Southern Highlands Line
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.
|Service type||Intercity rail|
|Locale||Macarthur, Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands, New South Wales|
|First service||19 May 1869|
|Current operator(s)||NSW TrainLink|
|Distance travelled||224 km (139 mi)|
|Line(s) used||Main South|
|Rolling stock||Endeavour railcar|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Track owner(s)||Sydney Trains, ARTC|
One of only two routes on the NSW TrainLink intercity network to run entirely on non-electrified railway lines, the Southern Highlands Line is operated with a rolling stock solely consisting of Endeavour railcars, with most services only using two cars. The service spans 169 kilometers of railway, making it the most extensive route on the NSW TrainLink network apart from the Blue Mountains Line's Bathurst Bullet service. The route also spans 22 stations, making it also the route with the lowest number of stops. An additional 2 stations and 55 kilometers of railway are traversed by Southern Highlands trains at peak hours.
In 1919, a new section of line opened between Picton and Mittagong, with the original section becoming the Picton-Mittagong loop line. Originally a single track line, it was later doubled with the exception of the Picton-Mittagong loop line.
Rail replacement bus services operate between Picton and Bowral paralleling the Picton-Mittagong loop line and Bundanoon and Wollongong paralleling the Moss Vale-Unanderra line. A daytime bus service also operates between Moss Vale and Goulburn. Some stations are also served by NSW TrainLink XPT and Xplorer services from Sydney to Canberra, Griffith and Melbourne.
Up until the mid-1990s, most services on the line operated through to Sydney Central. Named trains that operated on the line included the Goulburn Day Train and Southern Highlands Express. In the late 1980s, air-conditioned HUB/RUB carriages were introduced. These would later be joined by Budd and Tulloch carriages and DEB railcars.
As of 2014-15, the Southern Highlands Line experiences significantly worse peak hour on-time running performance than other suburban and intercity lines.
|Name||Railway line||Serving suburbs/towns||Notes|
|Central||Main Suburban||Haymarket, Chippendale, Ultimo, Surry Hills||Transport hub featuring Sydney Trains, other Intercity trains, |
Regional trains, buses and light rail
|Glenfield||Main South||Glenfield||Interchange with Sydney Trains|
|Campbelltown||Campbelltown||Starting point of most services|
Interchange with Sydney Trains and Regional trains
|Macarthur||Ambarvale, Blair Athol, Glen Alpine||Interchange with Sydney Trains|
|Menangle Park||Menangle Park, Gilead|
|Douglas Park||Douglas Park, Wilton|
|Picton||Picton, Maldon||Interchange with Picton-Bowral loop line bus|
|Tahmoor||Tahmoor, Couridjah, Buxton, Thirlmere|
|Bargo||Bargo, Yanderra and Pheasants Nest|
|Yerrinbool||Yerrinbool, Colo Vale, Hill Top, Alpine|
|Mittagong||Mittagong, Braemar, Balaclava,
Willow Vale, Welby, Aylmerton
|Interchange with Regional trains and Picton-Mittagong loop line bus|
|Bowral||Bowral, Berrima, East Bowral||Interchange with Regional trains, Picton-Mittagong loop line bus and Bundanoon - Wollongong Coach|
|Moss Vale||Moss Vale, Bong Bong, Robertson,
Sutton Forest, Burrawang
|Terminus of most services|
Interchange with Regional trains and Bundanoon - Wollongong Coach
|Exeter||Exeter||Also served by Bundanoon - Wollongong Coach|
|Bundanoon||Bundanoon||Also served by Regional trains and Bundanoon - Wollongong Coach|
|Goulburn||Goulburn||Also served by Regional trains|
The following table shows the patronage of each line of the NSW TrainLink Intercity network for the year ending 30 June 2019, based on Opal tap on and tap off data.
|10 154 000||
|19 062 000|
|10 034 000|
|1 063 000|
- Main South Line NSWrail.net
- Bayley, William A (197x). Picton-Mittagong Loop Line Railway. Bulli: Austrail Publications. ISBN 0-909597-14-6.
- "Southern Highlands line timetable". Transport for NSW.
- "Southern timetable". NSW Trainlink. 7 September 2019.
- "Southern Passengers" Railway Digest January 1989 page 21
- "New Timetable Sees Demise of Loco-Hauled Services" Railway Digest July 1994
- "Service Delivery". Audit Office of New South Wales. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- "Train Patronage - Monthly Figures". Transport for NSW. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
- "Centenary of the Opening of the Southern Line to Picton", Singleton, C.C. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin July 1963
- "Centenary of the Opening of the Southern Line to Mittagong", Singleton, C.C. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin March 1967
- "Centenary of the Opening of the Southern Line to Goulburn", Singleton, C.C. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin May 1969
- Southern Highlands Express Peter Attenborough, Eveleigh Press 2011 ISBN 978 1 87 656854 2
- Regional Transport Information Transport for NSW