ground and given it has been brought forward by the state Coalition government, out seems odd that their federal counterparts would not want to support the project.

No matter which party wins the next federal election, it looks like New South Wales will be getting plenty of federal funding for its planned rail projects, leading to better transport outcomes.

Two Years

Today marks two years since Transport NSW Blog was first set up in a library during a lunch break. In those two years that library has since become a fitness centre, but this blog has grown into a wonderful community of people who read, comment on and share the posts about transport that get posted here.

Thank you to all 7000 individual IP addresses that have visited us and for all the 17000 views on 233 posts across over 63363 words that have been published on Transport NSW Blog.

The past year has been crazy. We ran our massively popular and successful NSW State  election coverage, that proved only half as controversial as we expected and we saw even more photos and community contributions than ever before.

We want to see even more of your community created content, even more discussions on transport and loads more buses in the coming year. Let us know what bus route you want to be featured next month or your ideas for what we should post!

To another two years of transport posts, a massive shout out to all my loyal email subscribers and those reading this on their browser.

Conor Magee
Editor – Transport NSW Blog