Rail Corporation New South Wales
PO Box K349, Haymarket
Tel: 02-8202 2000
CityRail is the passenger rail service covering suburban Sydney and surrounding areas. It extends to the Hunter, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and South Coast regions and is run by the government. Authorities claim the CityRail network is one of the world's most complex. An average of one million trips is made to and from 307 stations each weekday. The system has a fleet of over 1500 carriages which travel through 1600 km of mainline track, across 888 bridges, and through 46 km of tunnels.
For over 150 years, the CityRail network has played a critical role in the provision of transport services for Sydney and you will find that you will end up using the system sometime. The network is made up of several colour-coded lines. Trains from different lines can share the same platform, so you need to check display screens and listen to announcements.
In Sydney, if you're near a train station, you're on your way to the City. Every rail line leads directly or indirectly to the City Circle, the rail loop around the central business district of Sydney. Purchase a ticket to the 'City' and you can travel to any one of these eight stations: Central, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James, Museum, Martin Place or Kings Cross. You can also return from any of these stations with a return ticket to the 'City'. Large stations have automatic gates for entry to, and exit from, the station. If your ticket has a magnetic stripe you must use the automatic gates. Most City stations are underground so look out for the signage at street level.
CityRail tickets are available from station ticket offices and ticket vending machines where available. Fares are calculated based on the distance you travel and represent extremely good value. If both the ticket office and ticket vending machines are closed, you can buy a ticket at your destination. Ticket vending machines accept 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1 and $2 coins, and $5, $10 and $20 notes. Large ticket machines accept $50 bank notes with a maximum of $19.90 given in change. No more than 10 coins and six notes can be used per transaction.
You need to be aware that from April 2010, the Government will introduce a simpler fare structure called MyZone that will make travelling in and around greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Hunter and the Illawarra easier. There will be fewer fare bands on all modes of public transport. On trains, fare bands will be replaced from twenty to five, on buses fare bands will be reduced from five to three and on ferries fare bands will be reduced from five to two. There will also be three new MyMulti tickets that give you unlimited travel on All Sydney Ferries and public and private bus services, as well as travel within particular CityRail zones.