Hunter Line

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This article is about the NSW TrainLink service. For the physical railway line, see Main Northern railway line. For the line used by hunters, see trapline.
Hunter Line Logo.png
CityRail-Hunter-Railcar-2754.jpg
Overview
Service type Intercity rail
Locale Hunter Region, New South Wales
Current operator(s) NSW TrainLink
Route
Start Hamilton
Stops 28
End Scone, Dungog
Line used Newcastle
Main Northern
North Coast
Technical
Rolling stock Endeavour & Hunter & railcars
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Track owner(s) RailCorp

The Hunter Line is a NSW TrainLink passenger train service that operates from Hamilton to Dungog and Scone in the New South Wales Hunter Region. It operates on the Newcastle, Main North and North Coast lines.

History and features[edit]

Hunter Line services operate from Hamilton station on the Newcastle branch line between Newcastle and Islington Junction, the Main North line between Islington Junction and Scone, the North Coast line between Maitland and Dungog.

The Main North line, formerly known as the Great Northern Railway (GNR), was the original mainline between Sydney and Brisbane. This line, which ran via Armidale and required a change of train due to the break-of-gauge at Wallangarra, was opened to East Maitland in 1857[1] and Maitland in 1858. It reached Singleton in 1863, Muswellbrook in 1869, and Scone in 1871.

The GNR was then extended beyond Scone to West Tamworth in 1878, Armidale in 1883, and reached the Queensland border at Wallangarra in 1888. The North Coast line to Brisbane, via the North Coast was opened in stages between 1905 and 1930, but a ferry carried trains across the Clarence River until the Grafton Bridge was completed in 1932. The Newcastle rail network remained independent of the main network radiating from Sydney until 1889, when the line between Sydney and Newcastle was completed with the opening of the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge. Thus Newcastle was connected by rail with Wallangarra before it was connected with Sydney, such was the difficulty and expense of reaching and bridging the Hawkesbury River.

Between Islington Junction and Maitland, there is a four track section where the line runs parallel to the Newcastle coal lines, which serve a number of collieries along the route.

Services[edit]

Services run regularly between Hamilton and Telarah, with infrequent services to Dungog, Muswellbrook and Scone.[2] Services are operated by Endeavour and Hunter railcars.

Until 2007, 620/720 class railcars operated the service. The line was the last in Australia to have a regular steam hauled passenger service. The final service was hauled from Newcastle to Singleton on 24 July 1971 by 3246.[3] Diesel locomotive hauled services operated until replaced by 620/720 and 660/760 class railcars in 1984.

The line was truncated to terminate at Hamilton from 5 January 2015.[4] It is to be extended to Wickham Transport Interchange when this opens.

Trains that service the line have two carriages, while some peak hour services have four carriages. There are no quiet carriages on these trains.

Stations[edit]

Name of Station Code Serving Suburbs Pattern stops at this station Connections
Hunter Lines
Hamilton HMN Hamilton, Islington, Tighes Hill Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Central Coast & Newcastle Line
Waratah WTH Waratah, Georgetown, Mayfield, Mayfield East Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Warabrook
(University)
WBK Warabrook, Callaghan Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Sandgate SDG Sandgate Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Hexham HXM Hexham Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Tarro TRJ Tarro Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Beresfield BLD Beresfield, Woodberry Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Thornton THO Thornton Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Metford MFD Metford Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Victoria Street VST East Maitland Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
East Maitland EAM East Maitland, Pitnacree, Tenambit Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
High Street HGH South Maitland, Maitland Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Maitland MTL Maitland Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Telarah TLR Telarah, Rutherford Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Mindaribba MNB Mindaribba Bullet-red.png
Paterson PTR Paterson Bullet-red.png
Martins Creek MCR Martins Creek Bullet-red.png
Hilldale HIL Hilldale Bullet-red.png
Wallarobba WLB Wallarobba Bullet-red.png
Wirragulla WGL Wirragulla Bullet-red.png
Dungog DGG Dungog Bullet-red.png
Lochinvar LCV Lochinvar Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Greta GTA Greta, North Rothbury Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Branxton BNX Branxton, East Branxton Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Singleton SIX Singleton Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Muswellbrook MBK Muswellbrook Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Aberdeen ADM Aberdeen Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Scone NSO Scone Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png

All stations on this line are within MyMulti zone 3. Stations between Newcastle and Telarah are also within the Green Newcastle TravelPass zone, which remained available until 20 November 2014, despite the replacement of the Sydney TravelPass system with the MyMulti ticket. It was withdrawn in conjunction with the Newcastle Buses & Ferries Opal card rollout.[5]

Stopping patterns[edit]

  • Pattern 1: Hamilton, all to Telarah and vice versa (peak and off-peak).
  • Pattern 2: Hamilton, all to Warabrook, then Beresfield, Thornton, Metford, Victoria Street, Maitland and Telarah and vice versa (peak and off-peak – weekdays only).
  • Pattern 3: Hamilton all to Maitland and vice versa (one afternoon off-peak service on weekdays, two services on weekends).
  • Pattern 4: Hamilton, all to Warabrook, then Beresfield, Thornton, Metford, Victoria Street, Maitland, Telarah, Paterson and all stations to Dungog and vice versa (peak and off-peak, 5 services a day on weekdays, 3 services a day on Saturdays, 2 services a day on Sundays).
  • Pattern 5: Hamilton, all to Warabrook, then Beresfield, Thornton, Metford, Victoria Street, Maitland, and all stations to Scone and vice versa (peak and off-peak, 2 services (1 afternoon peak hour, 1 evening peak hour) on weekdays, 1 evening service on weekends).
  • Pattern 6: Hamilton, all to Scone and vice versa (1 early morning service on weekdays and weekends).
  • Pattern 7: Hamilton, all to Warabrook, then Beresfield, Thornton, Metford, Victoria Street, Maitland and all stations to Muswellbrook and vice versa (one mid-morning off-peak service on weekdays only).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Great Northern Railway Newcastle to Maitland 150 Years On", Walters, Chris Australian Railway History March 2007 pp83-113
  2. ^ "Hunter line timetable" (PDF). NSW Trainlink. 18 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Inquiry in Planning Process in Newcastle and the Broader Hunter Region NSW Parliament 23 October 2014
  4. ^ Upcoming transport changes in Newcastle Transport Info NSW 8 December 2014
  5. ^ Getting on with modernising public transport as 11 paper tickets in Newcastle retired Transport for NSW 31 October 2014