North Shore, Northern & Western Line

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North Shore, Northern & Western Line
TfNSW T1.svg
(1)Cheltenham Station-3.jpg
Service type Commuter rail service
Status Active
Locale Sydney, New South Wales
Current operator(s) Sydney Trains
Annual ridership 11,004,000 monthly
(February 2017)
Increase 11.1% increase[1]
Rolling stock T, H and A sets
Track gauge Standard gauge
Electrification Overhead 1500V DC[2]
Operating speed
  • 90 km/h (suburban max.)[3]
  • 43.3 km/h (network average)[4]
Timetable number(s) T1

The North Shore, Northern & Western Line (numbered T1, coloured yellow) is a commuter rail line operated by Sydney Trains in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It serves the North Shore, Northern Suburbs and parts of the Inner West and Western Suburbs.


Following victory in the 2011 New South Wales election, the O'Farrell Government embarked on reform of transport in New South Wales. In November 2011, a new organisation, Transport for NSW, was created to improve planning and coordination of transport projects and services. The organisation developed a new rail timetable and branding, which was put into effect on 20 October 2013. This saw the merger of the North Shore Line and Western Line (Berowra - City via Gordon then to Emu Plains or Richmond via Strathfield) with the Northern Line (Hornsby - City via Macquarie Park then to Epping via Strathfield). A new numbering system was also introduced and the line was given the number T1.

Railway line history

The North Shore, Northern & Western Line uses a number of different railway lines and is the result of various schemes to link the lines together. The line is centred around the Main Suburban railway line which runs from Central to Granville. The Main Northern and Main Western lines branch from the Main Suburban Line. The North Shore Line branches from the Main Northern Line and was later extended through the city and connected to the Main Suburban Line as well. The Epping to Chatswood line provides a second connection between the Main Northern and North Shore lines, enabling the creation of the North Shore, Northern & Western Line's current layout.

Main Western and Richmond lines

The Main Western line opened to Penrith in 1863 as a branch from the junction with the Main South line at Granville.[5] Electrification reached Parramatta in 1928 and Penrith in 1955.[6]

A branch line was opened to Richmond in 1864 under the stewardship of engineer James Moore. Electrification from Riverstone to Richmond opened in August 1991.[7] Through running to and from Sydney commenced in 1992.

Trains from the Main Western and Richmond lines run as the Western Line.

North Shore Line

The North Shore line was opened on 1 January 1890 between Hornsby and St Leonards. The line was extended to the Sydney Harbour foreshore at Milsons Point in 1893. Transport between this original Milsons Point station and central Sydney was by ferry boat. The line was electrified in 1927.

When the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened in 1932 a new Milsons Point station (on the bridge approach) came into operation and the North Shore Line was extended through it and over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to link with the underground lines of central Sydney. The result is that the two ends of the North Shore Line link to the Sydney railway system at Central and Hornsby.

Main Northern and Epping to Chatswood lines

Diagram of the Northern Line prior to the opening of the Epping to Chatswood railway line in 2009

The traditional Northern Line was the suburban portion of the Main Northern line which opened in 1886 and was electrified in 1926. When the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened, the Northern Line was connected to the City underground and the North Shore line.

In 2009 the Epping to Chatswood line was opened. The traditional Northern line route ran from Hornsby to North Sydney via Strathfield and the City. When the Epping to Chatswood Line opened, the Northern Line was split in two, with trains from north of Epping operating via the new link, approaching the city via the North Shore Line and rejoining the traditional route before terminating at Epping. The Northern Line was colour coded red prior to being merged with the North Shore and Western lines. After merging, the Northern Line loop was split on weekdays, with trains from the upper Northern Line continuing to Richmond or Emu Plains.

On 30th September 2018 the Epping to Chatwood line will be closed and replaced by temporary bus services during its conversion to become part of the Sydney Metro Northwest. As a result, the traditional Northern line route from Hornsby to Central via Strathfield will be reinstated with expanded train services on the North Shore line. This will coincide with new timetable at that time.[8]


The route is complex and features many branches. It passes through a number of business districts and major centres, namely Hornsby, Macquarie Park, Chatswood, North Sydney, the Central Business District, Parramatta, Blacktown and Penrith.

The line heads south from Berowra to Hornsby to using the Main Northern Line. Trains from this branch then divert on to the North Shore Line. A second branch starts at Hornsby and continues down the Main Northern Line to Epping. At Epping the line heads underground to the Macquarie employment centre and Chatswood via the Epping to Chatswood Line. The line surfaces at Chatswood and joins the Berowra branch on the North Shore Line for the run south towards the City. Trains pass through North Sydney station before heading across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, through the western limb of the City Circle and the stations of Central and Redfern.

Services then run along the Main Suburban Railway, usually using the middle 'Suburban' pair of the six tracks between Redfern and Strathfield. Services do not stop at intermediate stations between Redfern and Burwood. At Strathfield, trains to Epping via Rhodes usually head onto a flyover over the 'Main lines', before heading north back on the Main Northern Line, crossing the Parramatta River between Rhodes and Meadowbank, and terminating at Epping's surface platforms. Other services continue west from Strathfield to Granville where trains join the Main Western Line. After passing through Parramatta, trains reach Blacktown, where the line divides in two. A western branch continues along the Main Western Line as far as Emu Plains and a north-western branch heads to Richmond using the Richmond Line.


Name Distance from
Railway line Serving suburbs Other lines
Berowra - Chatswood via Gordon
Berowra 44.7 km 1887 Main Northern Berowra
Mount Kuring-gai 40.7 km 1901 Mount Kuring-gai
Mount Colah 37.7 km 1887 Mount Colah
Asquith 35.7 km 1915 Asquith, Hornsby Heights
Hornsby 33.9 km 1886 North Shore Hornsby, Waitara
Waitara 24.2 km 1895 Waitara
Wahroonga 22.6 km 1890 Wahroonga
Warrawee 21.9 km 1900 Warrawee, Wahroonga
Turramurra 20.8 km 1890 Turramurra, North Turrmarra, South Turramurra
Pymble 18.9 km 1890 Pymble
Gordon 17.1 km 1890 Gordon
Killara 15.9 km 1899 Killara, East Killara
Lindfield 14.6 km 1890 Lindfield, East Lindfield
Roseville 13.3 km 1890 Roseville
Hornsby - Chatswood via Macquarie University
Hornsby 35.3 km 1886 Main Northern Hornsby, Waitara
Normanhurst 33.1 km 1895 Normanhurst, Thornleigh, Hornsby
Thornleigh 30.8 km 1886 Thornleigh, Pennant Hills, Westleigh
Pennant Hills 30 km 1886 Pennant Hills
Beecroft 28.3 km 1886 Beecroft
Cheltenham 26.8 km 1898 Cheltenham
Epping (underground) 24.8 km 2009 Epping to Chatswood Epping
Macquarie University 20.9 km 2009 Macquarie Park, Marsfield
Macquarie Park 19.6 km 2009 Macquarie Park, North Ryde
North Ryde 18.2 km 2009 North Ryde
Chatswood - Strathfield
Chatswood 11.7 km 1890 North Shore Chatswood
Artarmon 10.3 km 1898 Artarmon
St Leonards 8.4 km 1890 St Leonards, Naremburn,
Crows Nest, Greenwich, Artarmon
Wollstonecraft 7.2 km 1893 Wollstonecraft, Greenwich
Waverton 6.1 km 1893 Waverton
North Sydney 5.1 km 1932 North Sydney
Milsons Point 4.4 km 1932 Milsons Point, Kirribilli
Wynyard 2.1 km 1932 Sydney CBD, Barangaroo
Town Hall 1.2 km 1932 Sydney CBD
Central 0 km 1855 Haymarket, Chippendale,
Ultimo, Surry Hills
Redfern 1.3 km 1878 Main Suburban Redfern, Waterloo,
Darlington, Eveleigh

(T8 peak hours only)
Burwood 10.6 km 1855 Burwood
Strathfield 11.8 km 1876 Strathfield, Burwood
Strathfield - Epping
North Strathfield 13.4 km 1918 Main Northern North Strathfield, Concord West,
Concord, Homebush
Concord West 14.5 km 1887 Concord West, Liberty Grove
Rhodes 16.6 km 1886 Rhodes, Liberty Grove
Meadowbank 18.2 km 1887 Meadowbank,
West Ryde, Ryde
West Ryde 19.2 km 1886 West Ryde, Denistone
Denistone 20.2 km 1937 Denistone, Denistone East,
Denistone West, West Ryde
Eastwood 21.4 km 1886 Eastwood
Epping (aboveground) 23.4 km 1886 Epping
Strathfield - Blacktown
Lidcombe 16.6 km 1858 Main Suburban Lidcombe
Auburn 18.7 km 1877 Auburn
Clyde 20.6 km 1882 Clyde, Granville
Granville 21.4 km 1860 Granville
Harris Park 22.6 km After 1883 Main Western Harris Park
Parramatta 23.2 km 1860 Parramatta
Westmead 25.1 km 1883 Westmead
Wentworthville 26.7 km 1883 Wentworthville
Pendle Hill 28.3 km 1924 Pendle Hill
Toongabbie 29.9 km 1880 Toongabbie
Seven Hills 32.1 km 1863 Seven Hills
Blacktown 34.8 km 1860 Main Western
Blacktown - Emu Plains
Doonside 38.6 km 1880 Main Western Doonside
Rooty Hill 40.9 km 1861 Rooty Hill
Mount Druitt 43.3 km 1881 Mount Druitt
St Marys 47.4 km 1862 St Marys, Dunheved
Werrington 49.1 km 1868 Werrington
Kingswood 52.7 km 1887 Kingswood
Penrith 55.1 km 1863 Penrith
Emu Plains 57.4 km 1868 Emu Plains, Emu Heights
Blacktown - Richmond
Marayong 37.4 km 1922 Richmond Marayong
Quakers Hill 40.1 km 1872 Quakers Hill
Schofields 43.8 km 1870 Schofields
Riverstone 46.0 km 1864 Riverstone
Vineyard 49.2 km 1935 Vineyard
Mulgrave 52.6 km 1864 Mulgrave
Windsor 55.0 km 1864 Windsor
Clarendon 57.2 km 1870 Clarendon
East Richmond 60.0 km 1939 Richmond
Richmond 60.7 km 1864 Richmond, North Richmond


The following chart shows the relative patronage of Sydney Trains' seven lines in the 2016-17 financial year.


  1. ^ "Public Transport Visualisation- Train Patronage". Transport Performance and Analytics. Transport for New South Wales. Retrieved 1 May 2017. 
  2. ^ Asset Standards Authority (19 March 2014). RailCorp electrical system general description, version 1.0 (PDF). 
  3. ^ Asset Standards Authority (30 April 2015). Train operating conditions manual – general instructions, version 3.0 (PDF). 
  4. ^ Saulwick, Jacob (24 July 2013). "Smallest stations are biggest losers in new rail timetable". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  5. ^ "Main West Line". Retrieved 3 January 2007. 
  6. ^ "Cheers for rail plan, now let's get it moving". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 June 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2007. 
  7. ^ "The Times Oct 1998". AATC. Retrieved 3 January 2007. 
  8. ^ Station Link bus services to connect customers during Metro upgradeNSW Transport Info
  9. ^ a b "NSW Main North line". Retrieved 3 July 2007. 
  10. ^ a b "NSW North Shore line". Retrieved 3 July 2007. 
  11. ^ a b "NSW City Circle". Retrieved 3 July 2007. 
  12. ^ a b "NSW Main South line". Retrieved 3 July 2007. 

External links

  • Sydney Trains North Shore, Northern & Western Line timetables Transport for NSW
  • Western Fastrail
  • Neety's Train Page - information on suburban stations.
  • New South Wales Railways - historical information on suburban stations.
  • New South Wales Transport Information
  • Australian Railmaps - information & maps of train services & stopping patterns.
  • Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation project website

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