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North Shore, Northern & Western Line facts for kids

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T1 North Shore, Northern & Western Line
T1 logo.png
New South Wales metropolitan rail area, with T1 services highlighted.svg
New South Wales Metropolitan Rail Area with T1 services highlighted in yellow
Status Active
Owner RailCorp
Locale Sydney, New South Wales
Type Commuter rail service
Route number T1
Operator(s) Sydney Trains
Depot(s) Hornsby Maintenance Depot
Auburn Maintenance Centre
Rolling stock K, C, T, H and A sets
Opened 1855
Track gauge Standard gauge
Operating speed
  • 90 km/h (suburban max.)
  • 43.3 km/h (network average)

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 utilises 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

Western Line combined
Diagram of Western line prior to merger in 2013

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

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. 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

ECRL Stateplan
Diagram of the Northern Line (in red) and North Shore and Western Lines (yellow) between 2009 and 2013.

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

CityRail NorthernLine
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.

In 2018 the Epping to Chatwood line will be closed and be converted to a metro. 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 the proposed new timetable that year.