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that these are drafts created in 2014 that the ABC has been fighting in court to obtain and they are obviously out of date and has most likely been discredited by TFNSW.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.

Sydney Buses Route of the Week 3

This weeks route of the week is Route L90 from Wynyard to Palm Beach via Mosman, Brookvale, Mona Vale and Avalon.

The L90 is the longest route in the Sydney Buses network at 42 kilometres long. It service takes anywhere between 80 and 100 minutes to operate according to the timetable, occasionally taking longer due to traffic conditions.

The L90 originated in the 1940s as route 150, and from 1953 onwards route 190. In the early 1990s, a majority of 190 services were renumbered as L90, to designate that it was a limited stops service.

The route is often used by commuters travelling to work on weekdays from the upper Northern Beaches. On weekends, it is popular with people planning to visit locations such as Avalon and Palm Beach. The route is also popular for the sceneray that can be seen from the bus.

The L90 is usually operated exclusively by buses with articulated Custom Coaches CB60 EvoII Bodywork and Volvo B12B chassis. These buses are based at Brookvale and Mova Vale Depots.

Pictured: A CB60EvoII Bodied Volvo B12B operating a L90 to Palm Becah at Wynyard.

Ferry Friday 3

Today we will be looking at the upcoming wharf closures in the Sydney Ferries Network.

There are three upcoming wharf closures that will start in the next few weeks

  • Birchgrove Wharf, closing on Monday 24 April 
  • Milsons Point Wharf, closing on Thursday 27 April
  • Cockatoo Island Wharf, closing on Wednesday 10 May

Birchgrove wharf will be closed due to emergency maintenance work that needs to be completed, these works are unspecified. Services will instead depart from Balmain East Wharf, a 10 minute drive or 45 minute walk. Services will resume on Saturday 6 May

Milsons Point wharf will be closed due to an upgrade to the wharf and its facilities as part of the governments Wharf upgrade program. For approximately 6 months services will instead depart from Jeffery Street Wharf, a 5 minute walk away. 

Cockatoo Island Wharf will be closed due to an upgrade to the wharf and its facilities as part of the governments Wharf upgrade program. For approximately 5 months services will instead stop at Camber Wharf, on the opposite side of the Island a 10 minute walk away. 

Central Coach Stop Changes

There will be changes to the locations that coaches stop at Central Station, starting from Saturday 22 April.

All coaches that currently stop on Eddy Avenue will move their stop to the western forecourt next to the grand concourse.

This is due to works associated with the CBD and South East Light Rail Project

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.

Sydney Buses Route of the Week 2

This week’s ‘Sydney Buses Route of the Week’ is Route 400 from Bondi Junction to Burwood via Eastgardens, Sydney Airport and Rockdale. The 400 is a very long route and popular route, it carries on average 16 000 passengers a day and over 4.5 million passengers a year, the busiest in the Sydney Buses network.

The 400 was introduced on 17 July 1989 and was branded as the Metroline400. It ran every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday. Sunday services were intoduced in 1991. It was initally operated by a fleet of buses with Pressed Metal Corporation bodywork and a Mercedes Benz Chassis out of Randwick and Kingsgrove depot.

Pictured: Original 400 Timetable Cover

From 1993, Route 400 was operated by a fleet of Scania L113TRB 14.5m long buses with Ansair Orana bodywork. These buses were based out of Kingsgrove and Waverley depot. From 2007, Waverley started providing wheelchair accessible buses instead of the 14.5s.

Today the 400 is served by Kingsgrove, Port Botany, Randwick and Waverley depots. It is operated by a mix of 14.5m buses with Ansair bodywork and Scania Chassis and 12.5m buses with Custom Coaches bodywork and Mercedes Benz or Volvo Chassis or Bustech Bodywork and Scania Chassis

The 400 runs the full length of its route very 20 minutes between 5am and 11pm daily and has short running between Bondi Junction and Eastgardens every 5-8 minutes on Weekdays and 10 minutes on weekends.

The 400 is the only Sydney Buses route to serve Sydney Airport. It makes stops at the T1 International Terminal and the T3 Qantas Terminal both on the arrivals level


Pictured: A route 400 service operated by a bus with Bustech Bodywork and Scania Chassis

Post Updated 4 December 2019 to update information 
From 30 September 2018, Route 400 was truncated to operate between Bondi Junction and Sydney Airport only due to the sale of Kingsgrove depot and State Transit’s Inner West operations to Transit Systems. From this date a new Route 420 took over route 400 services between Eastgardens and Burwood. At this time, Port Botany 14.5s replaced Kingsgrove 14.5s in providing high capacity buses on the route.


Private Buses Route of the Month 1

April’s Private Route of the Month takes us to the Hills District and CDC HillsBus Route M61.

The M61 operates between Castle Hill to Queen Victoria Building via Baulkham Hills and the M2 Motorway.  M61 commenced on 20 December 2010 replacing many 610X services that duplicate its route. It initally operated to Railway Square but was curtailed to the QVB on 4 October 2015

The service runs from 6am-Midnight Sunday through Thursday and 24 Hours on Friday and Saturday. It runs every 10 minutes during peak hours, every 15 minutes off peak and every 20 minutes on weekends and at night.

The route is operated by HillsBus depots in Dural, Northmead and Seven Hills. They are operated by a mix of standard 12.5m and 14.5m buses with Volgren Bodywork and Scania Chassis and 12.5m buses with a Double Decker Bustech Bodywork.

Pictured: A HillsBus 14.5m bus with Volgren bodywork and Scalia chassis operating a M61 towards Castle Hill.

 Ferry Friday 2

Welcome to Friday. Today we will be looking at Circular Quay Ferry Terminus.

Circular Quay is Sydney’s largest ferry wharf with 5 wharfs and 10 berths numbered east to west 2a-6b. Wharves 2-5 are used exclusively by Sydney Ferries whilst Wharf 6 is used by private operators including Manly Fast Ferries and Captain Cook Cruises. 

Wharf 2 is used exclusively by F2 Taronga Zoo services, Wharf 3 is used exclusively for F1 Manly services and Wharves 4-6 are used for a variety of routes in the harbour and up the Parramatta River.

Pictured: Circular Quay Ferry Wharf from Above

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

Sydney Buses Route of the Week 1

Our inaugural ‘Sydney Buses Route of the Week’ is Route 370 from Coogee to Leichhardt via UNSW, Green Square, Newtown and Glebe.

The 370 is the bus route that started my whole obsession with Transport. I used to catch the 3:05pm 370 every Thursday to go swimming and it was the highlight of my whole week.

The 370 began as a Monday to Friday 7am to 7pm service between Leichhardt Bus Depot and Coogee Beach on March 1 1999. This was later extended to include weekend services. From July 2002, the western terminus was changed from Leichhardt Bus Depot to Leichhardt Marketplace, providing better access to the centre of Leichhardt. Over time as the route became more and more popular, more services were introduced. As of the October 2013 timetable revision, the 370 was recategorised from a daytime only service to a full time service.

The 370 has been described by multiple sources as Sydney’s worst bus route for its lack of relability and its tendency to have bus bunching, where multiple services show up at the same time. Official Transport for NSW data shows the 370 as the bus route with the lowest percentage of on time trips across Sydney.

The service is operated by Leichhardt and Randwick bus depots with 12.5m buses. The buses are usually Ansair or Custom Coaches bodywork with a Mercedes Benz, Scania or Volvo chassis.¹

The service takes between 47 and 72 minutes to operate depending on the time of day and operates between 5:30am and Midnight daily, with a 10 minute frequency in peak hours, 20 minutes off peak and 30 minutes at night and on weekends. On weekends during summer, there are frequent short runnings between Coogee and Newtown.



Post updated 4 December 2019 to fix grammatical errors and add footnote. 

Post updated 14 September 2018 to add additional information

¹ Since the original post, Leichhardt Depot has been sold to Transit Systems alongside State Transit’s Inner West operations. Route 370 was categorised as an Eastern Suburbs route and as such remained under State Transit operation. Since July 1 2018, all 370 services have been operated by Randwick Depot.