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 2020, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Canberra,
2020, p. 128.