Blue Mountains Line

Last updated

Blue Mountains Line
Blue Mountains Line Logo.png
Train approaches Zig Zag station.jpg
A NSW TrainLink V set approaches Zig Zag station.
Overview
Service type Intercity rail
Locale Blue Mountains and Central West, New South Wales
Current operator(s) NSW TrainLink
Route
Start Central
Stops 21
End Bathurst
Line(s) used Main Western
Technical
Rolling stock NSW TrainLink V set and Endeavour railcar
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Track owner(s) RailCorp

The Blue Mountains Line is an intercity rail service operated by NSW TrainLink serving the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales, Australia. The line travels west from Sydney to the major town of Katoomba and on to Lithgow on the western foothills of the mountains. 2 Express services per day in each direction, known as the Bathurst Bullet, extend to the regional city of Bathurst, which is supplemented by road coaches connecting Bathurst to Lithgow. The Blue Mountains Line operates over a mostly duplicated section of the Main Western line. As such, the tracks are also traversed by the Central West XPT , Outback Xplorer and Indian Pacific passenger services and by freight trains.

NSW TrainLink is an Australian brand for the medium and long distance passenger rail and coach services in New South Wales. It operates services throughout New South Wales and into the neighbouring states and territories of Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. Train services are operated by the government's NSW Trains. Coach services are contracted to private operators. It is an agency of Transport for NSW.

Blue Mountains (New South Wales) Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Blue Mountains are a mountainous region and a mountain range located in New South Wales, Australia. The region borders on Sydney's metropolitan area, its foothills starting about 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of centre of the state capital. The public's understanding of the extent of the Blue Mountains is varied, as it forms only part of an extensive mountainous area associated with the Great Dividing Range. Officially the Blue Mountains region is bounded by the Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers in the east, the Coxs River and Lake Burragorang to the west and south, and the Wolgan and Colo rivers to the north. Geologically, it is situated in the central parts of the Sydney Basin.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Contents

History

View immediately north of Lithgow station. This is the limit of electric services on the Blue Mountains Line. Blue Mountains Line north of Lithgow station.jpg
View immediately north of Lithgow station. This is the limit of electric services on the Blue Mountains Line.

The Blue Mountains line is a section of the Main Western line which opened in 1868. [1] The line was built with gradients as steep as 1 in 33 (3%) and curves as sharp as 8 chains (160m). Most of the curves were eased to 12 chains (240m) with duplication. [2]

The line originally ascended the eastern and descended the western sides of the Blue Mountains via a series of zig-zag track sections. The eastern zig zag was by passed by a tunnel in 1892 and the western zig zag (once a tourist railway) was bypassed in 1910 with the Ten Tunnels Deviation.

Zig Zag Railway

The Zig Zag Railway is an Australian heritage railway, situated near the town of Lithgow in the state of New South Wales. The line climbs the western flank of the Blue Mountains, using railway zig zags to gain height. It was opened by the not for profit Zig Zag Railway Co-op. Ltd. as an unpaid volunteer staffed heritage railway in October 1975, using the alignment of the Lithgow Zig Zag line that formed part of the Main Western line between 1869 and 1910.

In the 1950s, the line was electrified primarily as a means of easing the haulage of coal freight from the western coalfields to the coastal ports, [3] but a by-product of this programme was the introduction of electric interurban passenger services as far west as Bowenfels, later cut back to the current terminus of Lithgow. [4] Goods trains are now exclusively diesel hauled. Electric passenger services were originally provided by a combination of electric locomotive hauled carriages and single deck electric multiple unit sets (known as U sets), both of which have now been withdrawn and replaced by more modern rolling stock.

Railway electrification system electric power to railway trains and trams without an on-board prime mover or local fuel supply

A railway electrification system supplies electric power to railway trains and trams without an on-board prime mover or local fuel supply. Electric railways use electric locomotives to haul passengers or freight in separate cars or electric multiple units, passenger cars with their own motors. Electricity is typically generated in large and relatively efficient generating stations, transmitted to the railway network and distributed to the trains. Some electric railways have their own dedicated generating stations and transmission lines but most purchase power from an electric utility. The railway usually provides its own distribution lines, switches and transformers.

Bowenfels railway station

The Bowenfels railway station is a heritage-listed disused railway station and now visitor's centre and restaurant located on the Main Western line in Bowenfels, City of Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed by John Clifton and the New South Wales Government Railways and built from 1869 to 1869 by G. Watsford, NSW Government Railway. It is also known as the Bowenfels Railway Station and Stationmaster's House and Old Station Masters Residence and Station. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Electric multiple unit A multiple unit train consisting of self-propelled carriages, using electricity as the motive power

An electric multiple unit or EMU is a multiple-unit train consisting of self-propelled carriages, using electricity as the motive power. An EMU requires no separate locomotive, as electric traction motors are incorporated within one or a number of the carriages. An EMU is usually formed of two or more semi-permanently coupled carriages, but electrically powered single-unit railcars are also generally classed as EMUs. The great majority of EMUs are passenger trains, but versions also exist for carrying parcels and mail.

In June 2012, New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell announced that services would be extended to Bathurst. The service, commonly known as the Bathurst Bullet, commenced on 21 October 2012. [5] [6]

Barry OFarrell 43rd Premier of New South Wales and Minister for Western Sydney 2011–2014

Barry Robert O'Farrell is a former Australian politician who was the 43rd Premier of New South Wales and Minister for Western Sydney from 2011 to 2014. He was the Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party from 2007 to 2014, and was a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1995 to 2015, representing Northcott until 1999 and representing Ku-ring-gai on the Upper North Shore of Sydney from 1999 to 2015.

Bathurst Bullet passenger train connecting Sydney and Bathurst, Australia

The Bathurst Bullet is a passenger train on the Blue Mountains Line operated by NSW TrainLink between Sydney and Bathurst.

Services

A V set train to Sydney at Katoomba station V38Katoomba.jpg
A V set train to Sydney at Katoomba station

The line is operated by NSW TrainLink V sets. As the electric overhead wiring ends at Lithgow, diesel-electric Endeavour railcars operate the services to and from Bathurst.

NSW TrainLink V set class of electric multiple unit operating in New South Wales, Australia

The V sets are a class of Australian electric multiple unit operated by NSW TrainLink in New South Wales. These stainless steel double deck trains operate on Interurban services on the Main Western line to Lithgow and Main Northern line to Newcastle.

New South Wales Endeavour railcar

The Endeavour is a diesel multiple unit train operated by NSW TrainLink on passenger rail services in New South Wales, Australia on the Hunter Valley, Main Western, Southern Highlands and Illawarra lines. They are mechanically identical to the Xplorers. All 30 carriages were built by ABB Transportation in Dandenong, Victoria.

All Blue Mountains line services start and terminate from the intercity platforms (4-15) of Central (Sydney Terminal) station.

Some off-peak electric interurban services on the line only consist of four carriages, with peak hour services usually consisting of eight carriages. Regional diesel services on the line consist of 2 carriages.

Blue Mountains line stations

The Blue Mountains Railway Line showing station altitude vs distance from Central Station BlueMountainsLine AltitudeVsDistance.jpg
The Blue Mountains Railway Line showing station altitude vs distance from Central Station

Coach services stop at the following locations:

Patronage

The following table shows the patronage of each line of the NSW TrainLink Intercity network for the year ending 30 June 2018, based on Opal tap on and tap off data. [7]

2017-18 NSW TrainLink Intercity patronage by line
10168000
Blue Mountains Line
19441000
926000
9851000
1059000

Related Research Articles

CityRail operated the rail network of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

CityRail was an Australian passenger train operator with services in and around Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, the three largest cities in New South Wales as well as some rail replacement bus services. It was established in January 1989 and abolished in June 2013 when it was superseded by Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink.

Lithgow, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

Lithgow is a city in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia and is the administrative centre of the City of Lithgow local government area. It is located in a mountain valley named Lithgow's Valley by John Oxley in honour of William Lithgow, the first Auditor-General of New South Wales.

Southern Highlands Line rail service in New South Wales, Australia

The Southern Highlands Line is an Intercity rail service operated by NSW TrainLink that services the Macarthur, Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands regions of New South Wales. First operating in 1869, the service runs from Campbelltown across the Main Southern railway line through to Goulburn, with peak hour services extending the route to Central. The railway service operates alongside a bus route from Picton to Bowral, operating on the route of the Picton – Mittagong loop railway line, and a regional coach service from Bundanoon to Wollongong on the South Coast Line, operating on the corridor of the Unanderra - Moss Vale railway line.

Faulconbridge railway station

Faulconbridge railway station is located on the Main Western line in New South Wales, Australia. It serves the Blue Mountains suburb of Faulconbridge opening on 15 March 1877.

Hazelbrook railway station

Hazelbrook railway station is located on the Main Western line in New South Wales, Australia. It serves the Blue Mountains town of Hazelbrook.

Bullaburra railway station

Bullaburra railway station is located on the Main Western line in New South Wales, Australia. It serves the Blue Mountains town of Bullaburra opening on 16 February 1925.

Leura railway station

Leura railway station is located on the Main Western line in New South Wales, Australia. It serves the Blue Mountains town of Leura opening on 6 December 1890.

Katoomba railway station

Katoomba railway station is a heritage-listed railway station located on the Main Western line in Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia. It serves the Blue Mountains town of Katoomba opening on 2 February 1874 as Crushers, being renamed Katoomba on 9 July 1877.

Zig Zag railway station

Zig Zag railway station is located on the Main Western line in New South Wales, Australia. It exists to serve the Zig Zag Railway to the east of Lithgow. A station opened on the site on 15 April 1878, closing on 16 October 1910 when the Ten Tunnels Deviation opened. A new station opened on the site in 1959.

The Main Western Railway is a major railway in New South Wales, Australia. It runs through the Blue Mountains, Central West, North West Slopes and the Far West regions.

Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum Railway museum in New South Wales, Australia

The Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum is a railway museum located in Valley Heights, New South Wales, Australia. It is operated by the Blue Mountains Division of Transport Heritage New South Wales.

The railways of New South Wales, Australia, use a large variety of passenger and freight rolling stock.

Lithgow Zig Zag zig zag railway line in New South Wales, Australia

The Lithgow Zig Zag is a heritage-listed former zig zag railway line built near Lithgow on the Great Western Line of New South Wales in Australia. The zig zag line operated between 1869 and 1910, to overcome an otherwise insurmountable climb and descent on the western side of the Blue Mountains. It was designed by John Whitton and built from 1863 to 1869 by Patrick Higgins as contractor. It is also known as the Great Zig Zag Railway and Reserves and Zig Zag Railway. The property is owned by Department of Planning and Infrastructure. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Ten Tunnels Deviation

The Ten Tunnels Deviation is a heritage-listed 9.2-kilometre (5.7 mi) section of the Main Western Line between Newnes Junction and Zig Zag stations in Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed and built by the New South Wales Government Railways and built from 1 June 1908 and 16 October 1910. It is also known as Great Zig Zag Railway deviation tunnels and Bell to Zig Zag Ten Tunnel Railway Deviation. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

The NSW TrainLink fleet of trains serves the areas outside Sydney, Australia, mainly interurban and interstate lines. 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.

New Intercity Fleet

The New Intercity Fleet is a fleet of 554 new carriages being built to replace NSW TrainLink's Intercity electric multiple unit fleet, replacing the entire V set fleet and allowing for the H sets to be reallocated to Sydney suburban services. The trains will operate on services from Sydney to Newcastle, Lithgow and Kiama. The trains are scheduled to enter service between 2019 and 2022.

References

  1. "Main West Line". Nswrail.net.
  2. Steam Working over the Blue Mountains Groves, K.T. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, December 1971 pp265-280; January 1974 pp1-19
  3. Blue Mountains Electrification - 50 Years Later, Miller, Stephen Australian Railway History, January 2008 pp1-21
  4. "Single Deck InterUrban cars". SETS.
  5. "O'Farrell announces daily rail service to Sydney". Western Advocate. 4 June 2012.
  6. "Blue Mountains line timetable". Transport for NSW.
  7. "Train Patronage - Monthly Figures". Transport for NSW. Retrieved 14 September 2018.