Suburban and Interurban Passenger Trains

The five Australian mainland state capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide all have networks of railway lines providing regular passenger train services. These networks reflect the size of the populations serviced, with larger cities having more lines and operating a greater number of train services. Each of the regular passenger lines in these cities that provide services in the suburban and interurban area are described. The descriptions mostly refer to Down trains (travelling away from the CBD), but Up services generally follow the same service patterns. Typical journey times refer to the time taken by a train with a common stopping pattern, but individual trains may cover the journey in a shorter or longer time. Similarly, typical frequencies listed indicate the average length of time between train services, although gaps between individual services may be shorter or longer.

Australia’s mainland capital cities have some lines that are serviced by passenger trains only, some that are serviced by freight trains only, and some that are serviced by passenger and freight trains. The majority of these lines are electrified. The total length of railways open for traffic in the suburban areas of the five mainland capital cities is shown in the following table.

Total route kilometres of railways open in Australian mainland state capital cities in 2019


                                 Passenger only          Freight only       Passenger and freight      Total        Electrified lines

Sydney                                                                                                                            400                   400

Melbourne                         220                            28                                181                  429                    370

Brisbane                            128                            35                                268                  431                    414

Perth                                  180                            48                                    1                  229                    181

Adelaide                            126                            62                                  30                  188                      44


Source: Australian infrastructure statistics yearbook 2019, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Canberra, 2019, p. 113.

The suburban and interurban passenger train services in the five Australian mainland state capital cities in Australia are described in the following pages.