Rail map of South-Eastern Australia
Rail map of Victoria, South Australia and Southern New South WalesThe south-eastern corner of Australia's mainland is the most populous part of the nation. The major cities of Sydney, Melbourne,Canberra and Adelaide are here and there are many significant provincial cities and towns. Long distance passenger rail services link these major cities, and frequent trains link Melbourne and Sydney to provincial cities and rural areas in New South Wales and Victoria. Suburban train networks serve the suburbs of Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. Melbourne has one of the world's most extensive electric street tramway networks, whilst both Adelaide and Sydney each have a light rail line.
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Sydney to Melbourne XPT trains
Countrylink XPTs (Xpress Passenger Trains) connect Sydney and Melbourne twice daily each way running through some of Australia's heartland countryside along the way. These trains have first class and economy class seating, and twin-bunk sleeping berth cabins for overnight travel. An on-board cafe bar sells hot takeaway meals. Sit back, relax, and watch the countryside roll by as the XPT takes you from the heart of Sydney to downtown Melbourne stopping at Goulburn, Wagga Wagga, Albury and other towns along the way.
Schedule: Trains depart every morning and every evening from Sydney Central Station and from Melbourne's Southern Cross station for the ten and a half hour journey. The morning trains travel during the day and arrive at their destinations in the early evening. The evening departures travel through the night and arrive early the following morning. Advance reservations are required.
The Indian Pacific (Sydney to Adelaide and Perth)
Great Southern Railways' Indian Pacific train is one of the great railway journeys of the world. A real dinosaur of a train, it's not speedy but it is luxurious. There are deluxe, first and economy class sleeping berths, seating, dining cars, buffets, and lounge cars. Settle in and watch some of Australia's most varied scenery roll past your window. Soon after leaving Sydney the Indian Pacific climbs the majestic Blue Mountains. As you travel further West you pass through the rolling hill and plains of the NSW Central West. Further west you get to experience your first glimpses of Australia's Outback. Then you pass through the historic Outback Mining town of Broken Hill and across the State border into South Australia and on into the elegant city of Adelaide. After arriving in Adelaide, the Indian Pacific continues its journey right across the continent to Perth.
Schedule: The Indian Pacific departs Sydney Central Station and Adelaide Parklands Terminal once weekly (or twice weekly in peak season) for the 24 hour journey. You can even take you car on board with you! Advance reservations are essential for all travel on the Indian Pacific.
"The Overland" Melbourne to Adelaide
Great Southern Railways' Overland train was Australia's first intercapital train. The name proudly announces its inland route between Melbourne and Adelaide to contrast with the sea journey earlier travellers endured. The Overland is today a thoroughly modern train providing a choice of first and economy class seats and an onboard cafeteria. This train is simply the most relaxing way to travel between Melbourne and Adelaide. After leaving Melbourne you will pass through Geelong, then nearby the majestic Grampian Ranges before skirting the arid Mallee region. As you approach Adelaide you cross the mighty Murray River and enter the lush Mount Lofty ranges. You will get spectacular views of the elegant city of Adelaide and the ocean as you descend from the hills before arriving at Adelaide Parklands Terminal.
Schedule: The Overland departs Melbourne Southern Cross Station and Adelaide Parklands Terminal three times weekly in the early morning for the 10 hour daytime journey before arriving at your destination in the late afternoon. You can even take your car on board with you! Advance reservations are essential for travel on The Overland.
Canberra Xplorer train
Countrylink's Canberra Xplorer trains connect Sydney and Canberra three times each day. Departing from Sydney Central station, trains stop at Campbelltown, Moss Vale, Goulburn, Queanbeyan and other towns before arriving at Canberra Railway station (Kingston). Xplorer trains are comfortable and speedy. They have first and economy class seats and an on-board buffet serving hot meals and refreshments. Sit back and watch the delightful southern highlands scenery roll by as you travel to Canberra in the most relaxing way possible. Don't miss the Molonglo Gorge as you near Queanbeyan - this spectacular sight can be seen only from the train.
Schedule: Xplorer trains depart Sydney Central station early every morning, around noon and in the early evening every day for the four and a half hour journey to Canberra. From Canberra, trains depart early morning and just before noon and early evening each day. Advance reservations are essential for travel on the Canberra Xplorer.
Countrylink's Dubbo XPT (Xpress Passenger Train) connects Sydney with Bathurst, Orange, Wellington, Dubbo and towns in Central Western New South Wales. The XPT gives you the choice of Economy and First class accommodation, and there is an on-board buffet that sells hot meals. Sit back and relax as you depart Sydney Central station and glide through the western suburbs before climbing the stunning Blue Mountains. Your train travels the Great Western Railway following the path blazed by explorers Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson. You will call at the historic inland city of Bathurst, then further west to Orange and on to the terminus at Dubbo - the heart of Western Plains. Onward bus connections are available to Broken Hill, Bourke, Lightning Ridge and Parkes.
Schedule: The Dubbo XPT departs Sydney Central Cross Station early every morning and picks up passengers at major stations in Western Sydney and arrives in Dubbo early afternoon. It then departs Dubbo on the return journey early every afternoon and arrives back in Sydney late in the evening. Advance reservations are essential for travel on the Dubbo XPT.
Broken Hill Outback Xplorer train
Countrylink's Broken Hill Outback Xplorer is the most scenic way to travel from Sydney to Broken Hill - the "Silver City". Xplorer trains are comfortable and speedy. They have first and economy class seats and an on-board buffet serving hot meals and refreshments. Sit back and watch as the spectacular Blue Mountains give way to the Western Plains then the magnificent red outback as you approach Broken Hill. This trip really does showcase more varied landscapes than you would expect.
Schedule: The Broken Hill Outback Xplorer train departs only once each week - leaving Sydney Central station early every Monday morning, travelling all through the day before arriving in Broken Hill in the early evening. Then very early Tuesday morning it departs Broken Hill for the retrun journey, arriving at Sydney Central station late Tuesday evening. Advance reservations are essential for the Broken Hill Outback Xplorer train.
Blue Mountains line
The Blue Mountains are connected to Sydney by frequent electric Cityrail trains from Sydney Central Station. Sydney's double-deck electric interurban trains glide you through Sydney's western suburbs then they climb the impressive Blue Mountains to the historic mountain honeymoon resort town of Katoomba and the coal mining city of Lithgow. This is not only a busy commuter line, it is one of the world's most spectacularly scenic railways. It is very easy to take a day return trip from Sydney to Katoomba or any Blue Mountains town by taking the train.
Schedule:Trains depart hourly or more frequently from Sydney Central station, then pick up at Strathfield, Parramatta, Blacktown and Penrith, then stop all stations to Valley Heights, Katoomba, Mount Victoria or Lithgow. Early each morning one train departs Bathurst for the journey to Sydney. This train departs Sydney for the return journey to Bathurst late each afternoon. The journey from Sydney to Katoomba takes about two hours, from Sydney to Lithgow takes about three hours and to Bathurst a little under four hours. Standard Cityrail fares apply on Blue Mountains trains. Reservations are not necessary - just buy your ticket at the station.
South Coast and Illawarra line
Wollongong, the Illawarra and NSW South Coast are connected to Sydney by frequent Cityrail electric trains from Sydney Central Station. Sydney's double-deck electric interurban trains glide you through Sydney's southern suburbs then over the Illawarra escarp before hugging the cliff-face all the way to Wollongong. There are spectacular ocean views for much of the journey. After Wollongong, trains continue either to the industrial city of Port Kembla, or they continue further South through lush dairy country to Kiama. Change trains at Kiama to continue further South to the terminus at Bomaderry (Nowra). Some trains continue beyond Sydney Central station through to Bondi Junction. The South Coast Line is ideal for day return trips from Sydney.
Schedule:Trains depart hourly or more frequently from Sydney Central station and travel to Wollongong, Port Kembla, Dapto or Kiama. Shuttle trains operate between Kiama and Bomaderry connecting with electric trains to and from Sydney. The journey from Sydney to Wollongong takes about 90 minutes, Port Kembla about 110 minutes and Kiama about 145 minutes. The shuttle from Kiama to Bomaderry takes about 25 minutes. Standard Cityrail fares apply on all South Coast line trains. Reservations are not necessary - just buy your ticket at the station.
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Southern Highlands line
Cityrail run regular trains from Sydney to the NSW Southern Highlands line towns of Picton, Bowral, Moss Vale and Goulburn. Comfortable "Endeavour" class diesel trains operate regular services from Cambelltown to Moss Vale stopping all stations. To travel from Sydney you must catch an electric train destined for Cambelltown then change there to the connecting Endeavour train. A couple of trains each day run right through from Sydney Central station, and a few trains daily operate beyond Moss Vale all the way to Goulburn.
Schedule:Electric trains depart regularly from Sydney Central station for the 80 minute journey to Campbelltown. Then change at Campbelltown for trains to Moss Vale and Goulburn. Through trains from Sydney Central depart late morning and mid afternoon. Through trains to Sydney Central arrive in the morning peak and in the late morning. The journey from Sydney to Moss Vale takes about two and a half hours, and from Sydney to Goulburn takes about three hours. Standard Cityrail fares apply on Southern Highlands trains. Reservations are not necessary - just buy your ticket at the station.
Griffith Xplorer train
Countrylink's Griffith Xplorer is the most direct and comfortable way to travel from Sydney to Griffith and the Riverina. Xplorer trains are comfortable and speedy. They have first and economy class seats and an on-board buffet serving hot meals and refreshments. Sit back and watch as the lush Southern Highlands give way to the South-West slopes then the Murrumbidgee irrigation region that is the foodbowl of Australia.
Schedule: The Griffith Xplorer train departs only once each week - leaving Sydney Central station early every Saturday morning, travelling all through the day before arriving in Griffith in the late afternoon. Then, every Sunday morning it departs Griffith for the retrun journey, arriving at Sydney Central station late Sunday evening. Advance reservations are essential for the Griffith Xplorer train.
Melbourne to Albury trains
Trains from Melbourne to Victoria's North-East are operated by Vline. You have a choice of first and economy class seating, and trains have an on-board cafeteria buffet from which you can purchase hot meals. Sit back, relax and watch the countryside slip past your window as you leave Melbourne behind and head for the North-Eastern Victorian cities of Seymour, Benalla, Wangaratta, Wodonga and across the State border to Albury.
Schedule: Three trains depart Melbourne Southern Cross station each day - one in the morning, one around midday and one late in the afternoon. The journey to Albury takes around three and a half hours. Trains depart Albury for Melbourne also in the early morning, around midday and in the late afternoon. Trains call at major intermediate stations. Advance bookings are available and although they are not essential, bookings are advised particularly at peak times.
Melbourne to Seymour and Shepparton trains
Trains from Melbourne up to Seymour and Shepparton are run by Vline. Seymour trains have economy class seating only, and Shepparton trains have first class seating and a cafeteria buffet as well as economy class seats. Let Vline do the driving while you watch the countryside slip by. After you leave Melbourne's suburbs, your train climbs the Great Dividing Range then glides down through the old railway town of Seymour and into the fertile Goulburn Valley fruit growing area of which Shepparton is the unofficial capital.
Schedule:Trains depart Melbourne Southern Cross station for Seymour approximately hourly - less frequently on weekends. Trains depart Melbourne Southern Cross for Shepparton every day in the morning and in the late afternoon and on weekdays there is a third departure around midday. Trains depart Shepparton for Melbourne every day in the early morning and in the afternoon, and on weekdays there is also a midday departure. Journey time to Seymour is about an hour and a half, and to Shepparton the journey time from Melbourne is about two and a half hours. Advance bookings are not required on Seymour trains - just buy your ticket at the station. Bookings are available on Shepparton trains and although they are not essential, bookings are advised particularly at peak times.
Melbourne to Bendigo, Echuca and Swan Hill
Hop on board Australia's fastest train - Vline's Vlocity - and watch the countryside whiz by as you travel from Melbourne to Victoria's historic Goldfields region and on to the mighty Murray river. All Bendigo trains have comfortable economy seats, Swan Hill trains also have first class seats and an on-board cafeteria buffet serving hot meals. Relax as you leave Melbourne behind and travel through Sunbury then climb the Great Dividing Range to Kyneton and down to Bendigo. Marvel at the ornate 19th century buildings as you pass through this region built on gold. Northward you continue on to the mighty Murray river at Echuca, or further West to Kerang and Swan Hill.
Schedule: Trains depart Melbourne every hour for Bendigo. The journey to Bendigo takes about 100 minutes. A few trains continue one station beyond Bendigo to the historic borough of Eaglehawk. Two trains each day run through to Swan Hill - departing Melbourne and Swan Hill each morning and in the afternoon. One train also runs from Echuca to Melbourne and return each day departing Echuca in the morning and departing Melbourne in the mid afternoon. On Saturdays and Sundays there's a day return train from Melbourne to Echuca. Advance bookings are not necessary on most trains - just buy your ticket at the station on the day - or if the ticket office is closed you can buy a ticket on board. Reservations are available on trains to and from Swan Hill. Although reservations are not essential, bookings are advised on these trains particularly at peak times.
Melbourne to Ballarat, Ararat and Maryborough
Frequent, comfortable, high speed Vline Vlocity trains whisk you from Melbourne's Southern Cross Station to Ballarat and on to Ararat and Maryborough. Sit back and relax as you leave the Melbourne behind at 160Km/h! Atmospheric, historic, artistic Ballarat is only 90 minutes from Melbourne in Vline's comfortable and speedy Vlocity trains. Ballarat station is a magnificent gateway to the Golden City - moody, historic and elegant - and it's right in the heart of this historic city. Ballarat is an easy day return trips from Melbourne.
Schedule: Trains depart Melbourne every hour for the 90 minute journey to Ballarat. Some trains continue one station further to Wendouree, and three trains each day run through to Ararat. One train also runs from Maryborough to Melbourne and return each day departing Maryborough in the morning and departing Melbourne in the mid afternoon. Advance bookings are not necessary on any of these trains - just buy your ticket at the station on the day - or if the ticket office is closed you can buy a ticket on board.
Melbourne to Geelong and Warrnambool
The fastest most relaxing way to travel between Melbourne and Geelong is by Vline train. This is a commuter service that is also ideal for casual travellers looking to discover Victoria's second largest city. Geelong station is conveniently located right downtown. All Geelong and Marshall trains have economy class seats, some also have first class seating. Warrnambool trains have first and economy class seats and an on-board buffet cafeteria that sells hot meals.
Schedule: Geelong / Marshall trains depart Melbourne Southern Cross station every hour for the 1 hour trip. Three trains depart each day for the three hour run right through to Warrnambool on Victoria's famous shipwreck coast. Advance bookings are not necessary on Geelong/Marshall trains - just buy your ticket at the station on the day - or if the ticket office is closed you can buy a ticket on board. Reservations are available on Warrnambool trains. Although reservations are not essential, bookings are advised on these trains particularly at peak times.
Melbourne to Traralgon and Bairnsdale
Hop on board Vline's Gippsland line trains at Melbourne's Southern Cross or Flinders Street station, then sit back and relax as you head East. Vlocity trains to Traralgon and Sale offer comfortable economy class seating. Bairnsdale trains also offer first class seating and an on-board cafeteria that sells hot meals. Watch the pictuesque countryside of Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley whiz past your window as you travel to the industrial cities of Moe, Morwell and Traralgon, and further on to Sale and Bairnsdale - gateway to Victoria's eastern holiday resort region.
Schedule: Trains depart Melbourne Southern Cross Station every hour for the 2 hour journey to Traralgon. Three trains per day continue further east to Sale and Bairnsdale. Advance bookings are not necessary on Traralgon/Sale trains - just buy your ticket at the station on the day - or if the ticket office is closed you can buy a ticket on board. Reservations are available on Bairnsdale trains. Although reservations are not essential, bookings are advised on these trains particularly at peak times.
Frankston to Stony Point
Travel to the eastern Mornington Peninsula by train on Metro Melbourne's Stony Point trains. Comfortable Sprinter trains travel from Frankston to Hastings and Stony Point, connecting with electric trains from Melbourne at Frankston. Standary Myki fares apply. You can even use this train to travel to Phillip Island - simply walk from the train at Stony Point station out onto the pier and board the connecting ferry to Cowes (Phillip Island) and Tankerton (French Island).
Schedule: Trains depart Frankston once every one or two hours every day. The journey to Stony Point takes a little over half an hour. Frequent connecting electric trains run between Frankston and Melbourne city stations. Ferry connections from Stony Point to the islands are co-ordinated with train services, but only depart two or three times each day.