Sydney Trains (New South Wales)
Sydney Trains (New South Wales)
Sydney Trains is the suburban passenger rail network serving the city of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The network is a hybrid suburban-commuter rail system with a central underground core that covers over 815 km (506 mi) of track and 178 stations over eight lines. It has metro-equivalent train frequencies of every three minutes or better in the underground core, 5–10 minutes at most major stations all day and 15 minutes at most minor stations all day. During weekend services trains are less frequent with headways of upwards of a half-hour on outer stations with frequencies of less than 10 minutes in the underground core.
The network is controlled by the New South Wales Government's transport authority, Transport for NSW, and is part of the authority's Opal card ticketing system. In 2016-17, 340.7 million passenger journeys were made on the network.
Sydney Trains History
In May 2012 the Minister for Transport announced a restructure of RailCorp. This resulted in all suburban services in the Sydney Metropolitan area bounded by Berowra, Emu Plains, Macarthur and Waterfall transferring from RailCorp's CityRail division to Sydney Trains on 1 July 2013. Intercity and Hunter Line services previously operated by CityRail were taken over by NSW TrainLink which was formed as part of the restructure. RailCorp remained as the owner of the network infrastructure.
In April 2013 the Sydney Trains logo was unveiled.
The first expansion of the Sydney suburban network during the Sydney Trains era occurred in 2015 when the South West Rail Link opened between Glenfield and Leppington. Over the coming years, some sections of the network will be transferred to the city’s metro and light rail networks, while sections of the network in south-western and western Sydney are under consideration to be expanded or upgraded.
The line between Chatswood and Epping will form part of Sydney Metro Northwest and will close for conversion from 30 September 2018. The section of line between Sydenham and Bankstown will form part of Sydney Metro City & Southwest. This is due to open in 2024. The section of line between Camellia and Carlingford will form part of the Parramatta Light Rail network. The adjacent section of track between Clyde and Camellia, including Rosehill railway station, will be permanently closed. The light rail is expected to open in 2023.
A new rail link has been announced to serve the under-construction Western Sydney Airport. The line will link with the Western Line at St Marys station. The line is the first stage of a proposed "North-South Link" between Schofields and Macarthur. However, this line is likely to be delivered using metro or light metro technology. In addition, a proposed extension to the South West Rail Link would connect Leppington to the Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis interchange south of the Western Sydney Airport.
Sydney Trains Operations
In July 2013 Howard Collins, the former Chief Operating Officer of London Underground, was appointed as Chief Executive of Sydney Trains. In addition to operating suburban train services, Sydney Trains maintains the New South Wales Metropolitan Rail Area, and maintains all but a handful of operational railway stations in the state. Sydney Trains is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) statutory authority.
Sydney Trains Network
Sydney Trains operates eight suburban lines across metropolitan Sydney.
In conjunction with a new timetable released on 20 October 2013, the Sydney Trains network was reorganised with a new numbering system. The number of lines was reduced from eleven to seven by merging several lines together.
An eighth line was created on 26 November 2017 by splitting the T2 line into two separate lines. T5 services were also modified to no longer travel to and from Campbelltown, instead starting and terminating at Leppington.
Line Colour, Number and Name: T1
Line Name: North Shore, Northern & Western Line
Central and Berowra via Gordon.
Central and Hornsby via Macquarie Park.
Central and Emu Plains, Richmond or Epping via Strathfield.
Line Colour, Number and Name: T2
Line Name: Inner West & Leppington Line
Between: City Circle and Parramatta or Leppington via Granville.
Line Colour, Number and Name: T3
Line Name: Bankstown Line
Between: City Circle and Liverpool or Lidcombe via Bankstown and Sydenham.
Line Colour, Number and Name: T4
Line Name: Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line
Between: Bondi Junction and Waterfall or Cronulla via Central.
Line Colour, Number and Name: T5
Line Name: Cumberland Line
Between: Schofields and Leppington. Limited services continue from Schofields to Richmond.
Line Colour, Number: T6
Line Name: Carlingford Line
Between: Clyde and Carlingford.
Line Colour, Number and Name: T7
Line Name: Olympic Park Line
Between: Lidcombe and Olympic Park. Some services operate between Central and Olympic Park, particularly during special events.
Line Colour, Number and Name: T8
Line Name: Airport & South Line
Between: City Circle and Macarthur via Revesby and either Sydenham (peak) or Airport
The main hub of the Sydney Trains system is Central station, which most lines pass through. Central is also the terminus of most NSW TrainLink lines. After leaving Central, trains coming from the T2 Inner West & Leppington Line, T3 Bankstown Line and T8 Airport & South Line then travel through the City Circle - a ring line beneath the Sydney central business district. After completing the City Circle, these trains pass through Central for a second time and return to the suburbs. The T1 North Shore, Northern & Western Line and T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line pass through the central business district and continue on to other areas of Sydney. The T5 Cumberland Line serves Western Sydney and provides access to the major centre of Parramatta from the south west of the city without requiring a change of trains at Granville. The T6 Carlingford Line and T7 Olympic Park Line are suburban shuttle services.
Sydney Trains NightRide
NightRide bus services established in 1989, replace trains between midnight and 4.30am, leaving the tracks clear of trains for maintenance work. Such bus services mainly stop near stations operating typically at hourly intervals (some routes depart more frequently on weekends). Many services depart the city from bus stops near Town Hall station. NightRide services are contracted to private bus operators and State Transit, and identified by route numbers beginning with "N".
Sydney Trains Fleet
Sydney Trains operates a fleet of double deck electric multiple units. The trainsets are divided into the following classes: S (192 carriages), K (160 carriages), C (56 carriages), T (447 carriages), M (140 carriages) and A (626 carriages). Sydney Trains is also taking delivery of 24 eight-carriage series 2 Waratah trains, which are similar to the original A sets. It also maintains intercity trains for NSW TrainLink. These include H sets, V sets, Hunter railcars and Endeavour railcars.
The Sydney Trains network is divided into three sectors, based around three maintenance depots. Trainsets are identified by target plates, which are exhibited on the front lower nearside of driving carriages. Each target plate includes the letter of the class the set belongs to and the number of the individual set. A-sets do not have a target plate, but instead, have the information written directly on the front of the train. The composition and formations of train sets and the target designations are subject to alteration.
Sydney Trains Maintenance Sectors
Sector Depot Serviced lines Target plate Fleet
1 Mortdale Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Red T
2 Flemington Airport, Inner West & South, Bankstown, Carlingford, Cumberland and Olympic Park Blue S, K, C, V
3 Hornsby North Shore, Northern & Western Black T, K
N/A Eveleigh Airport, Inner West & South, Bankstown (M sets)
Blue Mountains, South Coast and Central Coast Lines, Sector 1 & Sector 3 (H sets)
Green M, H
N/A Auburn All suburban lines except Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra, Cumberland and Carlingford N/A A
Sydney Trains Patronage
The following table lists patronage figures for the network during the corresponding financial year. Australia's financial years start on 1 July and end on 30 June. Major events that affected the number of journeys made or how patronage is measured are included as notes.
Sydney Trains Patronage by Financial Year
Year 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
(millions) 282.2 291.9 322 340.7
2016-17 Sydney Trains patronage by line[n.b. 1]
T1 = 140 279 000
T2 = 85 551 000
T3 = 27 447 000
T4 = 64 629 000
T5 = 5 739 000
T6 = 512 000
T7 = 1 746 000
2016-17 patronage of Transport for NSW's Sydney services by mode
Figures from Opal tap on and tap off data and based on the lines that existed prior to November 2017
Sydney Trains Ticketing and Costs
Sydney Trains currently uses the Opal card ticketing system which was introduced to the network in April 2014. The fare system is fully integrated with the NSW TrainLink Intercity network - trips involving both suburban and intercity services are calculated as a single fare and there is no interchange penalty. Opal is also valid on bus, ferry, and light rail services but separate fares apply for these modes. The following table lists Opal fares for reusable smartcards and single trip tickets as of 3 July 2017:
Train 0–10 km 10–20 km 20–35 km 35–65 km 65 km+
Adult cards (peak) $3.46 $4.30 $4.94 $6.61 $8.50
Adult cards (off-peak) $2.42 $3.01 $3.45 $4.62 $5.95
Other cards (peak) $1.73 $2.15 $2.47 $3.30^ $4.25^
Other cards (off-peak) $1.21 $1.50 $1.72 $2.31 $2.97^
Adult single trip $4.20 $5.20 $6.00 $8.00 $10.20
Child/Youth single trip $2.10 $2.60 $3.00 $4.00 $5.10
^ = $2.50 for Senior/Pensioner cardholders
A surcharge is levied when using the two privately operated stations serving Sydney Airport. As there are no return or periodical options available, reusable Opal cards include a number of caps to reduce the cost for frequent travellers.
The previous ticketing system was introduced in 1992 and was based on magnetic stripe technology. It was shut down on 1 August 2016.
Unlike the ticketing systems of other cities in Australia, most of Sydney Trains' ticket prices are calculated on the distance travelled, and were found to be inexpensive by world standards as at December 2003. However, in October 2012, a report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers found the rail system performed poorly compared to many metro services from 27 other major world cities. Sydney was ranked as the fourth-worst public train system, beating only Los Angeles, São Paulo and Johannesburg for operation efficiency and coverage, while being proven to have the most expensive tickets of any major city public transport system. An update to the same Cities of Opportunity report in 2014 - after the rollout of the Opal card - has shown a drop to the second most expensive system after London. Despite fares having only seen increases since this rollout, the card does afford regular users 'rewards' such as half price train journeys after a certain number of rides and daily cap limits. Since July 2013 customer satisfaction has risen from 78% to over 90% (November 2016) and most Sydneysiders acknowledge "Fixing the Trains" has seen major improvements in cleanliness, reliability, customer service and better information. citation needed
Sydney Trains Overview
Transit Type: Suburban rail
Number of Lines: 8
Number of Stations: 178
Annual Ridership: 340.7 million (2016-17)
Began Operation: 1 July 2013
System Length: 815 km (506 mi)
Track Gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge
Electrification: 1500 V (DC) overhead line