NSW TrainLink

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NSW TrainLink
NSW Trainlink Hop Logo
NSW TrainLink V16.JPG
V set at Sydney Central in July 2013
Locale Regional New South Wales
Intercity services
Regional services
Transit type Intercity and regional rail
Annual ridership 34.7 million (2013/14)
Website www.nswtrainlink.info
Began operation 1 July 2013
Operator(s) Transport for New South Wales
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 1,500V (DC) overhead line

NSW TrainLink is an Australian train operator. It is owned by the Government of New South Wales and operates all passenger rail services outside of metropolitan Sydney. It is a subsidiary of Transport for New South Wales.[1][2]


In May 2012 the Minister for Transport announced a restructure of RailCorp.[3][4][5][6]

The NSW TrainLink brand was introduced on 1 July 2013 to coincide with NSW Trains taking over all of CountryLink's services and CityRail's non-suburban services.

NSW Trains also took responsibility from RailCorp for granting access to and maintaining the Main Northern line from Berowra to Newcastle, the Main Western line from Emu Plains to Bowenfels and the Illawarra line from Waterfall to Bomaderry.

Quiet carriages[edit]

Quiet carriages are designated carriages where noise made by passengers are requested to be kept to a minimum. Passengers are asked to place mobile phones on silent, move carriages in order to have a conversation with another passenger and use headphones when listening to music.[7]

Quiet carriages are on Intercity services are located in four carriages on 8 car sets, two carriages on 4 car sets and one carriage on two car sets.[8]

Quiet carriages were first introduced on the Central Coast & Newcastle Line in early 2012 as a three month trial. On 1 September 2012 quiet carriages were permanently introduced and expanded to all intercity services operating on the Blue Mountains and South Coast lines.[7] As of 2013, Quiet Carriages operate on the entire NSW TrainLink intercity network.


The NSW TrainLink network is divided into two tiers. Intercity lines form part of the Greater Sydney public transport network. Ticketing uses the MyZone and Opal systems and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Regional lines use a separate, reserved seat ticketing system. In the year ended 30 June 2014, 32.9 million passenger journeys were made on intercity services and 1.8 million journeys on regional services.[9]

Intercity lines[edit]

NSW TrainLink Intercity network

The intercity lines stretch over 200 kilometres from Sydney, as far north as Dungog, as far north-west as Scone, as far west as Bathurst, as far south-west as Goulburn and as far south as Bomaderry.

Electric lines extend from Sydney north to Hamilton (Newcastle), west to Lithgow and south to Port Kembla and Kiama. Most electric trains terminate at Central, the hub of the NSW TrainLink, but local services also run in the Newcastle and Wollongong areas.

Diesel trains serve the more remote or less populated sections of the intercity network. Hunter line services operate from the terminus station at Newcastle to Telarah with some extending to Dungog and Scone. Southern Highlands trains connect Moss Vale to the southern Sydney suburb of Campbelltown, where a change to a connecting Sydney Trains service is generally required to reach the centre of Sydney - though one off-peak service operates directly to Central. A few services continue south from Moss Vale to Goulburn. Diesel services also operate on the South Coast Line between Bomaderry and Kiama, where connecting electric services operate to Sydney.

Train services[edit]

Line colour and name Between Electric services
CityRailinteryellow.png Blue Mountains Central a and Lithgow, with limited services to Bathurst To Lithgow
CityRailinterred.png Central Coast & Newcastle Central and Hamilton (Newcastle) Yes
NSW TrainLink - South Coast Line Graphic.png South Coast Line Central b and Bomaderry or Port Kembla To Kiama and Port Kembla
CityRailintergreen.png Southern Highlands Campbelltown c and Moss Vale, with limited services to Goulburn No
CityRailhunter.png Hunter Line Hamilton (Newcastle) and Telarah, with limited services to Dungog or Scone No
^a Some peak services on the Blue Mountains Line run to/from Hornsby
^b Some peak services and most weekend services on the South Coast Line run to/from Bondi Junction
^c Some peak services on the Southern Highlands Line run to/from Central. At other times, a change of train is required at Campbelltown or Macarthur

Bus and coach services[edit]

NSW TrainLink operates several bus routes along corridors where the railway line has been closed to passengers or as a supplement to rail services. These bus services are operated by private sector bus companies contracted by NSW TrainLink.

Line colour and name Between
CityRailbusblue.png South Coast line Wollongong to Moss Vale/Bundanoon via Robertson (r)
CityRailbusgreen.png Southern Highlands line Moss Vale to Goulburn via Marulan
CityRailbusgreen.png Southern Highlands line Picton to Bowral via Thirlmere on weekdays only
^(r) Seat reservations required

Regional lines[edit]

NSW TrainLink Regional network (highlighted in blue)

NSW TrainLink operates passenger services throughout New South Wales and interstate to Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne. All rail services feature diesel rolling stock.

North Coast[edit]

The North Coast region covers the North Coast, Northern Rivers and South East Queensland regions. Accordingly, the Government of Queensland makes a contribution to the provision of these services. Services run along the Main North and North Coast lines from Sydney Central station to Roma Street station in Brisbane.[10]

Principal stations served by XPT trains are:

Cities and towns served by NSW TrainLink coaches connecting off North Coast services include: Tea Gardens, Forster, Port Macquarie, Yamba, Moree, Alstonville, Lismore, Ballina, Byron Bay, Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads and Surfers Paradise.

North Western[edit]

The North West region covers the state's Hunter, Northern Tablelands and North West regions. Services run along the Main North line from Sydney Central station to Werris Creek where the service divides for Armidale and Moree.[11]

Principal stations served by Xplorer trains are:

Cities and towns served by NSW TrainLink coaches connecting off North Western services include: Wee Waa, Inverell, Grafton, Glen Innes and Tenterfield.


The Western region covers the Central Tablelands and Western regions. Services run along the Main Western line from Sydney Central station to Dubbo and the Broken Hill line to Broken Hill.[12]

Principal stations served by XPT trains are:

Principal stations served by Xplorer trains are:

Cities and towns served by NSW TrainLink coaches connecting off Southern services include: Oberon, Mudgee, Baradine, Cowra, Grenfell, Forbes, Parkes, Condobolin, Lightning Ridge Brewarrina, Bourke, Warren and Broken Hill.


The Southern region covers the state's Illawarra, South Coast, Snowy Mountains, South West Slopes, Southern Tablelands, Riverina and Sunraysia regions plus the Australian Capital Territory and parts of Victoria. Accordingly the Government of Victoria (though not the ACT Government) makes a contribution to the provision of these services. Services run along the Main South line from Sydney Central station to Albury before continuing on the North East line to Southern Cross station in Melbourne, with the line to Canberra branching off south of Goulburn and the line to Griffith at Junee.[13]

Principal stations served by XPT trains are:

Principal stations served by Xplorer trains are:

Cities and towns served by NSW TrainLink coaches connecting off Southern services include: Wollongong, Bombala, Eden, Tumbarumba, Bathurst, Dubbo, Condobolin, Griffith, Mildura and Echuca.

Coach services[edit]

NSW TrainLink continued with the existing contracts entered into by CityRail and CountryLink for the provision of coach services.

On 1 July 2014, the Lithgow to Gulgong, Coonabarabran, Baradine services passed from Greyhound Australia to Ogden's Coaches.[14]

In July 2014, Transport NSW commenced the re-tendering process for most of the routes with the previous 24 contracts reorganised into 18 contracts. The new contracts commenced on 1 January 2015 for a five-year period, with an option to extend for three years if performance criteria is met.[14][15]

The full list of coach operators providing services as at January 2015 was:[14]

Operator Services
Australia Wide Coaches Lithgow to Bathurst, Orange & Parkes
Berrima Coaches Picton to Bowral +
Busways Wauchope to Port Macquarie
Dyson Group Wagga Wagga to Griffith
Cootamundra to Tumbarumba
Cootamundra to Bathurst/Dubbo
Parkes to Condobolin
Hunter Valley Buses Fassifern to Toronto +
Loader's Coaches Lithgow to Grenfell
Oberon Bus Company Mount Victoria to Oberon
Ogden's Coaches Lithgow to Gulgong, Coonabarabran & Baradine
Oxley Explorer Armidale to Tenterfield
Port Stephens Coaches Broadmeadow to Taree
Premier Shoalhaven Kiama to Bomaderry (late night) +
Moss Vale to Bundanoon/Goulburn +
G&J Purtill Cootamundra to Condobolin
Cootamundra to Mildura
Roadcoach Moss Vale to Wollongong
Queanbeyan to Cootamundra
Sunstate Coaches Grafton to Byron Bay +
Casino to Tweed Heads +
Casino to Surfers Paradise +
Casino to Brisbane +
Swan Hill Bus Lines Lithgow to Dubbo & Nyngan
Dubbo to Lightning Ridge
Dubbo to Bourke
Dubbo to Broken Hill
Coolabah to Brewarrina
Symes Coaches Tamworth/Armidale to Inverell
Moree to Grafton
Transborder Express Canberra to Bombala & Eden
Wolters Bus & Coach Service Narrabri to Wee Waa & Burren Junction +

+ not included in January 2015 re-tendering process


Main article: NSW TrainLink fleet

The NSW TrainLink fleet consists of both diesel and electric traction, with the oldest of the fleet being the V sets and the youngest being the H sets. The Tangaras, and Oscars are shared with Sydney Trains. The entire NSW Trainlink fleet is maintained by Sydney Trains either directly or via a Sydney Trains contract with a private maintenance company.

Class Image Type Top speed Carriage Numbers Routes operated Built
km/h mph
Endeavour Railcar Endeavour railcar at Newcastle railway station, NSW.JPG Diesel Multiple Unit 145 90 28 Hunter
South Coast (Bomaderry to Kiama)
Blue Mountains (Bathurst service)
Southern Highlands
H Set Oscar H11-scarborough.jpg Electric Multiple Unit 130 81 221 (Shared with Sydney Trains) Central Coast & Newcastle
South Coast
Blue Mountains (up to Springwood)
Hunter Railcar CityRail-Hunter-Railcar-2754.jpg Diesel Multiple Unit 145 90 14 Hunter 2006
T Set Tangara CityRail-Tangara-T33-ext.jpg Electric Multiple Unit 115 72 447 (Shared with Sydney Trains) Blue Mountains
South Coast
V Set NSW TrainLink V16.JPG Electric Multiple Unit 115 72 196 Central Coast & Newcastle
Blue Mountains
Xplorer NSW TrainLink Xplorer at Central Station.jpg Diesel Multiple Unit 145 90 23 North Western
Southern (to Canberra and Griffith)
Western (to Broken Hill)
XPT CountryLink XPT 2018 at Junee.jpg Diesel locomotive &
Passenger carriage
160 99 19 Power cars
60 passenger carriages
North Coast
Southern (to Melbourne)
Western (to Dubbo)

Future trains[edit]

In May 2014, the NSW Government announced its intention to purchase approximately 520 new carriages for the NSW TrainLink intercity network expected to begin service in 2019. These electric trains will replace the V sets and allow at least some H sets to be transferred to Sydney Trains services.[16][17]

In 2015, the NSW Government allocated $7.5 million to start planning for a new fleet of diesel trains to replace the XPTs.[18]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Annual Report 30 June 2012 RailCorp
  2. ^ About the Reform NSW Trains
  3. ^ "RailCorp job cuts first of many: unions". Sydney Morning Herald. 15 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Ruthless RailCorp reforms planned as middle management axed". Daily Telegraph (Sydney). 15 May 2012.
  5. ^ Corporate Plan 2012/13 RailCorp
  6. ^ "700 jobs to go as RailCorp gets the axe". Daily Telegraph (Sydney). 16 November 2012.
  7. ^ a b Quiet carriages now permanent on Blue Mountains and South Coast intercity services Sydney Trains
  8. ^ Quiet carriages to expand on South Coast line Illawarra Mercury 3 July 2013
  9. ^ "Transport for NSW 2013/14 Annual Report" (PDF). Transport for NSW. p. 32. 
  10. ^ "North Coast timetable" (PDF). NSW Trainlink. 20 October 2013 [Updated 6 April 2014]. 
  11. ^ "North West timetable" (PDF). NSW Trainlink. 20 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "Western timetable" (PDF). NSW Trainlink. 20 October 2013 [Updated 15 June 2013]. 
  13. ^ "Southern timetable" (PDF). NSW Trainlink. 20 October 2013 [Updated 30 June 2014]. 
  14. ^ a b c "New NSW TrainLink Rural Coach Service Contracts" Australian Bus issue 68 March 2015 page 20
  15. ^ Provision of NSW Rural Coach Services NSW eTendering 11 July 2014
  16. ^ NSW Government to invest $2.8 billion in new intercity trains, making all trains air-conditioned Transport for New South Wales 8 May 2014
  17. ^ Intercity Fleet Program Transport for New South Wales
  18. ^ "Budget delivers $9 billion for public transport services and infrastructure". Transport for NSW. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015.