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.

Train Talk Tuesday 6

Over the weekend, Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced more than 200 extra weekly services to the Airport begining later this year as part of the More Trains, More Services program currently being rolled out across the Sydney Trains network.

As part of the changes, there will be more trains out of peak hour including a doubling of trains on weekends from 4 to 8 trains per hour and and increase in frequency late at night from 2 to 4 trains an hour. This means we will see a 7.5 minute frequency from the Airport to City on weekends and a 15 minute frequency late at nights.

These increases have been prompted by a large increase of patronage on the T2 Airport Line with 8.2 million passenger using the stations each year. This is an increase of a million passengers passing through the station gates last year alone. 1.8 million of these passenger are on weekends, a 42% surge in demand.

This is despite the ongoing Airport Access fee of $13.40 each time a passenger passes through the station gates or $25 for a weekly pass. It is understood that the fee will be removed in 2030.

Catching the train is the quickest way from the CBD to the Airport, taking just 10-15 minutes, whilst driving can take up to an hour, with drivers queuing for kilometres on weekends in particular.

Train arriving at Domestic Airport station

Train Talk Tuesday 5

This week on Train Talk Tuesday, we will be looking the the XPT (short for Express Passenger Train) that passengers catch on many of the intercity and interstate rail routes. 

The XPT was introduced to service in 1982 and travels out of Sydney to Melbourne, Brisbane, Dubbo, Grafton and Casino. These services all run at least on a daily basis with some routes having multiple daily services where demand warrants. All services are operated by NSWTrainLink

The XPT power car features a Paxman VP185 12-cylinder, turbo-charged diesel electric engine boasting 1492 kW or 2000 horsepower. There’s a power car at each end of the train, one pulling and the other pushing.

There are 3 traveling classes on XPT trains. Sleeping Class with large seats converting into beds and private toilet and shower facilities, First Class and Economy Class.

The XPT is depoted and maintained at a depot in Sydenham. The entire train is washed with recycled water and then blow dried at least once every 3 weeks.

XPT at Sydney Terminal

Train Talk Tuesday 4

This week for Train Talk Tuesday we will be discussing one aspect of the More Trains, More Services program currently being rolled out by the NSW government and Sydney Trains that will make rail services more frequent and reliable.

The centrepiece of the More Trains, More Services isSydney Growth Trains. 24 eight-car trains have been ordered with an expected delivery starting from late 2018.

These new trains are based on the existing Waratah design with a number of key features and modifications including:

  • Improved air-conditioning with advanced temperature control.
  • High definition customer information screens to provide journey and safety information.
  • Internal and external CCTV and customer help points.
Pictured: Mock Interior of New Trains

Train Talk Tuesday 3

This week we will be talking about the draft timetables obtained by the ABC for the Sydney Trains network from 2018 onwards.

It must be mentioned that these are drafts created in 2014 that the ABC has been fighting in court to obtain and they are obviously out of date and has most likely been discredited by TFNSW. The ABC is still in cour trying to get newer versions of the timetable released.

These potential changes could seee services to many stations cut whilst some other areas would see a boost in services.

On of the main changes that has been talked about is the changes to the T1 North Shore, Northern and Western Line services that have to change due to the closure of the ECRL for conversion to metro. 

Once the ECRL closes, accorindg to these plans, there will be an increase of services on the T1 Northern Line from 10 trains per hour to 12 trains per hour and later 15 trains pe hour once the NWRL opens. This would provide a much needed boost to services in the growing region it services. This however appears to be at the expense of the T1 North Shore Line which may see a temporary decrease in services from 20 to 18 per hour. In addition it appears that the T1 western line would be truncated at St Mary’s with half of all Penrith starters cut short. The other half will become part of the Blue Mountains Line, starting at Emu Plains in the short run, before later moving to Penrith, there will also be changes to stopping patterns of all trains, reducing conflicting movements. This could potentially increase reliability.

Another major change pertains to the south west and the T2 South Line, T3 Bankstown Line and the T5 Cumberland Line. As percently proposed, the draft timetables see all T2 South Line and T5 Cumberland Line services travel to Leppington instead of Campbelltown. However these draft proposals also suggest that half of the current Liverpool starters on the T3 Bankstown line will also travel to Leppington and that the T5 Cumberland Line would be truncated at Parramatta instaed of travelling to Schofields. This would be a significant downgrade for the line.

In addition, the draft proposes that the T2 Inner West line continues beyond it’s current Homebush terminus to Parramatta. This would likely cause the already crowded line to become even more crowded and could cause passenger displacement at inner city stations such as Newtown.

Overall, these draft timetables appear to be just that, drafts. They seem very unlikely to be implemented and rightfully so as they contain significant service cuts and increases to travel times for many commuters.


Pictured: The proposed network and frequencies for 2018 and 2019.

Train Talk Tuesday 2

Today we will we looking at the two Sydney Airport Stations located on Sydney Trains T2 Airport Line.

The two stations are located under the T1 international terminal and under the car park between the T2 Domestic and T3 Qantas Domestic terminal. 

The two stations and the line they are located on opened on 21 May 2000, shortly before the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The stations are operated by the Airport Link Company. These are the only two stations that are privately owned and have access fees.

Trains run every 5-10 minutes daily and travel to Town Hall and Circular Quay via Central in the Citybound direction and to Macarthur via Wolli Creek and Revesby


Pictured: A Waratah (A set) train arriving at the Domestic Station.

Train Talk Tuesday 1

Tuesday means it’s time for Train Talk!

In todays edition we will be taking about Sydney’s Central Station. It opened at it’s current location on Eddy Avenue in Haymarket on August 5th 1906. It initally had 11 platforms and by 1913 had 19 platforms. 

As part of the electrification of the NSW railway network in the 1920s, platforms 16-19 were rebuilt as through platforms and new platforms 20-23 were also built. Platforms 10-15 were electrified at this time, with platforms 1-9 being electrode in 1959. Platforms 24 and 25 were bulit under platforms 23 as part of the ESR project in 1979

It is the busiest station in the Sydney Trains network with nearly 12 million passengers passing through the station a year.

There are 25 platforms with Platform 1 in the west and 25 in the East

Platforms 1-3 accessible via the Grand Concourse service NSW TrainLink Regional Services as well as Great Southern Rail Services.
Platforms 4-15 accessible via the Grand Councourse service NSW TrainLink Intercity services.
Platforms 16-25 accessible via the Northern and Southernconcourses  service Sydney Trains Suburban Services as well as limited NSW TrainLink Services.

Central Station also has a large Coach Terminal, Light Rail Stop and Bus Terminal.


Pictured: Exterior Facade of Central Station from Eddy Avenue


Pictured: Platform 25 at Central Station

Welcome to Transport NSW Blog

Welcome to Transport NSW Blog!

This blog will have at least 3 posts a week relating to Transport in NSW. There will be feature segments that occur every week or month as well as breaking news stories.

Featured Segments

  • Train Talk Tuesday
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