New South Wales
Train services within the Sydney suburban area are provided by Sydney Trains and those in the interurban (Intercity) region are provided by NSW TrainLink. Metro services are operated by Metro Trains Sydney. Public transport journeys in the Sydney region require the use of an Opal smart card, an Opal single trip ticket, or contactless payment, with the exception of private ferry services. Most train services within regional New South Wales are operated by NSW TrainLink, which also provides coach services to a range of destinations, many of which were formerly serviced by passenger trains.
Transport for NSW
The Transport for NSW website provides information about transport services within New South Wales. It includes timetables, maps, service alerts, and details about tickets and fares. The website also has a Trip Planner, which provides a range of transport and route options between two locations identified by the user, including scheduled times of services and fares. Transport for NSW does not have its own app providing real time travel information, but its website lists a number of apps from other organisations that provide this information.
An Opal card is a smart card used for most public transport services within the Sydney suburban and interurban (Intercity) areas, including by train, light rail, bus and ferry. Opal cards can be purchased and value can be added at Transport Customer Service Centres, at selected retailers, by phone (13 67 25) and online. Value can be loaded on to the card at top up machines at selected stations. Opal cards can also be linked directly to credit and debit cards.
Using an Opal card involves tapping on at the beginning of a journey and tapping off at the end. The correct fare is calculated automatically. Opal cards can be used on trains, light rail, buses and ferries within the Opal network. The Opal network extends from Sydney to the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and South Coast, and the Southern Highlands. Some private operators of public transport services do not accept Opal cards.
Following the completion of eight journeys from Monday to Sunday using an Opal card, fares for the remainder of the week are half-price. Transfers between different transport modes attract a discount for each transfer within an overall journey if the transfer occurs within 60 minutes. Fares for train journeys made using Opal are calculated based on the distance of the journey in five zones. Fares for light rail journeys made using Opal are calculated based on the distance of the journey in two zones.
Five different types of Opal card available: adult, child/youth, gold senior/pensioner, concession and school. There is a $8.05 fare cap on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Gold senior/pensioner Opal card fares are capped at $2.50 every day.
The Opal Travel app enables users to check their card balance, plan journeys and find information about service disruptions.
Opal single trip tickets
Opal single trip tickets are used for single journeys within the Opal network. They can be purchased at Opal single trip ticket machines, which are located at most train stations. Fares for single trip tickets are higher than those using an Opal card.
Sydney Trains operates train services within the Sydney suburban area, extending to Waterfall, Macarthur, Emu Plains, Richmond and Berowra. Opal cards and Opal single trip tickets can be used on Sydney Trains services. The Sydney Trains website contains timetables, maps, station information, service updates, and details about tickets and fares.
Tickets for NSW TrainLink services can be booked online, by telephone or at booking agents. Phone bookings are available by contacting the NSW TrainLink Contact Centre: 13 22 32, and are open from 6.30 am to 10.00 pm daily. Reservations are compulsory on all regional NSW TrainLink services. First and Economy class seats are available on long-distance trains, while sleeping compartments are available on overnight services between Sydney and Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and Sydney and Casino. The NSW TrainLink website contains timetables, maps, information about destinations, service alerts, and details about tickets and fares.
Metro Trains Sydney
Opal cards and contactless payments can be used for fares on the Sydney Metro North West line between Chatswood and Tallawong.
Fares for travel on Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink intercity, Sydney Light Rail, Sydney Ferries and Newcastle light rail services can be paid using a contactless card or mobile device. Passengers with a payment card that has a contactless payment symbol or a mobile device that is linked to a contactless payment account, can use these to tap on and off at an Opal card reader. The fare charged will be the equivalent of an Adult Opal single trip ticket for the journey. Only one passenger per journey is permitted to use the same payment card or mobile device. Contactless payments are recommended to be considered by visitors, people who do not use public transport often, or those who have forgotten their Opal card.
Discovery Pass enables unlimited travel on trains and coaches throughout the NSW TrainLink regional network. It is also available for use to interstate destinations serviced by NSW TrainLink services, including Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Passes can be purchased for durations of 14 days, one month, three months or six months. Economy and Premium passes are available. Purchase of the Discovery Pass can be made online, by telephone or at booking agents. Bookings must be made for all regional train and coach journeys.
NSW TrainLink Intercity services
NSW TrainLink operates train services throughout the greater Sydney interurban (Intercity) area, extending to Bomaderry and Port Kembla on the South Coast line; Moss Vale and Goulburn on the Southern Highlands line; Lithgow on the Blue Mountains line; Gosford and Newcastle Interchange on the Central Coast & Newcastle line; and Telarah, Dungog and Scone on the Hunter line. Quiet carriages are provided on Intercity train services. These carriages are the first, middle two and last carriages of an eight carriage train; the first and last carriages of a four carriage train; and the last carriage of a two carriage train. Signage on trains and platforms indicates quiet carriages. Passengers in quiet carriages should turn down electronic devices, switch mobile phones to silent and speak quietly. Opal cards and Opal single trip tickets can be used on NSW TrainLink Intercity services. Timetables, maps, station information, service updates, and details about tickets and fares are maintained on the Sydney Trains website.
Sydney Light Rail
Sydney Light Rail operates the light rail network in Sydney. The Sydney Light Rail website contains information about service frequencies, service updates and network information. Opal cards and Opal single trip tickets and contactless payments can be used on Sydney Light Rail.
Newcastle Transport operates a light rail network from Newcastle Interchange at Wickham to Newcastle Beach. Opal cards, Opal single trip tickets and contactless payments can be used on Newcastle light rail services.