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Additional Train Services Between Sydney and Canberra

By Mathman - 16 November 2009 19

CountryLink is adding additional train services to the Sydney-Canberra-Sydney route from 6 December 2009.

From that date, morning and midday services will run every day, while the evening service will run in each direction on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

This represents an additional eight services per week.

CountryLink coach services between Canberra and Eden will also run daily from 6 December.

What’s Your opinion?


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19 Responses to
Additional Train Services Between Sydney and Canberra
georgesgenitals 6:57 pm 17 Nov 09

Why is it called a coach? It’s a bus, and it sucks.

Mr Waffle 4:36 pm 17 Nov 09

I used to catch the train to Sydney… more than once it’s been delayed half an hour+ coming back. The last time, we didn’t arrive till 11:30pm (an hour late). I needed to catch a taxi home, and surprise surprise, there weren’t any taxis waiting, and only the occasional taxi appeared to take over a dozen people who needed one. I ended up getting home about 1am.

Went to Sydney last week on the bus ($15/ticket), bus was only half full both there and back, so seat to myself. Watched movies on my laptop to pass the time, barely even noticed the 3 hours go by. Definitely going with the bus from now on…

Of course, if we had a fast train (eg an hour to Sydney), I’d take that in a heartbeat.

Trev 3:43 pm 17 Nov 09

Sometimes the coach timetables are indicative only. At least the train is usually on time, if consistently slow. And I hate how people push in front of you as you queue to board the coach!!
Coaches on the other hand are often late and almost always cramped beyond belief. Several of my coach trips have taken well in excess of the three and a quarter hours indicated in the timetable. When you experience traffic snarls and breakdowns on the coach your patience is tested to the limit, considering how tightly you’ve been crammed in.
I’ve had serious delays on the train, too, but never between Canberra and Sydney. In one instance while travelling on a NSW electric train, the train actually ran over someone. We were stranded for several hours, but at least we could get up and move around inside the carriage.
I think the extra fare is worth it, especially when you pay the extra $10 or so to sit in First Class away from the plebs! You can’t do that on the coach!

sezzle 9:46 am 17 Nov 09

Australian Railway Historical Society

sepi 9:27 am 17 Nov 09

ARHS is the Historic Train Society. They do trains up to Sydney for big musicals, and trains to Bungendore for the day etc. they serve food and you get to stay in a sleeper carriage. They are staffed by older volunteers though, so the food service sometimes takes a while.

It is a great thing to do though – great fun, and you arrive in Sydney feeling as if you’ve just stepped out of your loungeroom, rather than stepping off the bus in a feral mood and vowing never to suffer that again.

Pandy 7:31 am 17 Nov 09

MrPC, what is an ARHS? White man speaks with………….

Mr Evil 11:15 pm 16 Nov 09

Well, Nathan is slapping his party into shape, so maybe he’ll fix State Wail next?

MrPC 10:46 pm 16 Nov 09

Upgrade the tracks? LOL!

The entire route needs to be axed. A new route can go from Canberra to Goulburn (or maybe Gunning) due north, which would cut an hour off the trip. They also need to do massive realignments from Douglas Park to Marulan. Keep the current route for local trains and build an express route vaguely following the Hume Highway for Countrylink and Freight.

If the Xploders could do their rated speed of 145km/h on a good alignment, you’d be in Sydney in a touch over two hours. The three sets of Xploder carriages they currently have assigned to Canberra could run a service every two hours in each direction.

You’d need to keep the section from Goulburn to Tarago open for Sydney’s garbage trains, but south of Tarago can then be mothballed.

I-filed 9:36 pm 16 Nov 09

It’s quite realistic to head up to Sydney and back by train if you have an afternoon appointment. Catch up on lots of work on a laptop till 11, 7 hours in Sydney and then back. Quite feasible – and much less stressful than the bus, and good for the environment. Thumbs up to Countrylink. It perhaps wasn’t clear from the timetable, though, how many of the services are actually trains …

indigoid 9:03 pm 16 Nov 09

Curiouser and interestinger. This could potentially do nice things to my CanberraSydney commuting budget — currently travelling one way each week. Keeping a cheaper, non-highway-touring-oriented bike in each city would save beans and let me get some work done on the train. Wouldn’t have to worry about being too tired to trek down the highway either. This has real potential

bd84 8:41 pm 16 Nov 09

$15 for a bus that takes 3 hours against $48 for a trip almost 4.5 hours. My mother recently took the train to Sydney, she said she wouldn’t again due to how long it took and the scenery/paddocks weren’t that good to look at for that long.

I did hear recently it would be much quicker if the NSW Government upgraded the tracks between here and Goulburn so the trains could do a proper speed. Given their track record with anything, there’s no chance of that happening.

MrPC 8:39 pm 16 Nov 09

The Buffet service is very much still there. There’s one serving of a hot meal on board, hot and cold snacks, hot and cold beverages.

The new set up means you can take the train up in the morning and back in the evening four days a week. Not that I know why you’d want to.

sepi 8:08 pm 16 Nov 09

Definitely worth 12.00. You can stand up and walk the length of the train to stretch your legs. Toilets in every carriage. I don’t know if they still have the little shop selling chocs and drinks.

You are more likely to find some empty seats to sit in. You will feel less sick reading the paper. The rural scenery is a heap better than the bus view of the freeway.

Does this new set-up mean you can now train up in the morning and back in the evening again?

MrPC 8:07 pm 16 Nov 09

I’ve taken both. The discounted fares on the bus are substantially cheaper than the train, but the train is relaxing, not nearly as crowded/cramped (even when the train is full), and you get a half decent meal, snack and beverage (inc licensed) service in the buffet car.

The scenery between Queanbeyan and the garbage sidings at Tarago is very pleasant. The train winds its way through the Molonglo Gorge at about 40km/h. At Tarago the speed goes up a level. At Goulburn it goes up another level. It’s a fairly quick run from there on.

The buses are a cattle operation in comparison. That lot packs you in with no personal space whatsoever, seal the door, and don’t open it for over three hours until you reach the other end.

Speaking of trains, I just booked a sleeping berth on the ARHS ACT New Years Eve trip to Sydney. It leaves 10am on the 31st getting to Sydney at 5pm, with lunch and snacks and an evening meal as you arrive into Sydney. You do your thing in Sydney, and then reboard the train anytime up until 2am, with champers. The train leaves at 2am, you retire to your sleeping berth, there’s breakfast served somewhere around Tarago at about 8am, and the train arrives in Canberra around 10am.

It’s pricey but it really seems worth it. I haven’t been in a sleeping berth since about 2003, and I haven’t been in a good one (i.e. Non-XPT) since 2000, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s great to be able to go to sleep in one city and wake up as you approach another, and still have the option to take a shower and grab a good meal on board.

canbaron 7:03 pm 16 Nov 09

Price wise, it seems o.k. too – $48 for the train v. $36 or so for the bus. Anyone taken both? Worth the extra $12?

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