Southern Highlands Line

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Southern Highlands Line
Southern Highlands Line Logo.png
Moss Vale Station.jpg
Endeavour railcar at Moss Vale in December 2008
Service type Intercity rail
Locale Macarthur, Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands, New South Wales
First service 19 May 1869 (1869-05-19)
Current operator(s) NSW TrainLink
Start Campbelltown, Central
Stops 22
End Goulburn
Distance travelled 224 km (139 mi)
Line(s) used Main South
Rolling stock Endeavour railcar
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Track owner(s) Sydney Trains, ARTC

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.

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.


The Main South line opened in stages to Picton in 1863, Moss Vale in 1867 and Goulburn in 1869.[1]

In 1919, a new section of line opened between Picton and Mittagong, with the original section becoming the Picton-Mittagong loop line.[2] Originally a single track line, it was later doubled with the exception of the Picton-Mittagong loop line.


Most services operate between Campbelltown and Moss Vale with a limited number extending to Sydney Central and Goulburn.[3] All services are operated by NSW TrainLink using Endeavour railcars.

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.[3] Some stations are also served by NSW TrainLink XPT and Xplorer services from Sydney to Canberra, Griffith and Melbourne.[4]

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.[5]

In 1994, all were replaced by Endeavour railcars.[6] Most services were altered to operate only as far north as Campbelltown connecting with Sydney Trains electric services to Sydney.

As of 2014-15, the Southern Highlands Line experiences significantly worse peak hour on-time running performance than other suburban and intercity lines.[7]


Warning: the station distances given here (and for the individual station entries) are straight-line distances, not railway distances. This varies from other Wikipedia entries on NSW railways. You are advised to seek official distances information.

Name Code
Distance from
Railway Suburbs serviced Connecting Services
Central - Campbelltown (Peak hour services)
Central SYD 0.0 km Main Suburban Sydney, Strawberry Hills,
Ultimo, Surry Hills
Glenfield GFD 30.5 km Main South Glenfield
Campbelltown - Goulburn
Campbelltown CAM 41.4 km Main South Campbelltown Southern Region
Macarthur MCU 43.2 km Ambarvale, Blair Athol, Glen Alpine
Menangle Park MEK 49.1 km Menangle Park, Gilead
Menangle MGE 50.4 km Menangle
Douglas Park DPK 56.6 km Douglas Park, Wilton
Picton PIC 63.9 km Picton, Maldon Picton-Bowral loop line bus
Tahmoor TAH 68.3 km Tahmoor, Couridjah, Buxton, Thirlmere
Bargo BZG 73.4 km Bargo, Yanderra and Pheasants Nest
Yerrinbool YEB 81.7 km Yerrinbool, Colo Vale, Hill Top, Alpine
Mittagong MIT 94.3 km Mittagong, Braemar, Balaclava,
Willow Vale, Welby, Aylmerton
Picton-Mittagong loop line bus
Southern Region
Bowral BWL 98.3 km Bowral, Berrima, East Bowral Picton-Mittagong loop line bus
Bundanoon - Wollongong Coach
Southern Region
Burradoo BUO 100.7 km Burradoo
Moss Vale MSV 106.6 km Moss Vale, Bong Bong, Robertson,
Sutton Forest, Burrawang
Bundanoon - Wollongong Coach
Southern Region
Exeter EXT 115.3 km Exeter Bundanoon - Wollongong Coach
Bundanoon BUN 119.8 km Bundanoon Bundanoon - Wollongong Coach
Southern Region
Penrose PRS 126.8 km Penrose
Wingello WNE 131.9 km Wingello
Tallong TJG 138.7 km Tallong
Marulan MRX 143.6 km Marulan
Goulburn GUL 167.8 km Goulburn Southern Region


  1. ^ Main South Line
  2. ^ Bayley, William A (197x). Picton-Mittagong Loop Line Railway. Bulli: Austrail Publications. ISBN 0-909597-14-6. 
  3. ^ a b "Southern Highlands line timetable". Transport for NSW. 
  4. ^ "Southern timetable" (PDF). NSW Trainlink. 26 November 2017. 
  5. ^ "Southern Passengers" Railway Digest January 1989 page 21
  6. ^ "New Timetable Sees Demise of Loco-Hauled Services" Railway Digest July 1994
  7. ^ "Service Delivery". Audit Office of New South Wales. Retrieved 26 November 2015. 
  8. ^ Bozier, Rolfe. "New South Wales Railways: NSW Station Codes". Archived from the original on 13 June 2002. Retrieved 23 May 2015. 

Further reading

  • "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

External links

  • Regional Transport Information Transport for NSW
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