The east coast of Australia boasts the major cities of Sydney and Brisbane, the fast-growing Gold Coast region and the major industrial city of Newcastle. There are large areas of rich agricultural country through northern New South Wales and the Darling Downs region of Southern Queensland. The Central West of New South Wales stretches to the outback at Broken Hill. Long distance passenger rail services operated by NSW Trainlink link the major cities, and frequent NSW Trainlink trains link Sydney to inter-urban areas in New South Wales. Suburban train and light rail networks serve the suburbs of Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Newcastle.
NSW Trains run frequent medium distance InterCity trains from Sydney Central station south to Wollongong and Kiama (Change for Bomaderry), south-west to Moss Vale and Goulburn, west to Katoomba, Mount Victoria, Lithgow and Bathurst, and north to Gosford, Wyong and Newcastle Interchange (change for Maitland, Dungog and Singleton). All these services are un-reserved, and you can use your pre-paid Opal card or credit card to tap on and ride.
NSW Trains also run longer distance pre-booked Regional XPT and XPLorer diesel trains on longer distance routes to regional NSW and interstate to Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra.
NSW Trains also run longer distance Regional XPT and XPLorer diesel trains on longer distance routes to regional NSW and interstate to Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra. You cannot use your Opal card on these trains and you must pre-book your seat.
NSW Trains run local trains between Newcastle Interchange and Maitlad/Telarah, Dungog and Scone. Light Rail connects with trains and runs to Newcastle Beach, and the Stockton Ferry connects Stockton to Newcastle. Opal Cards are accepted on all these services.
Sydney Trains run frequent trains between Sydney and most suburbs over an intensive network of lines. Most lines operate through the City Railway - either running around the City Circle, through the Eastern Suburbs Railway to Bondi Junction, or across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to North Sydney.
The newest addition to the rail network is the fully automated high frequency Metro line, operated by Sydney Metro, that runs through Sydney's northern suburbs from Chatswood to Tallawong via Epping. An ambitious extension program is underway that will see more new metro lines constructed and some suburban rail lines converted to metro lines.
Modern Queensland Rail electric trains depart Brisbane Central and Brisbane Roma Street stations every 15-30 minutes on lines to Ferny Grove, Caboolture, Kippa-Ring, Shorncliffe, Brisbane Airport and Doomben on the North side of the city, and to Ipswich, Richlands, Beenleigh and Cleveland on the South side. Frequent trains also depart for Varsity Lakes and intermediate stations on the Gold Coast. You can also travel westward to Rosewood by changing at Ipswich to a connecting electric train. Most trains stop at all stations along the way, but on Weekday peak hours services are more frequent and some trains run express through smaller stations.