The Blue Mountains on Sydney’s western doorstep are one of Australia’s most popular short break and day-trip destinations – and they’re now even more accessible.
Famous attractions like The Three Sisters, the Hydro Majestic, arty Leura, The Paragon Cafe, Govett’s Leap and The Carrington Hotel, among many others, draw more than one-million people to the west of Australia’s largest metropolis every year.
The NSW Government has responded to the ever-increasing visitor demand and fast-tracked its plan to significantly increase capacity as well as introduce a new timetable for the rail network to service this World Heritage Listed region.
The More Trains, Mores Services program includes a raft of new initiatives including a new weekday Sydney to Lithgow return express which is ideal for visitors wanting to experience the Mountains in the quieter periods.
The weekday express service departs Central Station at 8:50am which is perfect for a relaxed and pleasurable journey with the added convenience of most major attractions in the mountains, easily accessible from the various centrally-located stations en-route to Lithgow.
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In addition, the extremely popular weekend rail service to the Blue Mountains will see capacity doubled from four to eight carriages meaning 4000 extra seats will be available. The weekend morning departure/afternoon return has never made it easier or more convenient to visit the mountains for a quick fix.
These services will shorten the return travel time from Central Station to/from Katoomba by about 20 minutes (two hours one way) and save 17 minutes to/from Parramatta and Katoomba.
The overall uplift in services to the region looks like this;
- 24 new express services between Sydney and the Blue Mountains on weekends
- Dedicated 8-car express tourist trains
- More than 25,000 additional seats every week including around 18,000 on weekends and about 7,000 on weekdays
- New Sydney-Lithgow weekday return express
“We’re seeing the popularity of the train go through the roof so we’re adding capacity to both weekend and weekday Blue Mountains services,” said NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance.
“The Blue Mountains are a huge domestic and international tourist drawcard with more than a million people seeing the sights and incredible local charm each year.”
Travellers utilising these new NSW TrainLink Intercity services will still use their Opal cards.
These significant service upgrades to the Blue Mountains are part of a Statewide overhaul that will see better connections implemented between trains, coaches and ferries and add 1500 extra weekly train services – half of them on weekends – as well as 7000 new weekly bus services and 140 new weekly ferry trips. Fares will not change for peak or off-peak travel.